Friday, December 27, 2013

December 22

I'm glad the [piano] recital was a success.  This letter might not be a success, because I have already used a lot of my time emailing President Mains and trying to figure out the Skype thing in the office with Elder Harper.  I may only get to write a little, and I may send this to you at intervals so that my time doesn't run out before I send the whole letter (I get cut off without warning on these computers.)
I loved hearing a little about Dad's arrangements.  I wish I could have heard them; they sound super fun!  I'm glad that the stress of preparing for concerts is over now (it is, right?) and I hope things become more restful.  I wish everyone good health, too.  I'm sorry to hear about the Hand-Foot-Mouth sickness.  I'll pray for you all.  This year, Christmas is going to be really different for all of us, isn't it.  I'll have more to tell about Christmas in Singapore in a couple of days when we talk, but it doesn't feel like Christmas at all.  It's not bad, but everything is so different that I don't recognize the holiday. 

Thanks for the reminder about finding Christ in our lives.  It's funny how many very important things I can lose sight of, even doing missionary work.  Right now, I know that before my mission, I was engaged in good things, and now that I'm here as a missionary, I'm definitely doing better things.  However, it's become apparent to me lately that I am called to rise up to always doing and thinking the best things.  I always thought this just naturally "came with the job," but I can see that there is more to it that just being "out here," and not breaking rules.  Becoming better than myself - putting off the natural man - is harder than I ever realized, but it's worth every effort, because I can feel the progress I make and the Holy Ghost's influence on my thoughts and actions each day.  I want to echo Mom's testimony that life focused on Christ, maintaining an eternal perspective, really brings real joy and peace of mind and heart.  I know that the things we think, say, and do now are so important, and it is essential to use the great gift of agency to strive to emulate Jesus Christ's example.  I want to thank you for your own example of selfless service in helping the Kemps and the Swinks, and many others in need, and for your determination to live the standards of Jesus Christ's gospel and remember Him, regardless of whether it's Christmas or July.

But, since it is Christmas, I want to wish you all love and Happy Holidays!

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