its close to christmas and i think ill start out talking of our mission christmas devotional we had this past saturday for bambang and solano districts (i know those names dont mean anything to you) it was held in solano and man was it good. it was good for 2 reasons for me. first of all was president carlos spoke, and this was the first time ive heard him speak my whole mission to anyone other than missionarys. it makes you remember how good these mission presidents are at preaching the gospel. he talked about something that about ripped my heart in two. he started about talking about the life of jesus christ and then he talked about the circumstances of the saviors life, how he was born into a very poor humble family, and he didnt live a life of luxury... he didnt ride in chariots and horses rather he walked to where he was going.. and he eventually talked about the atonement. then he shared with us news about that 2 year old kid that went into an elementary school and killed 20 little children and his mother.this was probably the worst thing i have ever heard. he talked about how wonderful a thing the savior did for us and how even in the worst of circumstances like this tragedy... the savior made it okay when he accomplished the atonement. he then spoke to all the people and kind of boldly said now when you think about your lives and think why is this happening to me. why dont i have a good job or why do i have these trials or why am i not popular or why did this horrible thing happen to my family he said think of the savior, he experienced all of these things and he didnt do anything bad to anyone and ask yourself... am i better than him?
what a question when your in a trial. am i better than him?
next reason it was good was because during the closing song of i believe in christ they did something kind of cool where they had one sister missionary start the song by herself then slowly throughout the song as time one by one all the other missionaries (including me) stood up and starting singing with he. it was like one by one we were standing as witnesses and telling everyone there that we believe in christ. the spirit was very powerful and it was one of those moments where your mind races back through your whole life and every decision you have every made and then yu come back to reality and realize your on the other side of the world speaking a crazy language that used to sound like jibberish teaching and testifying about the savior and... well i think you get the point im trying to make.
im greatful for my mission, and for the savior, for a family that believes in christ and knows about the truth, that isnt blinded by the false doctrines of men, and for the heritage of faith that was willing to sacrifice all to follow the voice of a prophet. after reading moms email about when a prophet told all mothers to be at home im greatfull for parents that have the faith to follow the prophet. im greatful for grandparents and cousins that serve missions, and brothers that show me how to be a good man, and bishops that dont stop loving and counciling, for ward members cheering silently on the sidelines and angels working on both sides of the veil, writing letters and helping when your weak. i could go on for a long time but i just wanted to say thank you for your love i feel your prayers, i think of you often and hope that in some way or another that the way the savior stepped into my life, the way he used all of you in the process, and the hope that i have because of it will have helped build your testimony in him.
i want you all to know im not a better person because of what i decided to do in the past or what ive learned from it, im not a better person because i changed or stopped doing wrong things, and im not a better person from any decision ive ever made. im a better person because of the savior, because he made me better. because he changed me and because he loved me enough to send angels into my life to find me as one of his lost sheep.
i love you all. elder landeen