Wow. You are such a wonderful family. :) I love you all.
Thank you so much for the pictures. I need to take more its true. I don't take very many pictures at all :( Everyone is looking so much older now. Its crazy. I got your package and saw a picture of Audrey inside. Wow, she has grown. Now I see Jeffrey and Rebecca and Reid. Wow! Well I am excited and happy here. But I forgot to mention that I would really like some more Christmas music to listen to. One CD gets to be pretty boring after about 4 Weeks ;) I am able to listen to just about any Christmas music and I have been craving all of our Christmas music. Whatever you feel is good I would love to listen to it. The CD player in our car can read the MP3 CDs so you don't have to worry about my not being able to listen to them. We have so many regular activities that revolve around Christmas that it is dificult to not have many of them now. Anyway I will stop. I have been striving to concentrate more on the investigators I teach and their trials rather than on my own. Everything I strive to do is to help those that I have stewardship over. I am seeing now that there needs to be a purpose to all that we do or else we will eventually do a great many things but we will have nothing to show for our labors. When we study, when we work, when we teach all of these things are areas in which we need to focus on others and as we do so our Heavenly Father is focused on us :) He will guide and direct others into our path as needed to help with our circumstances. I know that this is true as I have focused on those I teach I find that I don't worry about myself and most of the problems I could focus on melt away while I serve. This week I received a call from David. Do you remember him? He moved up to Newark and we got him in touch with the Missionaries there. When he called he asked, "Are you busy on December 19th?"
I said, "Let me check... No I don't think so."
"Are you available around 3:00 in the afternoon?"
"Uh oh (I smile) are you getting baptized?"
"Uh oh (I smile) are you getting baptized?"
"What was that? I didn't hear you." (He says in jest)
"Are you getting baptized?"
He then asked if I would be able to help with the ordinance of Baptism. And of course I accepted. I was so very grateful and filled with joy at his decision. It is a week away and he has already had a few more struggles. But, this time he has his eye on the prize and doesn't want anything to stand in his way. I pray daily for his success and I ask for your continued prayers in his behalf.
Jennifer is still meeting with us, but she is having a hard time waking up for church and I think she has also had trouble reading the Book of Mormon. I pray that she will be able to see the importance of the Book of Mormon and that she will come to church just once. I know that she is ready and prepared now and we need to help her. Please continue to pray for her to feel of the Holy Ghost telling her the truth in this Gospel. I love your support each week. I thank you for all of your letters that encourage me to do my best. How is Uncle Bob? I continue to pray for him and hope that his heart will be softened towards hearing the message of this gospel. I had a thought that maybe mom could send him my letters each week. Or, find little ways in which to bear simple and powerful testimony of this gospel by studying Preach My Gospel and learning the principles found in Chapter 10 "How to Begin Teaching" It is filled with wonderful insights that help us know a realize how easy it is to share this message with the world. I have learned great things from this chapter and I know that you can too. Then when you go through this chapter it can lead into Chapter 3. I would love to hear how Sarah and Tanner are doing now. Is Tanner still excited about being a music major? Is Sarah coming home for Christmas!?! Though I haven't been around you all for so long I know that my love for you has grown far greater than ever before. I love you all and I am grateful for the time to serve here on my mission.
Jeffrey - I am so excited to hear that you won a trophy in your Pinewood Derby. Congradulations! Just remember that it is never too early to learn great things from the scriptures. As you read Luke 2 with the family try to put yourself in the story. It will help you to realize more deeply the significance of the coming of Christ.
Rebecca - You look so beautiful in your dress. I love your earrings too with the Christmas Trees. I know that Jesus Christ truly did visit and live among the people in Jerusalem. I love being able to hear the story of His birth. I know that Christ came to fulfill the prophecies and to save us. Remember to think of the love the Savior has for you.
Audrey - You look gorgeous :) It is so amazing to see the brightness in your eyes that comes from your knowledge of this gospel. You know that the things you have been taught in the church are true. Don't be afraid to share them with others. They need to hear it! Christ the Lord was born for us. I know that there is nothing in this world more important than the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of the Gospel. No message is more precious than that which members of the church hold in their hearts. But, it is certainly time for us to take this message and allow it to flow from our hearts to our mouths in praises to God. I know that this Gospel is true.
Sarah - I don't have a recent picture of you, but I am sure that you look even more beautiful than the pictures I do have of you. Though it is pretty hard to imagine. I would like to hear of your recent adventures in Hawaii. I am sure you have grown a lot. You are a daughter of God and I know that He loves you. I love you too. Be sure to continue in letting your light shine to all nations. Your face shines with testimony and I know that this gospel is true. Don't forget the great importance of studying the scriptures each day and praying to your Heavenly Father. It is hard to be on your own but I know that you are strong enough to do anything you want to do.
Tanner - I am excited for you. I would love to hear about how your schooling is. I know that this gospel is true and I love being able to Teach it to others every day. I love the people here and I know that Heavenly Father loves them as well. Don't forget that missionary work is never complete :)
Matt, Anne, and David - I am so happy that you are able to live in Taiwan. How is your Mandarin? I also want to see pictures oy David every once in a while :) I love you all and I know that this gospel blesses our families to live together eternally. Preach My Gospel is a great resource for learning and teaching the gospel principles simply and powerfully. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am grateful for Christ's decision to come to earth. He has blessed my life greatly and I share those blessings with others each day.
Mom and Dad - I love you. There isn't much more to say. You are the best parents I could ever have and I know that you are doing your best to serve your family. Keep up the good work. If you ever need help I am here in San Jose ready to serve in any way I can. I am still trying to help Uncle David and Aunt Shannon. I feel that I shouldn't push but if your feel differently then please let me know. I know that this gospel is true and there is nothing that can break this knowledge. I gained this knowledge from you :) Thank you.
I would like some pictures of every one periodically. Ppppleeeeease.