Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas, almost!

Hi everyone!

Merry Christmas!!! So hard to believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve. This year has gone by so very fast. 

Yesterday, we had our Christmas Conference. Our zone got together with three other zones and we spent pretty much the whole day with President and Sister Samuelian. We started off by having a small devotional where one of the APs and Sister and President Samuelian spoke. After that, we had dinner with everyone, followed by a skit from each of the zones. Hermana Cardon and I are the ones who wrote the skit for our zone and it was pretty funny. We took a video but it's too big to send over email so I'll have to show you it when I get home. After that, we had the concert portion of the day. They invited three stakes from the area and a ton of people showed up! The concert was beautiful. One of my favorite songs we sang was "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem" from the Primary songbook. I love love love that song.

Our Christmas Conference was in Forest Grove and it was WEIRD being back up there!! I feel like I got a little glimpse of what it'll be like some day to come back and visit the mission. I got to see so many people I love so much:  Sister Podwys, Carlos and Maria, and many other families. It was great!! I also got to see Hermana Perez.  She faked being an alto so we could sit next to each other the whole concert :)

I can't tell you how different this Christmas feels. It just doesn't feel like Christmas, but I am definitely way more focused on the true meaning of Christmas than I ever have been before in my life.  It hasn't been about presents or food or anything, just remembering and pondering on the birth of our Savior.  President told a story yesterday about the Christmas Conference up in Bend.  He said one of the members came up to him asking if the Sister Missionaries could please sleep at their house on Christmas Eve so they could be with their family Christmas morning  President said he thanked her for her thoughtfulness but then said he couldn't allow the Sisters to miss out on the opportunity to be alone on Christmas. He explained that this Christmas for us will be special because we will be alone, without family or opening gifts with everyone or movies or anything.  It will just be us and the Savior on that very holy day.  As strange as it sounds (and as much as I really do miss my family and would love to be with them) I am grateful for this very unique Christmas, where I have the opportunity to focus all of my attention on the Savior.

Sorry this is a little shorter but I love you all!  Have a Merry Christmas!  Can't wait to talk to you this week!



With Sister Podwys...found on FB with her comment: "What a beautiful program put on by our Oregon Salem missionaries. My Christmas has been so enriched this year by so much love. Adding to it was getting to see my 4 Hermanas!! One left before I could get a picture of her. Thanks for sharing Christ's light in my life Sisters!!"

Note from Mom:  I found the above pictures from their skit on another site.  Even though they are a little blurry, I thought they were worth posting because they show her sweet, smiling face.  Can't wait to see the video!

Here are the words to "When Joseph Went To Bethlehem".  I see why she loved singing it.

When Joseph went to Bethlehem I think he took great care
To place his tools and close his shop and leave no shavings there.
He urged the donkey forward, then, with Mary on its back,
And carried bread and goat cheese in a little linen sack.

I think there at the busy inn that he was meek and mild
And awed to be the guardian of Mary’s sacred child.
Perhaps all through the chilly hours he smoothed the swaddling bands,
And Jesus felt the quiet strength of Joseph’s gentle hands.

And close beside the manger bed he dimmed the lantern’s light,
And held the little Jesus close upon that holy night.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! Haley - Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your unique Christmas experience. It inspires the rest of us.
    xoxoxo, Liz