Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Joy that can never be taken away

Hello Everyone! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you had
such a wonderful time with your family as you celebrated the birth of
Jesus Christ. What an amazing week it has been! Words can't even
describe the joy that I feel about being a missionary and having the
opportunity of celebrating Christmas here in England. Christmas is
England is absolutely brilliant. It just as America does it...they
have lights, trees, presents, etc. But there are quite a few
differences as well. They are big with advent calendars (pulling out
chocolate for each day as a countdown for Christmas), lights are
unique and different to each city and town, they have something called
mince pies and Christmas puddings that they like to eat around
Christmas time, and they do something called 12 days of Christmas.
Everyone will keep their lights up until the 6th of January and if
they don't put them down by midnight that day, it's considered bad
luck. The day after Christmas, English people also do a holiday called
Boxing Day. It's basically just a day off from work to spend time with
families, etc.  They also like to do something called Christmas
crackers during Christmas time (not food). I probably received a
cracker each time that I went to someone's house to celebrate
Christmas. They are fun. They are like paper tubes that you pull and
then inside, it has a little prize, paper crown hat, and a joke. Each
person in the family usually gets one. England is different in many
ways but Christmas here was great.  Sister Hamann and I opened up our
packages Christmas morning (thank you Mom & Dad and all those who sent
letters!) and then went finding. Afterwards, we went and had food at
members' homes. Lots of members had us over for a lunch or dinner
appointment during Christmas dinner and Boxing Day. Lets just say that
we were given quite a lot of food! Especially chocolate. I have never
seen so much chocolate in my life before until I got out here during
my mission. I think members thought that perhaps we didn't have any
packages or something and so they made it up with something that is
tasty but not too good for us. We now have a whole cupboard full of
chocolate. But no worries, we are giving a lot of it to elders! :)
Well, A few miracles that we were able to see is that on Christmas
Day, we were able to hand out 8 Book of Mormons that were individually
wrapped as a gift. We told those that we met that if the Saviour was
here on the earth, that this would be the gift that he would give. We
didn't leave the people in the dark though and told them what our gift
was and that we held this Book dearly to our hearts and what it has
done for us. It was great when peoples faces would light up as they
accepted our gift. Talking to the family was wonderful. I was a bit
nervous throughout the day and wondered what it would be like to talk
to them (because this would be my first time). I got on FaceTime and
when they appeared on the screen, I felt reassured and comforted
knowing that they were OK and I was happy to be able to share my
experiences with them. I will never forget my Christmas experience as
a missionary. I love being a missionary! Transfers are coming up next
week and I'm not sure where I'll end up or if I'll stay. Often times,
I find myself thinking about what lies ahead in the future but I have
recognised that as I take it day by day, I'm able to get much more
done. I love my area, my companion, and most of all I love the work.
I'm not sure what is to happen these next upcoming transfers, but
wherever I am, wherever I serve, I am happy because I am a disciple of
Christ and nothing can take that joy away from me. :) Love you all!
Have a wonderful week!
With love,
Sister Burtis
P.S. My ponderized scripture is Hebrews 5:9

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