Now wishes. . . well for starters ET always says “if wishes were fishes, we’d all have a fry, if horse turds were biscuits, we’d eat till we die” (quoting his father who was very wise in a folksy kind of way) Well we don’t want any of either --- However we wish for you all to be healthy and strong. We wish that every small child could get a big hug then go to bed safe, warm, with a tummy full of healthy food and the feeling of being loved. We wish the world could have peace and we could all get along and play nice with one another. We know those things sound small and child like but that is what we wish for.
Sometimes we look around and have a hard time imagining Christmas here. There are decorations up here and there and also some of the stores blare Christmas music, but the scenery is just not what we're used to for December. It's just green everywhere. And the temperature and humidity haven't changed a lick. But Christmas time it is and we are doing our best to have the Spirit.
We have the greatest job in the world right now, delivering and handing out toys and goodies, all made possible by charitable souls from all across our home country. We are not clothed in red or have a sleigh and reindeer even if Elder T says he does have the build for it, we are not Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause. One thing that we truly love and appreciate this year is family. At home we all get caught up doing things with our family (ies) making traditions, eating, singing, and playing games.
We might over look someone that doesn’t have anyone to spend the holidays with. Here in Chuuk, EVERYONE is family – doesn’t matter if your blood or not. We all are God’s children. The branch Christmas party is on Christmas day because who do we spend Christmas with? Our family. Anyway everyone pitches in with food; they draw names for presents, play games, sing Christmas songs, and tell the Christmas story. It warms our hearts because no one is left out, it doesn’t matter what religion you are or what color, age or sex, you are loved and welcome to join in the festivities.
This past month our friends lost their son. It was sudden and unexpected. He was a strong healthy 32 year old man. It has been heartbreaking and even though we understand the Plan of Salvation, seeing people we love hurting has been very hard. It really makes you step back and pause . . . it makes you realize how each day is special and should be embraced. Our other good friends lost a 6 year old grand-daughter in the senseless shooting that took place in Connecticut. Again heart breaking. Our prayers are with our friends that are hurting from these losses and we hope they will be comforted knowing that they are now safe with a loving Father in Heaven.
We truly are learning a lot of things and everything we ever learned throughout our life, we have had to use on our mission. I am extremely thankful for my upbringing and the incredible, wonderful smart amazing parents that raised us and taught us about our Savior. We have never felt closer to them as we do on this mission. When we are feeling down or not sure we can handle something, we feel them with us helping us get through it. We know that we are very blessed and loved.
This mission is probably the hardest thing we have ever done in our lives, living under the circumstances we live in here and learning to be obedient and humble to what the Lord expects of us. Wearing this badge every day makes us want to be better people. We’re not only representing us, we are representing the Lord. AWESOME. I always wondered why missionaries were different and now I know why. We still have more time here in Micronesia and I pray that we will be able to continue to grow and become the person the Lord has sent us to be.
Besides that “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?”