Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 53 We must always be a Disciple of Christ

It is so hard to believe that we are already into December! The year of 2015 has truly flown by! 

I've come to a conclusion that there really never is a non-busy day while you are on your mission! The last few weeks have been crowded with Zone Conferences, Training Meetings, Leadership Conferences, everything that you can imagine! And this next week, we will be having Elder John U. Teh who is a member of the first Quorum of the Seventy come and visit our mission and do 2 separate conferences with us! That will be an incredible experience to have.

Sister Christiansen was kind enough to share these pictures of
 Chandler with me this week along with the following note:

"We LOVE your son. He is such a deep down to the core good person who works so hard and has such a powerful testimony.  He is also an exceptional missionary that all can look to as a solid example. We are so grateful for the privilege of serving with him! "

Tonight, I was going through emails of all of the people throughout the mission that are on date for baptism. As I looked, I saw a name that I recognized: Kevin Morales. Kevin was a younger kid that I taught back when I was in Frederick. He comes from a family where only his sister, Saida, is a member of the church. He is getting baptized on December 19th though! I'm so excited, I will definitely be attending his baptism, and I'm so grateful that even though it took some time, his heart was softened and he decided to join the Church!

This past week, we were able to take Rodger Bryant, the recent convert, to the Visitors Center for the Washington DC Temple. He also brought along 8 non-members!! He brought his wife Irma and his daughter Maria and one of Maria's friends, along with his friend Steve and Steve's entire family! Rodger and Irma are still legally married, but have been separated for quite some time now. She attends a Catholic church, and....speaks Spanish!! So for the first time in a little bit, I got to speak Spanish and have a great conversation with her! Irma has had a lot of doubts about our church and has heard many things against it, but absolutely loved the beautiful Christmas lights and the Visitors Center! Maria, the daughter, loved it as well! Steve and his family only stayed for a little bit, but I am sure they felt of the Spirit that was there.

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

I absolutely loved the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night.  The closing speakers, Elder Bednar and President Uchtdorf, gave amazing talks. I loved the imagery with Elder Bednar's talk, explaining the story of Christmas from the view of the Book of Mormon, with the amazing story of Samuel the Lamanite and the believers that trusted in the coming of the Lord! 

Scott Meushaw & I at the Devotional Broadcast last night.

I love this excerpt from President Christiansen's email to us this week: 

"...Our minds are still reflecting on the wonderful First Presidency Christmas Devotional. What an incredible way to start the holiday season! Elder Bednar’s focus on light is what we would like to expand on specifically. It occurred to us that Christ’s light was never low, flickering, wavering or dampened. His light was never turned “off” or dimmed. It was always “on”! It was bright, clear, beckoning, guiding, illuminating. As His disciples and moreover full-time missionaries we are His message as we share of His light. Our light should also always be on! It must always be bright enough to be recognizable by all who we come in contact with. Others should be able to tangibly feel the warmth of our light. And our light must be bright enough to allow us to be their guides to the very source of this light. May we suggest that as a gift to Christ this year that we consider what we can do to recommit to being a 24/7 disciple whose light is always on, and is always bright! 

Of course, we already know how to be this! We do so by keeping the promises of obedience to the missionary way of life that we made when we accepted our call. In doing so we are then very diligent in doing all those things we ask each investigator to do. In addition, we demonstrate an even greater level of kindness than is usual to all those we live with, work with, serve with or meet. In the words of Elder Holland “we never check our religion at the door”

I love this! We must always be a disciple of Christ. The light shows to all of those around us! I'm so grateful for this wonderful time of year and for the blessings that I have been given to be able to celebrate of Christ at this time. I'm so grateful for all of the support!

- Elder Leavitt

Thanks for the pictures, Sister Christiansen!

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