Are you familiar with that feeling after a nice good run where it feels like your whole body is covered in a layer of moisture; clothes sticking to your skin? That is how we celebrate Christmas here in Thailand. No running required. You are simply graced with the feeling of having done a full body workout 24/7. It feels like missionary work and I love it.
Christmas here has been absolutely spectacular. The day I'm writing this is in all honesty Monday, the day after Christmas but it's alright. International times tables can be difficult to work with.
I've been trying my best to write things of significant matters that are to the point in these weekly emails. Not so much a story of day to day activities but something closer to events or moments throughout the week that has had spiritual significance. In Nephi's words, things that are of my soul. In this sense, my journal is an invaluably prized possession for me, as it is a record of many moments in my life where I have been changed, hopefully to never be the same again.
Elder Holland gave an address in Thailand some years ago, saying that a missionary cannot go back to who he once was. He must grow beyond the man he has become after the mission, never reverting back to the child he left behind. I might have tweaked a few words here and there, but the general message is still the same. In part of this reason, I keep a record of such experiences that change me, that I might remain changed and grow always. Too frequently I took things of a sacred nature too lightly. I am beginning to understand the depth of conviction Elder Holland has as to the importance of missionary work. The importance to stand tall, do all that you can do, and be all that you can be. I have much to improve.
It has been lovely to see and hear about the affairs of my family back home. D&C 100 has been proving to fruition. The Lord seems to has blessing my family greatly. I miss and love them so much, but every other family deserves to be with their's for all of eternity, so a small sacrifice from my part is very little to give back. It doesn't feel like a sacrifice at all by the way I have been receiving an abundance of blessings.
Merry Christmas from Bunkapi, Thailand!!! This picture, is another very cool story. Perhaps for next time.
**Thank you seminary teachers. I am forever in the debt of the influence you have been on me.
****Thank you also to my awesome MTC teachers/instructors. I have learned so much through your examples and testimonies.
Until next week,