I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I loved hearing all about your Christmas. It sounds really neat. Christmas was good here at the MTC. Very busy but awesome. I wrote in my journal that "today was a Christ filled Christmas." Which was so cool. I have never had a Christmas that was completely focused on Christ. So it made it really neat. I feel a greater appreciation for the Atonement and for Christ's birth after celebrating Christmas this way.
On Christmas Eve, we had regular classes all day, then that night we had a devotional. David F. Evans of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He taught us all about letters from Mormon to Moroni and read us letters that his father sent to him on his mission. He taught of the importance of letters and the impact they have on people and the missionary work that can come from them. He told us stories from his mission and talked about being good missionaries. It was really cool. I mentioned that all the missionaries sang silent night that night and the spirit was so strong. It was incredible. I could barely sing because of the overwhelming feeling of the spirit. It was so peaceful. Anyways, after the devotional, we watched the Nativity and Mr. Krueger's Christmas.
As we were walking back to our dorms, we all took pictures by the lights and sang Christmas songs like Feliz Navidad and I'll be home for Christmas.... (hahah) and stuff like that. We had a blast. We went to the dorms and popped pop corn and opened our new pj's. We went up to the front desk to get something so we took pictures by the big map in our christmas pj's. (we had permission cause they wanted the packages to get picked up) hahah (I know every missionary has taken a picture by that map pointing to their mission, but how many people have taken a picture by that map in their pajamas?) haha so anyways we had a ton of fun.
On Christmas morning, we went and got breakfast and then studied. We had a talent show and it was a lot of fun. We had a devotional and Elder Bednar and his wife came and spoke to us. It was really neat. Elder Bednar made it a question- answer type of meeting. So he passed out 200 cell phones to the missionaries and we texted in questions to his ipad and he answered as many as he could. It was cool. He talked about feeling inadequate as missionaries but also about the enabling power of the Atonement that allows us to do hard things. I definitely needed to hear that because I feel so inadequate to do the Lord's work. Sister Bednar gave us some great advice. She said "Remember who you are. Remember that you represent your name. Remember that you represent your family name. Remember that you represent our church. And remember that you represent our Savior." I loved that. She gave a great talk. After the devotional with Elder and Sister Bednar, we had lunch and then some other programs throughout the day. At the end of the day we watched the Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. It was a busy but great day. A day I will never forget.
We had a devotional on sunday, with Brother Randall, who is the director of Administration of the Missionary department. He talked about focusing everything on others and loving our investigators. We watched a clip of The District, and then he had Sister Payne, who was one of the missionaries on the district come and talk to us about loving our investigators and yielding to the spirit. Brother Randall also talked about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for us. He said "Remember Christ's love for us-- especially when we are unsure, confused, or bewildered about the future. Remember God loved us so he sent his son. He still holds a place for us in His heart." It was a really neat meeting. The devotionals are always awesome.
My classes are good. Korean is coming along. Very slowly. haha I can now say my testimony in Korean without having to read it! So i am excited about that. We have been teaching a few pretend investigators and that has been good. We always teach a lesson and then each of us share our testimony to the investigator. Our testimonies are very simple. But testifying always brings the spirit. It is really neat. Yesterday we practiced contacting. It was actually really hard! We would have scenarios and then have to strike up a conversation (this is all in Korean) and then lead into the gospel and ask if we could meet with them later on. It was so hard! and in major broken Korean. But I realized that I know a lot more than I think I do. I think the more we practice that, the easier it will become.
Every sunday we have a guest speaker come and talk to us for relief society. This week we had a lady named Laura F. Willis. She gave a great talk about the true meaning of Christmas. She also spoke about giving the best gifts for Christmas. She taught us that if our lives are centered on Christ, then nothing can ever go wrong. We watch music and the spoken word every sunday morning and I love that. It is always so peaceful listening to the Tabernacle Choir.
One of the biggest things I miss is just being able to sit down and play the piano! Luckily I have been playing the hymns in Sacrament meeting so that has been kind of fun. It gives me an excuse to go play the piano sometimes. It is a little tricky when Everyone is singing in Korean though! It's really cool though :) Mom, could you possibly send me some LDS sheet music that I could play? Nothing too hard because I don't have a ton of time to practice. But that would be great! I think Sister Glauser and I are going to play a song together. She plays the violin so I will play the piano while she plays the violin. Maybe audition to play in a devotional or something like that. Anyways, all of that being said, D-man, bunnies. keep practicing! I miss playing the piano a lot.
Mom and Dad- thank you for all of the letters. Every piece of mail makes my day! So thank you! I love you so much! Mom happy December 28th! I will be thinking about you the whole day. Have fun shopping with the girls today! I love you so much. Thank you for being the best mom in the world.
Ratch- keep me updated on everything! I love hearing about your cute dates with Jacob. Thank you for the quotes you send. And the talks! They are just what I need to hear. Please keep sending things like that! Sorry every elder in my Zone is writing you. Seriously they all want to write you. Ignore them if they are annoying. They all make jokes like "All I want is mail from the Anderson house" hahah so dumb. you can totally ignore them. sorry. haha
D-man- congrats on the Basketball championship! That's awesome. I am so glad you beat Kaysville. I still have bad feelings towards kaysville ever since they always killed farmington in basketball. Way to de-throne them. hahah. Keep me updated on BYU sports! I can't believe that the Utes worked BYU in basketball. So sad. haha :( Tell me how the bowl game is tonight.
Jane Catherine! Thanks for the cute email! I am so happy you and Ellie made the Centennial Basketball team! How neat is that?! Tell me all about it. I hope you had a great Christmas! What did you get for Christmas? Keep updating me on your cute stories! I love love love getting letters from you! And Happy Birthday on December 30th!! Have the best day ever!! Love you so much!
Ellie Christine! Thank you for such thoughtful letters you sent in my Christmas package! It makes my day when you guys write me. Let me know how basketball goes!! I think that is so cool that you made the team. I didn't even make first cuts when I tried out. ha ha ha. How is school? Just kidding don't think about school. it's christmas break. Have a good birthday!!! I will think about you all day. Ps we still need to do our nails! :'( I promise I wont forget. only 17 months and we'll do them ;)
Addie Rose! I loved your cute letter you sent! I love when you tell me the story about the Big Friendly Giant. Keep telling me what is happening ok? How is Rebecca? and your twin dolls? What did you get for Christmas? Tell me everything! I hope you are doing so good! I love you to the sun and back 10 times :)
Zeus! Did Santa come on Christmas? I hope you remembered to turn off the fire place because that was your job. Did you get a new bike for Christmas? I can't wait to see it. Will you send me a picture of it? How is your fort? Is is covered in snow? I saw a picture of you watching the Polar Express. Remember how we watched that right before I left? That was so fun. I hope you are being a good boy. Thanks for the cute pictures you send me! I am going to send you a picture back. I love you! (ps- would you rather be hulk or superman?) send me more would you rathers. I love you more than all of the sand on the beaches!
Well I need to go, but I love you all so much! It sounds like you had a great Christmas. I love you so much. Thanks for being the best family ever! Keep doing missionary work. Send an email to the lady from Israel. I will pray for you to know what you should say to her. I know Heavenly Father will help you! Thank you for doing service on Christmas Eve! I loved hearing all about it. That's the real meaning of Christmas. Don't forget we are on 3 Nephi 13 today! Love you so much! Thanks for all of the support!! xoxoxoxox
Sister Tara Anderson