Monday, December 7, 2015

Discover why the Savior is Born

Hello everyone! Can you believe it's already December? I sure can't.
The days are flying by so fast. Ok, so my explanation for why you
might have not heard from me last week. I had typed up a blog update
last week and saved it in my drafts but the it booted me out and my
draft got deleted. I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell me that I
should just go back to the letter writing days and forget about
technology ;) just kidding. The past two weeks have been very
eventful. Two weeks ago, Sister Hamann and I were able to visit lots
of our friends and less-active friends. They are all doing really
well. We can see the work progressing and that is good. It's not easy
at times and often times, there will be things that stops our friends
from progressing but we know that if we trust in God, rather than the
outcomes, it will all work out. I've learned a lot lately that it
really matters on how I feel I've done the work. If I'm doing all that
I can to be a consecrated missionary, than I know that despite seeing
the end results or not, the work will hasten on. At the end of
November, we were able to celebrate Sister Hamann's birthday. That was
a lot of fun. Because this would be her only birthday, I wanted it to
be great so as she was getting ready in the morning, I blew up big
balloons, put up a banner, and put out some candles for her. She
walked in and as she did so, I sang at the top of my lungs, "Happy
Birthday to you!" You could probably imagine what it must have sounded by myself singing a solo and just having woken up. I think
Sister Hamann got what I was trying to say though ;) The rest of the
day consisted of so many miracles and also lots of cake. We are
working with an investigator who is overcoming smoking and drinking
coffee and he told us that day that he had stopped doing both. It's
amazing to see people change their lives around as they learn more
about the gospel. We were able to put up some Christmas decorations up
as a service project for a member and then she fed us lunch and a
vanilla buttermilk cream cake. England knows how to do some really
great cakes. We then did some finding, teaching, and then went over to
another member's home for dinner and they also had birthday cake. So
at the end of the day, we got lots of cake. We were able to share that
with our friends because the two of us couldn't eat it alone. The day
after Sister Hamann's birthday was thanksgiving and our Bishop and his
family invited us over for dinner. Lori (Bishop's wife) was from Utah
and she knew that I would probably want to bring in some of my family
traditions and I mentioned to her that we usually had different pies.
Because she was so kind, that's what she provided for us along with
stuffing, Turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and lion house
pantry rolls. It was really good! So no worries there....I got to be a
part of the thanksgiving tradition :) :) This past week, we have been
able to see many miracles. Sister Hamann and I got to travel at the
beginning of last week to Plymouth and for pday, we explored around
the stores and got to see all the Christmas lights strung around the
big city. We then traveled to Redding and got to attend Mission
Leadership Conference. It was really good. We discussed ways we can
teach others on the streets and how we could best help them to
discover why a Savior was born. There is a great video that the church
put out on and I invite any of you to share that
with your friends. It's a great video of the children around the world
sharing of Christ's birth. I love it and could watch it lots of times!
After MLC, the rest of the week included us going finding, teaching,
and providing service. Just recently, we were able to weed for one of
our members and as we started weeding, it started raining. Well since
its wet and all, it was much easier to weed. However, as we got
weeding, little critters like worms and slugs (I don't think Utah even
has those?) decided to make a home in the dirt. So despite, the slimy
creatures all around, I pressed forward and accomplished the weeding
with my companion. The best news....I didn't die! :) Overall, I'm so
happy to be out here and to be on the Lord's errand. It's been great
to declare to others that a Savior is born and that we have a message
for them to discover why. Sister Hamann and I were knocking one day
last week and an older lady, named Margaret, opened the door. She
thought we were jehovah witnesses but after introducing ourselves, she
came to know who we were. She wasn't all too interested in the message
but you could tell that she loved talking to people. She loves Christ
and Christmas and was amazed that two young ladies were going around
sharing the good news. Margaret mentioned to us that she sees the
youth not even caring or having a purpose anymore. We just simply
explained to her that we know this message we share is true and that
is why we came out to share it with her. We asked her if we could sing
her a Christmas song and she grinned from ear to ear. We started to
sing "Away in a manger" and she started to sing with us. She mentioned
to us that this was one of the songs she'd sing to her kids when they
were little. We were all so touched and felt of the Christmas spirit.
What a great opportunity to declare of the Savior's birth. I'm
grateful to be able to experience a Christmas out here in England on
my mission. It's not easy having to find sometimes in the winds and
rains but it's so worth it. I love this season. Many more remember
Christ at this season even if they aren't a member or the church or
any church. Many more are happier. Families come together and
celebrate. I'm so grateful for this work. I hope as you prepare
yourselves for this upcoming holiday, that you remember the real
reason of Christmas. The word Christmas is nothing without Christ in
in. I love you. I hope all of you are doing well!
With love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture is Alma 5:60.
60 And now I say unto you that the good shepherd doth call after you; and if you will hearken unto his voice he will bring you into his fold, and ye are his sheep; and he commandeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed.

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