Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas to Me

Hey everyone :)

First off sorry for my lame update last week! I know all you faithful readers are probably tired of those lame three sentences paragraphs. I promise mission life is great :) McCall has been fun, its been snowing like crazy here thank goodness I'm from New Jersey! This week it hit -17 I thought my eyes were confused. But this week we have been working to learn the area my companion doesn't know the area very well, so its been an adjustment, I wish I could say who we are working with but it's going to take some time to get adjusted! This week we had a district meeting on the savior naturally. But as I sat and thought about it this week, I was  reflecting on the humility of the saviors birth we say it so often it may be trite but as i was studying the old testament I thought about everything leading up to  this humble birth.

 Micah prophesied "But thou Beth-lehem Ephratah though thou be little among the thousands of Judah yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." 

 Isaiah prophesied "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel"; "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." a testament that the Savior would come. 

I think of Adam and Eve who had to leave  the garden because of sin and transgression. But as we learn in Moses, Adam was taught the plan of happiness that he would have a savior to save them from the thought and belief that they would never be worthy or able to stand in gods presence again "And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the father and the son saying:I am the only begotten of the Father from the beginning  henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed and all mankind even as many as will" (Moses 5:9)  and so it is for ages of people prophets who testified of the birth of the savior. 

One of my most favorite scriptures that pierces my heart is in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 1:11-19 as Nephi is pleading for help, "And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people yea those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their Fathers" The Savior who would enter the world that the next day in Jerusalem thought to answer the pray of  a humble servant,"Lift up your head and be of good cheer for behold the time is at hand and on this night shall the sign be given on the morrow come I int o the world to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets"  he thought to bring peace to his aching heart surely the sign would come to tomorrow Nephi would see it, but he truly is the prince of peace. 

Of all the things we would be doing before a big trip, before the only begotten son of the father left his fathers and mothers presence he answered the prayer of a humble man. It speaks everything of the character of Jesus Christ. And then of all circumstances to come to, with every ounce of humility, an obedient foster father, and a worthy mother he chose parents who had honor before the birth of this king in the eyes of our heavenly father. AS Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said "But first and forever there was just a little family without toys, or trees or tinsel. With a baby that's how Christmas began." Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, in our house our parents always may Christmas fun, it wasn't the extravagance of the holiday but in the simply reminders around our home of the savior, it was reading the birth of the savior and our father gathering us around to pray and give thanks for the Saviors birth to remind us that before toys and tinsel, it was just that little family. It was the service projects my mom gathered us together for, making cookies and delivering to neighbors it was nights of songs about the savior that reminded us that it's not only on December 25 that we celebrate the Savior but everyday. As we aspire to follow his example all year round we realize like President Thomas S. Monson said " that it's not the spirit of Christmas but truly the spirit of Christ" that is always in our hearts. As week make preparations in the coming weeks for this big day, I would invite you to find little ways to remind yourself of the true reason for the season! 

Have a great week everyone :) Love you all!

Sister Cleveland

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