Merry Navidad y Feliz Christmas!!
Hello World! Its Christmas even in south Texas where the sun is hot! The ocean is still across the street and the palm trees give us the best shade :) Haha! Just kidding! Its actually cold again so I can't brag about a sunburn on Christmas just yet :)
This last week we had our mission christmas party! It was a blast! They split the party in two, so the northern zones had a party and the southern zones had a party! Our party included Corpus Christi zone, Sinton Zone, Laredo North zone and Laredo south! Lots of missionaries! Its so cool to be around a big group of missionaries because the spirit is soo strong!!
I need to give everyone a BIG thank you from President and Sister Maluenda! all the mission parents were so generous that it worked out that instead of every missionary getting one present, everyone got TWO! :) So Thank you to all who helped out with that! it was very much appreciated! Especially by those whose parents couldn't afford to send a christmas package... Now the bad news on packages... if you sent Sister Diaz and I something and it wasn't in mission office by last monday... we haven't gotten it yet :( The hope is that we will get it today but it probably wont happen... If we are lucky, they will do a training on thursday or friday and someone will go down to McAllen and bring up all the stray Christmas presents! But its ok :) We do have a couple packages under the tree that i keep trying to convince Sister Diaz we should open early and she gives me an angry mother look and tells me walk away from the baby tree... :) I have a great companion! She also has kept me inline with our advent calender and made sure I only opened one a day. Darn it!
It just doesn't feel like Christmas when you aren't home! But I have something really cool I have learned this last week. Its about patience! I've been a little frustrated with this transfer and kind of had a difficult time motivating myself... Not a fun adventure but hey! Everything in life has its ups and downs right? So this last week while talking to Sister Kreis, she pointed out to me that maybe I need to learn patience. Of course at first I thought "I AM PATIENT! THATS NOT IT!" But... as we all know... when you get defensive... thats usually what you need work on... So I've been questioning and trying to figure out exactly WHAT IS patience...
Here is my definition:
Patience is having an eternal perspective tha things will be better even when you are miserable.
I guess that sounds a little... pessimistic. But its super not. here's why, we can be patient with people when they upset us when we realize that they aren't perfect... they are doing the best they can to become what God wants and we are never done improving. We can be patient with ourself when we realize that we have faults for a reason, God gives us imperfections so that we will turn to Him and accept/seek the help we need. We are patient with circumstances when we realize that everything happens for a reason and know that things will get better. Thats something that has helped me a lot.. Nathan told me before I left to just remember one thing "It gets better." That has kept me going quite a few times in the mission!
So moral of the story, Patience is looking for the bright side! Its being willing to go with the blows and know that something is better on the other side. Me? I'm not a patience person most of the time :) but man have I learned a lot of it this last week! There is always something better coming! I think the Lord was incredibly patient in His suffering for us because He knew that because of the pain He felt, we would be able to all return back to Him to be with our Heavenly Father again! How wonderful is that? :) I'm grateful for a Savior that loves me enough to suffer for my mistakes, and a family that loves me enough to suffer without me for 18 months so I can help other people know of our Savior's love! ;) I know this Christmas is extra special because I'm learning the true meaning and worth of my eternal family and the eternal family I will have with my future husband some day! The gospel is just wonderful! I hope you all find joy in this Christmas season and learn a little patience as things don't go perfect with present opening, or the Christmas party isnt exactly how you planned. The Lord has something better in store in the future! Love you all!
Feliz Navidad de la isla de Norte Padre! :)