Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Bliss

Merry Christmas!
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! And it is safe to say that is also the most wonderful time of the mission! I thought it would be the opposite, I thought as I headed into the holiday season that things would be tough... but I am just here to tell you that I have never been happier to be a missionary! The old saying, "There's no place like home for the Holidays" is true, Georgia has truly become my home and the people I am surrounded by daily have become my family! I hope that wherever you are, and whoever you are with, you feel the exact same!
Christmas time is all about the Savior. This week someone asked me, "so you Mormons really believe in Jesus Christ?". I was happy to answer that question with a smile and a "yes", but then grateful to reflect on the fact that not only do we believe in Him, but we rely on Him and love him. We live for him, we make sacrifices for Him, and it is His birth we celebrate this time of the year.

This week great things happened, but first, because we all know that "where Sister Beasley is, there disaster is also" let me share with you a story. So we might have the worst car in the mission, or... as we learned this week, we might have the worlds worst driver. (and when I say that, I am not talking about Sister Chapman.) I have been designated as the driver and we have had car problem after car problem which takes us to Athens for maintenance, which is about a 25 minute drive out of our area. Last week I got an email saying we needed to head to Pepboys for an oil change so we did just that. On our way there we were making a left-hand turn into the parking lot and we had a green arrow... well the road was kind of strange, and as usual, I was pretty distracted... to make a short story long - I WAS DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! It was a two lane per way street... and I couldn't turn around. It was half funny and half scary and all I could say was, "Sister, what should I do?". She told me to turn around, but that wasn't exactly an option, so we just kept driving down the road. To make matters worse, I looked in my review mirror and there is a line of cars following me! We made it there safely and had a good laugh! So, what did I learn from this? Maybe something along the lines of... "Don't always follow the leader."
So, we have a baptism this coming Saturday! Seeing my friend Abraham be baptized... and receive the greatest Christmas present ever, the gift of the Holy Ghost, is going to be so awesome! And surely will make this Christmas a "White One!" This man has changed my life and has taught me so much. This week we taught him about the Word of Wisdom. He has been smoking since he was under the age of 10 and through his Faith he was able to quit. He says that with the help of the Savior he knows all things are possible. He went from 3 packs a day... to none, all in a week! Miracles happen! This I know to be true! What seems impossible can happen so quickly with the help of the Lord. Can you just picture this little 72 year old man, all in white? If you can't.. I'll send home a picture because I know that is going to be something to see. I am just so humbled to have had the privilege of having a small part in all of this! On his Calender, for next Saturday, he has the day outlined with the words "My Day" written on it! That surely will be His day!
We have been meeting with a lady we used to visit a lot and in the past 3 days we have seen so much Progress! She is praying and says she feels the Lord more in her life! She has a true desire to change and to start "Living for the Lord", her name is Trisha and she needs all the prayers she can get. Will y'all include her in your conversations with the Lord? I know she'd appreciate it.
So, part of what makes Christmas so great as a missionary is that we have the opportunity to meet with the entire mission! It was so fun being with EVERYONE and reuniting with old companions and friends. I love the people that serve here with me and I am grateful that each of them made the choice to give this time of their lives to the Lord and His children in Georgia. President and Sister Wolfert both talked about Christmas's they spent away from home and how they were some of the best of their lives. As I've been thinking about spending Christmas away from home for the first time ever... I've felt closer to the Savior because he too, spent Christmas away from His family.
I love Christmas. I love the fact that we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior into the world. As my favorite hymn, "O Holy Night" sings...  "Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was born."
Can you imagine if we didn't have Him?  I know that a very "weary" Sister Beasley rejoices!- because I know that it would literally be impossible to live without Him.
As happy as we as human beings are to receive Him, can you image how hard it was, the night before he was born? I picture Him and His Heavenly family all together... This Christmas, more than ever, I am grateful for the Gift our Heavenly Father gave us of His only Son. I am grateful that both the Father and the Son loved each and every one of us enough to sacrifice time away from the other.. so that we all can return into their presence.
My favorite Christmas movie says something along the lines of, "If you can't say how you really feel at Christmas, then when can you?"
I leave with you my testimony that I know our Savior is Jesus Christ and I love him and all he does for me. An article in this months Ensign reads, "The boy child who arrived that birthing season is known as “the Lamb of God” It is a title of deep significance, for He arrived with the lambs and would someday be “brought as a lamb to the slaughter”. Yet paradoxically, He was also the Good Shepherd, one who cares for the lambs. Thus, these twin symbols of His life represent both those who serve and those who are served. It was only right that Christ should play both roles, for in life He “descended below all things”, and in eternity He “ascended up on high” and is in and through and “round about all things”. He knew life from every side and every angle, both above and below. He who was the greatest made Himself the least—the Heavenly Shepherd who became the Lamb."
I am grateful for my Father in Heaven and for the many gifts He has given me; not only do I have a Savior, but I also have the Restored Gospel and an eternal family.
I love you each so much. Thank you for your love, examples, and support.
And for those of whom I will see this week on Christmas Day, let it be known that this is the highlight of my year.
I love you! I love you! I love you!
2 days! 
Merry Christmas!

-Sister Beasley

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