So. This is the thing. Christmas is in a few days. Woah. If you have not seen the video "He is the Gift" already (or come to thing of it, even if you have) you need to see it.
I know that not everybody loves Christmas, and I can say that because I am one of the ones who doesn't. :) But please allow me to share with you one tiny thing: The pain you experience around this time of year can be erased because of the very thing we celebrate. Christ was born. Because of love. Love from a Heavenly Father to all His children, love from a Savior to each of us. All I can say is I know the Atonement is real. Christ is the ultimate caregiver of our souls. He empathizes with us wholly and with the utmost love and devotion. You don't have to feel alone. You're not.
So there. That is the thing I have learned this week. Take it for what you will. :)
In other news, our investigator Mike is progressing forward splendidly. Sister Hutchinson and I sang "Away in a Manger" in sacrament meeting yesterday. He sat in the congregation and pulled faces at us the whole time. We have a fantastic relationship ha ha. xD
We had our mission Christmas part on Friday. This involved about 180 missionaries crammed into a church gym playing a bunch of "Minute to Win It" games which, of course, required no skill and resulted in lots of laughter. Then we went into the chapel and our mission president's mother actually spoke ot us. She told us some stories about President Nattress as a kid. More laughter. More insights on what it's like to be a parent. (I tell you, I've learned more about parenting from my mission president than anything else.) And then we were all given a colored ring light and a white balloon. The balloons represented each person in our mission who'd been baptized this past year. There were about 470-ish of them. We went outside and released them into the sky while we sang "Silent Night". It was quite beautiful.
So yeah. Life is beautiful and wonderful. Please have a wonderful Christmas. Remember love and peace. Remember God is there for you. :)
With lots of love, Sister Bethany Ball
P.S. I learned this week that the song "White Christmas" was written here in Arizona. Which might explain why I've had it stuck in my head periodically all season. :) Enjoy the weather, wherever you are!