This has been one of the best weeks. The Spirit has been so strong, and my appreciation for the role of my Saviour has increased so much. I have just loved every minute of it, and am kinda bummed that I only get one Christmas on my mission.
Do you know what I love about the UK? Christmas is like a two-week affair. And in Merthyr, it kicks off with a Christmas Eve carol service. I just loved it. I admit, I didn’t sing that much during it. There were probably about three hundred people there, and I just sat and listened to the Welsh Saints sing. And it isn’t called the Land of Song for nothing. It was beautiful. I don’t think Silent Night will ever be the same for me again.
We then spent Christmas Eve night at the Headingtons (the family who rescued us the night we locked our car in). We sang a few carols there as well—Sister Boots and I sang an arrangement of Away in a Manger and More Holiness Give Me. The arrangement was beautiful and my companion sounded lovely. (And I was my usual “Scuttle” self. But hey.)
And then I told the story of the Other Wise Man. Grandpa, how do you do it so well? I was so nervous I was fairly shaking. But the Spirit was there and they loved it. So all was well.
For Christmas, we spent the morning with a recent convert, and then went to see the Hutchinsons. I just LOVE their family so much. I am thinking of stealing their three-year-old holy terror, Hannah. She thought we were the best Christmas present. When we knocked on the door, we could hear her shouting “MISSIONWEES! MISSIONWEES!” (If only everyone was that excited to see us!). And then she shouted it at us for the rest of the afternoon. haha.
I think my favourite new part of Christmas was when we opened the “Christams crackers”. They look like a gift gift wrapped tootsie roll kinda thing, and they are so fun! They all have a joke and a little toy inside, as well as a paper crown that everyone wears throughout the meal.
And then we went to the Flocktons, and I talked to my FAMILY! What a good Christmas present. :)
These are just going to be the moments I treasure forever.
And because I am in Wales, Boxing Day is Christmas, Day Two! I think I will bring that tradition home, for sure.
And, a spiritual story to top it off: I was on exchange with Sister Kuykendall, and we were out knocking. This lady opened a door, and did not want to talk. At all. But she gradually stopped closing the door and just opened up. She told us that she nearly lost her faith when she went through a really bad divorce and a few other trials that got pretty ugly.
So I asked her what it was that let her keep her faith in God, even when bad things happen. She stood there, and really thought about it for a bit. You could literally see the emotions and thoughts flitting across her face. Finally, she looked up and at me with tears in her eyes and said the single most beautiful word known to man:
And that is the good news. That is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With Christ, the world revolved from night to day. The hopes and fears of all the years were met in the most humble, holy child of all time.
What a privilege it is to share that.
*I think every child in the world would love to build a fort right next to the Christmas tree and wait for Santa. Because Sister Boots and I are secretly five-year-olds, we did.
As I brought the mattresses down (we sleep in an itty bitty loft), we had a brilliant realization. So then we spent the next hour mattress surfing. My new favourite Christmas tradition.
*The most beautiful little valley we stumbled on this week. It’s on the way to a little village called Llangattock.
|Peeking for Santa|
|New Tradition for Christmas EVE:mattress surfing|
|Name tags as ornaments|
|New Christmas PJ's from Marty|
|Sister Miller & Sister Boots Christmas in Wales 2013|
| picturesque valley on the way to Llangattock Village|