Dear Mum and Family,
It has been another great week and you can definitely feel the Christmas season in the air. It is definitely really cold but unfortunately we haven't gotten any snow. There is lots of talking going on about the winter this year being like the winter last year which was really cold and no snow at all. I think it would be really cool to see what it is like to have no snow for Christmas, but at the same time I think it would be really weird. Who knows maybe we will just get snow for Christmas day and then it will all go away. That would be kind of nice.
I think that the service project that you all had this last week was amazing. It sounds like you all had a great time serving others and that you had a great time talking with everyone. I wish that I was able to be there and enjoy it with you all but it sounds like it has turned into something that is going to be done every year. So I guess I have a new tradition to look forward to when I get home. I hope that you all remember the feeling that you had while you did that great service and that you always look for opportunities to serve.
It sounds like it was pretty fun dipping chocolates with the missionaries. You said that you saw something different from the Elders. I think that you just saw that the Elders are just so much better because that is definitely the truth. It’s okay you don't have to admit it though.
This last week for us has been a lot of tracting and talking to people on the streets. I think one of the tender mercies that we had this week was a couple of days ago when we were tracting. For the first hour or so we were having no success at all. We had talked to a lot of people and they were not interested at all. Most of them just ignored us and they didn't want anything to do with us. It was kind of annoying but at the same time I kind of liked it because it was hard. I have come to really enjoy the hard times that I have had on the mission because they really help me grow and learn. Well to continue on with my tender mercy. We went down to almost the end of the street and something really cool happened. The next four doors that we knocked on were some really nice people. They were kind of busy at the moment but they invited us back next week to talk with them some more. We were both really excited and so grateful for that great tender mercy that we had. I learned from that experience and how enduring to the end is really important. If we would have just quit and done something else we wouldn't have found those people who are prepared by God.
Caden…..I have not seen the movie ‘When the game stands tall’. I am sure it is a really great movie because it is a football movie and those are definitely the best movies ever. I will have to put that on a paper to remember it so when I get home we can watch it.
Chelsey….It sounds like you are reading a really cool book right now. I really like how it talks about a boy going on a mission and also a little bit about sports. Maybe when I get home you will have to remind me about that book so that I can read it because it sounds really good. Thanks for sharing it with me and I hope that you really enjoy it.
Lyndsey…..When it rains here it is sometimes cold. Right now because it is winter time it does get really cold when it rains, but during the summer it was actually pretty warm. The sun does look the same here. The only difference is it doesn't stay out very long. It's pretty much totally dark at about 4 in the afternoon which is really weird. I have started to get used to it though. I can't believe that you actually believed me when I said that the washing machine in the kitchen was a dish washer. Everyone here has there washing machine in the kitchen usually so it is quite normal and it is for clothes not dishes. You are such a blonde.
Dad…..I also can't believe how fast this month has flown by. I remember like it was yesterday it was the first of December. In fact I remember when I hopped on the plane and was heading to the MTC. Man it has really flown by super-fast.
I can't believe all of the wonderful weather that you guys are having there. It has been pretty cold here which I think is horrible because if it is going to be cold there at least needs to be some snow on the ground. The warmest it gets here during the day is about 8 degrees Celsius. And if there is a wind, which there normally is, it gets super cold. It hasn't really rained a whole lot lately but the cold weather is definitely making up for all of it. Lots of people are hoping that it doesn't snow because apparently the whole place just shuts down when it snows. I think it is kind of funny because when it does snow they really don't get very much. Maybe we can swap weather with each other. I am sure mom would love that.
Well transfers are here! There is some much excitement that goes around during this time of the mission. Some missionaries are going home which brings excitement, some missionaries are coming in, and some missionaries are moving to new areas or getting new companions. I know that I am really excited to find out tonight what happens to me and my companion. I have a feeling that this will be the last time I will be emailing you guys from the Sheldon ward, but I guess you will find out next week. I know that whatever happens I will be at a place that God wants me to be. I know that he knows me and knows what I need to learn at this time or who I need to help. So wherever he sends me I am excited to learn and help others who he wants me to help.
Well I am excited for this Christmas coming up. I know that I will really enjoy being in England this Christmas. I know that this is where I am supposed to be at this time and that there is no other place I would rather be. I have grown a lot and learned a lot on my mission and it has only been 4 months. I am really enjoying it. I hope that this Christmas is as special for you guys as it is going to be for me.
During this Christmas season and also for the time I have been out here serving I have learned a lot more on gratitude. I have seen all of the great blessing that I have received and for all of the many things you guys are blessed with while I have been serving. I am so thankful for all of the great thinks that the Lord blesses me with. I know that you all know about the ten lepers and how they were healed, but only one of them was grateful and he thanked the Christ. Well I found a poem and I would like to share it with you all.
In a certain village, on a certain day,
ten lepers stood far off
and lifted up their voices unto Christ:
" Have mercy on us, Master, please,
take our infirmities away."
And it was done, according to the grace
of the Savior, Father's son.
They showed themselves unto the priest
and were cleansed.
And one of them, on finding he was whole,
paused moments on a grassy knoll,
turned his back
upon the path he would trod,
and fell upon his face in praise of God.
But of the other nine, no word of thanks
escaped their tongues,
no hymns of praise were sung.
Too busy in their haste
to get on with their lives-
to publish joyous tidings
to their children and their wives-
perhaps without intending to be rude,
they overlooked the sacrament of thanks
and lost the sacred blessings bought
by showing gratitude.
Oh, that I might
from this parable be taught
and practice well the part
of the living with and ever- grateful hear.
- Sharon Nauta Steele
I hope that this Christmas season we can show our gratitude towards God and toward Christ for all that we have been blessed with. I hope you all have a great week and who knows maybe I will be emailing from different computer next week.
PS You don't have to send me any chocolate I think I can go without. I have received all of my packages and letters that you all sent and I can't wait to open them all.