Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Message

[We had a great, hour-long Skype visit with Andrew on Christmas Day.  He looked happy and healthy, and he patiently answered our many questions.  He loves serving on his mission and has made many friends along the way.  Below is his Christmas email/message.]

Merry Christmas! Ours consisted of fruit cake, hot chocolate, and being woken up by a thousand fireworks at midnight. Nevertheless, it was a very memorable Christmas. I think of the gifts I witnessed given:
  • We participated in a baptism on Christmas Eve. The younger brother of one of our earlier converts was baptized on his eleventh birthday. His brother performed the ordinance. This meant the boy received the Holy Ghost on Christmas; fitting considering the talk of the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional that named it the best gift God can give here. 
  • Another young man was officially granted all of his rights as a member after a long, strenuous repentance process. He bore to us a climactic testimony that encapsulated all the sorrow and pain he'd finally conquered, and all the powerful hopes he was now permitted to entertain: the Melchizedek Priesthood, the temple, and a mission in a matter of months.

Both events were purified and called for heavenly attention. Being bound by mortal sight, we may only guess at the significance of such gifts. I feel it distinctly.  All of eternity's weight balances on the knife's edge of mortality.  So we hold on to what we have and stand up another year.

"And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child." Luke 2:17

Recent baptism
Elder Burt and friend at recent conference

Out caroling

Elder Burt w/ Friend

Huanuco Sunset