|Christmas Day 2012|
It's only noon at home and our family is probably still lounging around in pajamas, but it's been dark for three hours already here in England (it's totally dark by 4 p.m.) and Christmas Day is almost over. We hope you and yours are having a wonderful day together. We hear it's a beautiful white Christmas this year in Utah.
We are so grateful to have part of our family here with us this Christmas - the best gift we could have asked for, since we'll still be here next Christmas, too. (More about their visit next week.) We are absolutely loving our mission in Southern England and are so glad to be here, but that doesn't stop us from missing our family - especially at Christmastime. We're excitedly looking forward to Skyping with the rest of our kids and grandkids again tonight.
Our sister missionaries were able to Skype with their families today, too. It was fun to be in the Visitors' Centre as some of them talked to their families. We even got to say hello to Sister Cabrera's family in Chile!
The sisters are able to Skype twice a year: on Mother's Day and on Christmas. One of the perks of being senior missionaries is that we can call and Skype as often as we want to.
We spent a few hours in the Visitors' Centre today. We made the decision to keep it open for a limited time - six hours - hoping that it would be helpful to someone. We had several people come in, mostly members. One man in his 30's stopped by and spent some time learning about Christ and about the Church. He had never been in before, though he lives nearby. He seemed to be lonely and searching for answers. He left us a gift of a package of cigarettes, a used book, and a pair of new shoes he had received which didn't fit him. We offered him a gift of a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets, but he was reluctant. He came back awhile later and some of our sister missionaries had a long conversation with him.
It is a privilege to be serving as missionaries at Christmastime. Although we thought we would serve in gratitude for all God's blessings to us, we have been blessed even more by our experiences here. We are always in His debt. We are strengthened by the examples of members and converts here, and have witnessed some sweet conversions. It is a joy to see people who have never known God humble themselves and change direction in life when they take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ and choose to serve Him and keep His commandments. Such miracles happen!
May the life and mission of our Savior, Jesus Christ, bless you and your family today and throughout the coming year. ~Pat~