This Christmas has been different than any Christmas I've ever had. I have been away from my family, and my familiar traditions. But I've also been able to be away from some of the distractions of this time of year. The stress, the shopping, and the commercialism. I have loved being able to remember and share with others the true meaning of Christmas. Celebrating Christ, His birth, His life, His Atonement, and what that means for us. And what it means is pretty amazing! God sent His Son here so that all men could be saved. We are all saved from death and we can also be cleansed from our sins as we have faith in our Savior, repent, are baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. And that is the message that I have dedicated 18 months of my life to sharing. It's a beautiful message. It is "good news". It brings direction, peace, joy, Salvation! I love it! I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ, for my Heavenly Father who made this plan for us so we can return to Him, I am so grateful for the gospel, for my family- who I can be with forever-, I'm grateful for being a missionary and having the oppurtunity to share Christ's gospel with the people here in Northern California. I am gateful for Chirstmas and what it helps me to remember.
One of the things that you need to bring with you on a mission is bedding. When I left I brought a bedspread that my sister had used in college. It's easy to pack and very girly looking. She likes pink so it was a good one for her. I don't love pink, but I needed a bedspread so I wasn't going to complain. One day in Eureka while I was remaking my bed I looked at my bedspread and had a sudden realization. It's reversible. One side is pink the other side is purple (my favorite color). I had seen that blanket on my sister's bed for years, it had always been pink. Through all those months of packing the blanket, and using it at the MTC and in Eureka, I hadn't noticed that all I had to do to get a purple bed was to turn it over. I was so used to seeing a pink blanket that that was all I saw.
I sat there for a while wondering how it possibly could have taken me so long to realize. Then it dawned on me that we, as humans, do this so often. We see a person, ourselves or others, and say that what they have been is all that they can become. We forget that we are all children of God. The person we are now is only one aspect of us, it is within our grasp to change and become more. All we have to do is turn our lives to Christ and the Atonement and we can become a totally new and beautiful person. A person who was there all along but was hidden from our sight. 2 Cor 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is as a new creature". Don't let yourself be defined but what you have been, instead seek out what you can become.