Tuesday, March 18, 2014

December 24, 2013

Dear Mom,
First off,
"Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Navidad, prospero ano de felicidad!" I can sing that in Spanish now and know what it means. Haha, maybe you'll get a treat of my Spanish abilities tomorrow over Skype.:) Anyway, this last week was quite a mountain of challenges, and was pretty frustrating to be perfectly honest. However, I can firmly say that I have found great strength in the Savior and the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, the Everlasting Atonement, and many more pieces of my personal testimony, which have presented a light in this times of un-clarity or confusion. It has been a real treat and a very inspiring week as well. All the quotes on the small and significant gifts, which you gave to me. I must say job well done! o en Espanol: BIEN HECHO! When I was feeling down, I could turn to the Book of Mormon this week and the stories of the Savior's birth in Bethlehem and feel great comfort knowing assuredly that I know my purpose and what I have been sent here to carry out!
However, in the times of the trial and when our faith is tested to the very brink it seems like we can find hope and comfort, and peace knowing as I have felt as a missionary....Jesus Christ not only is my Redeemer, my Elder Brother, my Master, my Lord, and my Savior, He is my Prince of Peace. Simply having a picture near your bedside linked with prayer can revolve an awful night into one of the most calming, and you can feel great warmth when battling storms of darkness with your testimony and with prayer! I have felt my tongue be loosed when I testify of the reality and divinity of our Savior and our most loving Heavenly Father!!
I may be brief in this letter. I feel that this scripture says it all. It is found in the 93rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants: 21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the abeginning with the Father, and am the bFirstborn;
 22 And all those who are begotten through me are apartakers of the bglory of the same, and are the cchurch of the Firstborn.
 23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is aSpirit, even the Spirit of truth;
 24 And atruth is bknowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
28 He that akeepeth his commandments receiveth btruth and clight, until he is glorified in truth and dknoweth all things.
 29 Man was also in the abeginning with God. bIntelligence, or the clight of dtruth, was not ecreated or made, neither indeed can be.
33 For man is aspirit. The elements are beternal, and cspirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

The aglory of God is bintelligence, or, in other words, clight and truth.
 37 Light and truth forsake that aevil one.
Add this after verse 33. I feel like these scriptures define very clearly the light of spreading the Gospel! I am happy to hear that you had that experience with those missionaries. I delight in being a missionary.

 I cannot believe that Trent is home! :) I bet that was fun for him to see Maddie as well. This is a bit splurged, but I too sang in the ward choir with Elder Berrett on Sunday! We sang "Carol of the Bells" in Spanish then participated in an octet for the "First Noel" in Spanish, which was incredible. I had to soar up to hit a high D. I had fun decorating the tree last night when I got home, I feel of the families' love immensely and even more so of our Savior's vast and deep love. I hope you feel of the true spirit of Christmas as well. And maybe I will save something to open during Skype, we'll see. For now, I am so ecstatic to talk to you all tomorrow! I hope you can get the Skype thing figured out. I only have about 40 minutes so be thinking of questions you want to ask me, I will prepare my best as well. CAN'T WAIT!!!!  This will be a fantastic holiday in the field. We are going caroling to proselyte tonight, which will be a lot of fun, I am sure!

I wish I was permitted to send pictures. I have some great ones, maybe I will too send a little gift home for you to glance over, we'll see. Random fact: We ate at the Flores' the other night and the mom Michelle looks like Miranda Lambert and was singing Miranda Lambert in the other room while cooking taco salad. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and I await our reunion tomorrow!
Again, Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad
Joyeux Noel
y Merry Christmas from El Paso!
Elder Sterling Grant Richards

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