Monday, January 6, 2014


Holy Macoroni, so much has happened since last week and so little time to tell you about it!
So last Tuesday was the one and only MBM CHRISTMAS PARTY! Which included a glorious trip to the temple, musical fireside extraordinaire in the chapel next door, mildly gross dinner (I've decided that I am not a ham fan), and humiliating skits from each zone (I wanted to do a flash mob, but our elders wouldn't go for it. Instead we did a "chin skit" that I fervently hope never makes into an enemies hands ... ). And also a SURPRISE CHRISTMAS PACKAGE! Many thanks mamma.
And to top it all off, at the very end of the night President Packard announced that it had been steadily snowing all night and that none of us would be returning home till the next morning. But where I they going to house a 200 missionary strong army for an entire night? THE TEMPLE.
Hahaha, just kidding. Apparently even full time representatives of the Lord don't get overnight privileges. We all split up and packed into the closest missionaries apartments like sardines. Us and the Central Falls sisters got to spend the night with the lovely office couple the Vails. It was actually super fun to have a sleep over! The Vails loved it because they said it reminded them of all their daughters when they got together ... we may have been a little rambunctious with Christmas spirit.
We slept in our skirts, did not brush our teeth, did not shower (no surprises there, eh?), and then drove straight from Mass down to out appointments from the day, morning breath and all. We didn't get back to our apartment until the end of the night like normal! Oh memories ...
So then as the week progressed, all the snow that stranded us in Belmont melted as the temperature reached a balmy 60 degrees yesterday. Pff. So much for a picturesque New England Christmas! It's like Spring thaw up in here! But we did have a beautiful Christmas Program in Sacrament meeting yesterday. It ended with our Bishop telling the story of the WWI British and German troops during the Christmas of 1914. (look this story up now if you haven't heard it before). Basically these mortal enemies are swept up in the spirit of Christmas for a few days and an unofficial Christmas truce is called, and the two sides spend all kinds of time together singing beautiful Christmas music. (Obviously the granola-hippie-peace-loving side of me loves this story.) As night falls on Christmas day, a sober silence falls as the the soldiers reflect on the birth of Christ, the past few days, and what tomorrow holds - a return to the tragedy of war. During this silence, one clear voice starts singing Silent Night and one by one, other voices add in.
When Bishop told this story, he started singing "Silent night, Holy night" and then me and Sister Bailey came in one "All is calm, all is bright." (prearranged, of course. The missionaries always get roped into this kind of thing.) And then one by one our ward started chiming in. It honestly was so breath-takingly beautiful. There was such a special spirit in the room. I thought about how we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas, and what that truly means. Christ is the ultimate symbol of peace, hope, charity, purity, and love. What better ideals could we all choose to turn our thoughts towards together? I've been thinking about it the last couple of days, and I really think that there is more to Christmas than just remembering Christ. I mean, that's a good thing, but I highly doubt that our Savior wants us to just sit there and think about Him. If we truly are honoring His birth, and His life, and all that He symbolizes, we should be doing much more than thinking. Christmas should be a reminder that we are striving to create a world in which love of Christ and fellowman directs everyone's thoughts and actions.
As my favorite Book of Mormon scripture states, "Whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea even a place at the right hand of God; which hope cometh of faith maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."

I am so grateful to be a missionary this year and have the opportunity to spread the good news of Christ and the hope of His gospel to anyone willing to listen. Maybe its the peace loving hippie naive teenager in me, but I truly believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ can make a difference in this world. So Merry Christmas, and may you guys all figure out what this season truly means for you.

Sister Gledhill

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