Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

This week has been the hardest yet the best week yet. I know, its cliche (add the accent) to say that, but its true!

​We had our Ward Christmas Program yesterday! We were combined with the Fairview Heights ward. Lots of people attended, and we got James there
again. He loves coming to church. More about him later. Elder Roundy and I were in the choir and sang as part of the program. I love being part of
Christmas programs, and couldn’t pass this opportunity up to be with the members of the ward and to celebrate Christmas. We even got Sister Wilson
to church for the first time in 2 years yesterday!!! So exciting to have her there. She also wanted to come to see Jermaine, Mimi and Shakira sing
in the Choir.​ Yes, they are learning to sing. A very hard effort, but non the less – they enjoy it much.

James really wants to be baptized. We are still working with him because he is still smoking. He is actively coming to church, and knows doctrine very
well. Just has to deal with some challenges he’s had in his life. We are currently trying to get him to the addiction Recovery program that meets weekly. He came to the Baptism of Kristian on Saturday with us in O’fallon. It was such an amazing baptism. Kristian is about 15, and was introduced to the gospel by his friends. For those who remember Miranda’s baptism a year ago in November, it was a lot like that. The youth can do so much of
sharing the gospel with their friends. I love it so much! Anyways, James loved the baptism! We wanted to get him there, so he knew what to expect
and such. He was relived that no lightning stroke into the room when Kristian was baptized…. Interesting. Haha

We are spending Christmas Eve making cookies at the Tilton family’s home and giving them out. Christmas Day we will be at the Meinhart’s and we will be having Christmas dinner at the Wilsons with Jermaine, Mimi, and Shakira! Way excited!

The “A Savior is Born” Christmas video has been so fun to share this week. We were waiting at a Circle K gas station because it got quite cold this
week, waiting for Brother Johnson to come pick us up for dinner on base, and we started talking to the cashier lady, and gave her a pass-along card.
She proceeded to watch it right there in front of us! Yes!!! But however, she couldn’t get it work on her phone. It was just then a regular customer
came in, and she wanted him to pull the video up on his phone – and he did successful. They both stood together watching it right in front of us. Let
me tell you, their eyes were glowing. For those who have seen it, it is something that touches the light of Christ that every person has. I saw something different in their complexion and I knew it was the spirit. What inspiration the “A Savior is Born” video is. Not to mention: It has been very fun to say Merry Christmas to people everywhere! We’ve spent a lot of time passing out the “A Savior is Born” cards at the German street market in Downtown Belleville, and passing a Merry Christmas to people throws them off. It has shocked people, to the point they express how much they appreciated that. Its so sad that is something you don’t hear these days anymore.

Thomas S. Monson: “He who was burdened with sorrow and acquainted with grief speaks to every troubled heart and bestows the gift of peace. ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid’ [John 14:27 ].”

How can we not share that, especially this Christmas. He is the Gift. He is born. He Lives today! How Glorious! Something our Mission President said: “Make this the best Christmas someone else has ever had”

I pray and hope that all of you have a Merry, Merry Christmas! Thank you those who took time to write me messages this Christmas. They are precious. (Especially from the Primary!)

Lots of love,