Monday, November 26, 2012

The Last Mexican Thanksgiving

Well nobody here celebrates Thanksgiving, but I already knew that.  I almost didn't even remember that it was, to be honest.  The bigger deal for me was that Thursday was my 17 month mark.  That just seems like too long.  Anyway, it was something of a rough week for us here.  Elder Gaytan is still struggling with a lot of things, so I try to help, but it doesn't always end well.  We ended up going to the offices again today so he could talk to President, but I don't know what the results of that visit were yet.  I tried to talk to him on Thursday for the companionship inventory, but he just ended up getting mad at me.  I'm not quite sure what to do to help him, but I'm not giving up.  Unfortunately, that essentially kills any opportunities we have to be a successful companionship until we figure this out.  That, along with me getting a little sick with fluish symptoms, has made for something of a rough week, but I'm still quite happy out here.  Funny how that works, isn't it?
Going to the offices today meant I got the Christmas package, which was absolutely excellent.  I almost laughed out loud for joy when I saw the poems on the presents.  I loved the pictures, the calendar, and everything that I get to give away.  You chose an excellent CD to give away.  I think that's one of my favorites that I have.  Really, it was just an excellent package, and I'm sad it'll be my last.  Thanks very much to all who contributed.  
Also a big thanks to Sharon for her donation.  I'm so thankful for all you've done for me.
It sounds like everyone's been pretty busy this week.  That's weird that Jeff'll be coming home so soon.  It seems like he left a long time before I did, but not really.  I'm glad everyone got to participate in Black Friday shopping.  That's something I won't be looking forward to.  I think I'll wait for Cyber Monday.  Bert Murdock is no longer the place to go for sheet music.  Really retail stores aren't the place to go.  Essentially everything's going online, just FYI.  They were talking about hiring teachers and doing lessons when I was still working there.  I'm surprised they're actually doing it, to be honest.  I don't think I ever had food allergies, and I'm sure I don't now, I was just picky.  The fact that I can now eat squash without even complaining attests to that.  Thanks for your apology, Mom.  Neither of us was ever anything close to perfect, but we made things work out pretty well.  I never thought I'd miss the family very much being out here, but I think one thing I most look forward to is having everyone over on Sunday nights.  That's awesome that Jordan's going on a mission.  He'll be going where Jeff Lewis is (although Jeff will probably be home by the time Jordan leaves).  Unfortunately, that ruins the possibility of a Festivus reunion for some time.  That's great that Nate got his Eagle.  That's funny that Jesse called to invite themselves to dinner.  Make it a good one for them.  I think it would be good to talk to them about the blessings of missionary work for them, their families, and the people they help.  Follow PMG chapter 11 and commit them to serve missions.

Here's the letter for the ward:

Dear Windsor 7th Ward,
When did the tradition of gift giving begin?  Some might say it's a pagan tradition.  Some might say it began with the Maggi visiting the baby Jesus.  Really it began before the foundation of this world when Jehovah said "Here am I, send me".  We tend to think a lot more about others in this season, and I'm all for that.  However, why don't we do it all the time?  Did Jesus only perform miracles and loving service right around His birthday?  Obviously not; He served everyone at every chance He got.  Loving service is the very essence of discipleship.  As in all things, Christ is our perfect example.  He didn't just give His Sundays or a couple of days a week to the service of His Father, He gave all that He had.  I have no doubt that there were times when He thought He deserved a rest or needed to take a break, but that wasn't part of the program.  There was no seasonality in His service, so why should there be in ours?  We have taken upon us the name of Christ, and that is no passive declaration.  We, too, must give all that we have to the cause of the Master.  I testify that doing so will bring us greater joy and peace to our lives and we will receive revelation to know how to help others.  God will give us the abilities we lack in order to help His children.  My challenge to you all is that this Christmas season become a time of conversion, not simply a short surge in selfless service.  Start now and make it the pattern for your life throughout the year.  I testify that conversion and discipleship are the only way to obtain a greater measure of happiness that we may not even know exists.  As you begin this pattern of living, I promise you that you will not lack in your homes.  Your families will be strengthened, and you will all become more Christlike and be closer to your loving Father in Heaven.  Let us give the greatest gift of all to all the children of God who stand in need of our lives of service.  As a representative of Jesus Christ, I invoke the blessings of Heaven upon you all, and wish you the very best in your efforts to emulate our Savior.

Elder Facer

 I felt pretty inspired about this letter, so I'd love it if you could make sure the whole ward hears that challenge.  I'd also love to hear feedback and opportunities they find to serve.
I know that we are in the right place.  I know that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ and the only true gospel of Jesus Christ to be found in all the earth.  I know that there is no substitute for gospel living if we wish to be happy.  I know that President Monson is a true prophet, and he holds and administers all the keys of the holy Priesthood.  I know the Priesthood is real, and it is the very power of God.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know that His Atonement is infinite in every way, and we are all capable of attaining to it's richness of blessings.  I know that we can be healed of any hurt through this divine power.  I know that God is our Father.  He loves us.  He knows us.  He hears and answers our prayers.  I know that His plan of salvation is the only way whereby we can be saved, and the only way that we can find everlasting happiness.  I testify that living the gospel in its fulness will bring us closer to that joy than anything else.  


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