I wish you all a very merry christmas!
This week was pretty good so i guess I will share. First and foremost it was a stellar Christmas week because i got to share an hour with the fam over skype :D Probably the best one yet, it was great. The crazy thing is that it made me aware that there is less and less rope and I am approaching the end of the line. I figure the Lord has some big plans for me so that he can solidify all the lessons He has taught me into my brain, so i guess i'd better tie a knot and hang on for the ride. Crazy stuff!
I want to start with my spiritual thought because it was a really neat epiphany i had Christmas eve. So a little bit of background... all of the missionaries on Fyn and Jylland gathered for a Christmas zone conference on Thursday and we were all psyched because that is when they have the missionary that closest resembles Santa Claus dress up and pass out packages sent from home. That is to say, the office hides all the packages until Christmas so it is a more enjoyable surprise. Wellll.... this year about two thirds of the packages were stolen this year out of the mission van that was parked overnight in Århus. So it was a major downer in the beginning but it wasn't the biggest deal since we mostly get cool socks and shirts and candy as missionaries. (Oh by the way, if you sent me something, thanks for the love but it was stolen. Youre awesome though ;) ) Well coming back to Christmas eve now... Elder Baadsgaard did this thing that is a tradition in his family that I thought was neat. We took a piece of a miniature nativity set and then took some time by the light of one candle to think about what gift we are going to give Jesus this year. Once we thought about it, we put it into the manger scene nativity set and said what we were going to give Christ this year. Well i picked up one of the three wise men that was in crouching position and turned it in my hands and thought back to the story of Christ's birth and what the wise men did and so on. As i was laying there, i thought "What would it be like if i were there as one of the wise men kings?" I thought about how they must have known it was going to be a very significant experience in their lives which is evident by the gifts they brought and how long they traveled and so on and so on, but i imagined that they really would not have quite got the full meaning until they finally arrived. I imagined being a wealthy, wise kind and thought that i would have thought something like, "Wow i'm excited to give this child my gift. Anyone would be honored to receive such a gift. This is exciting," or something along those lines. But i looked at the crouching wise man and i began to visualize how when this very prominent man arrived, he must have thought "Woah... this is all i brought? What could i give in return for so much more??" and then humbly knelt before the child and offered all that he had brought.
Well it was really neat to think of that part of the story from that that new angle. i thought how as people, we really cant give much in comparison fro what we have already been given. We have the greatest gift already, each and everyone of us and it is called the Atonement. It was already purchased, and at a very, very steep price but it was purchased because He Loves us! So i compared myself this this wise man this year and thought what i could give Christ. Id like to withhold what i said because i want to leave this opened ended to you... the one reading right now. What are you willing to give Christ this next year?
(Hint: it is like a new years resolution but this time you actually mean what you say and try longer than 7 days to do it. Its much easier... the reward is much more worthwhile :) )
Well food for thought is on the table so i hope youre not too full from christmas dinner haha. Heres what happened though in the new chapter of "Skive: Missionaries v. World"
Well, our good friend J* has decided he isn't going to miss out on all the blessings and stuff so he is getting baptized on Wednesday! He had his baptismal interview and is all ready and raring to go! It is honestly amazing to watch this guy go. He is already figuring out how faith works miracles and the steady stream of them has not been lessened at all. On wednesday he called and said that he was having legal issues with the government and that they were planning on taking their twins who have will be born in february and so on and so forth (i dont actually really know anything legal wise or why they government said that... good thing thats not the point though here. haha i was pretty lost). Anyhow, J* said at the end of the conversation, "Jeppson, will you and Baadsgaard pray for us? We will pray too." i said certainly we would and then he said then he figures it would all be fine then. the next day he called again and said that the lawyers worked it all out and whatnot and that the government won't bug them again. he goes, "yea i'm just glad prayer works every time and that everything just works out if you stick out your trials." Well im glad to report he is on to something :)
K* didn't really have/expect Christmas to happen for him, so we brought some gifts from the equivalent of the dollar store for him and even though they were simple he got way way stoked haha. He is down to 7 cigarettes a day which is amazing! He is still cruising at K* speed but be is progressing really well. Last lesson he goes, "man why are all the Lamanites and Nephites always fighting and stuff? like, they just keep going and it says like ' (this is where he quoted like a whole chapter, but paraphrased)' and then they just keep fighting!" He knows what he is reading surprisingly well for a guy who we found on trippy drugs haha. It is amazing to see the difference! He said a really beautiful heartfelt prayer that really pointed out that difference in him to me this past week. He has been sick off and on but he is doing well.
Other Fun stuff:
We watched finding Dory for the Christmas zone conference :) Quality entertainment. I think Inside Out knocked the socks off of this years movie but i laughed pretty much the whole time so no worries. Good Stuff:)
We spent Christmas eve with The senior couple in herning, Elder and Sister Forslund and then we skyped and hung out with the Larsens in Århus on Christmas day after church. Shoutout to senior couple because they really are awesome:)
Today we went to the branch presidents house to eat a Christmas lunch. (they go hard all of December here). It turned out to be a four hour, 6 course meal... absolutley intense haha. We started with all types of herring on bread and stuff and then more fish came out and then a main course thing and then more and then more and then more and then..... yea you get the point. 4 old people and the missionaries vs a 6 course meal was a pretty entertaining meal haha .
Well i just decided thats all i have in me right now. Enjoy 2016 while it is here because ill be coming at you quick in the new year. 2017 bound!
New years greetings from the future,
|Saying goodbye to the one and only Elder eaves (for now)|
|Christmas Eve road trip to Herning|
|I started a new tradition. Christmas eve ginger beers :)|
|Its a tie :)|
|My half Danish half American christmas:)|
|Christmas Day Skype :)|
|Bermuda J and the triangles (Elder Bennett found our band name haha)|