Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 56 "Live the whole year to God and nobody else"

This picture is of our entire mission taken at our Christmas party.
(Im pretty much right in the middle)

Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas this year, I'm so grateful for this wonderful time of year! And Happy New Year! I can't believe we are almost into 2016! It's amazing to think that I spent my entire 2015 in the service of the Lord.

This week was so great! This is one of my favorite times of year, you can always feel a different atmosphere around this time. On Wednesday, we had our Mission Christmas Conference. We all joined together and got to spend time with each other. We played "Minute to Win It" games, competing as zones, and got to have a Talent Show and Devotional. I loved seeing all 200 missionaries together, it was an awesome experience!

"Minute to Win It Games"

(Because we are serving in the east part of the Mission)
Elder Fisher, Elder Abraham, Me, Elder Moss, Elder Lawrence, Elder Wind

(All 5 of us are from AFHS)
Elder Allen, Elder Jones, Elder Ressler, Elder Chamber and myself.

On Christmas Eve, we went down to Annapolis where Elder Wind and Elder Singleton are serving as Zone Leaders. Together, we wrapped up about 50 copies of the Book of Mormon in Christmas wrapping paper, and then included one of the Baptism Cards that we came up with in each. We got the entire day to walk around the Harbor, on a beautiful 70 degree day, and pass out presents! We said "Merry Christmas" to all those that we passed and offered them the gift. Many said no, but many said yes! When they would accept, we would tell them a little bit about it and some people were excited and opened it up right there! It was definitely one of the most memorable experiences from my mission. For one, it was Christmas Eve and I was walking next to the ocean and it was 70 degrees outside....but the main reason was because we got to talk to people about the Book of Mormon and the power it brings!

Christmas Morning at the Goncalves Home
with Elder Fisher & Elder Lawrence.

Christmas was also an amazing day! We spent the whole day with different families, some from the Chesapeake Ward where Elder Lawrence served, some from the Columbia Spanish Branch where I served, and then to the Peterson's house to Skype and have dinner! Skyping was awesome, I loved getting to talk to the people that I love! That night we went to President and Sister Christiansen's home to play games and eat even more food.  



On Sunday, the Selby family all came to church again! They are one of the coolest families I've gotten the chance to teach on my mission. Brother Selby is returning to activity in the Church, and one of his daughters isn't baptized who is 12 years old, named Sydney. After church we went over to their house to get to know them more and start teaching Sydney and it was so much fun! They are a great family, and Sydney will be getting baptized sometime next month!

This weekend, Kevin Morales was baptized!! Kevin is 16 and one of the people that I taught while I served in Frederick at the beginning of my mission. While I was there, he was starting to make progress, but wasn't ready for Baptism. I was so incredibly excited to hear about his baptism. Alex Morales, who was baptized with his wife earlier this year, performed the baptism! I wish I could've made it to see, but I'm so grateful that I got the opportunity to help teach him. Also, Jerry, who I taught while I served in Shenandoah Valley, was found again by the Martinsburg Elders. Jerry's dad is getting baptized this Saturday!!!!! It's so cool to see that people I've gotten to meet have now gotten to the point where they are ready for Baptism. Sometimes it just takes time!

I love this quote that President Christiansen shared with us this week.

“Life is for us, and it is for us to receive this year, and not wait for the Millennium. Let us take a course to be saved this year. Let us review the acts of the old year, repent of our sins, if we have any to repent of, and say our prayers; then look forward to the New Year with peace and gratitude to God, and commence the labors of another year, and strive to live the whole year to God and nobody else.”

Let us all set goals to continue to improve ourselves and become more like Him! Have a Happy New Year!

- Elder Leavitt

Maryland Baltimore Mission

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