Monday, December 23, 2013

One Year

Soon I mark my first Christmas away from home, not counting last year when I was practically home and was in the MTC on Christmas day.  It will be different, but I'm glad to be able to spend it in service.

As missionaries, we are called to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Gospel means "good news," as it is translated in Mongolian as well.  The Good News is that Christ Lived and Lives, and that through His Atonement and obedience to His Doctrine, we can all be saved.

In 1 John 4:10 we read, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins."  It has been said many times, but the greatest gift of Christmas is the Savior Jesus Christ who died and was resurrected for us.  Verse 11 reads, "Behold, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."  If we remember God's love and great patience for us, then we must remember love and patience for those around us and all people.

The night before His Birth, the Lord spoke with Nephi to assure him "on the morrow come I into the world."  And that night, so to speak, He stepped down from His thrones above to be born in a humble and lowly manger.  He knew before that He had chosen a life of difficulty and trial and pain, but He did so because He loved us.  We missionaries have the privilege of testifying to everyone we meet that "Christ loves you," and this we know to be true.

When Christ told Nephi of His birth to comfort him, I wonder if He thought of the life He had chosen for Himself.  He, who was most perfect and sinless and full of good works, chose a life very poor in many of the blessings we often hope for.  Aside from the heavenly joy of being full of righteousness and charity, He led a life of opposition and trial that ended in betrayal.  How grateful then must we be that, imperfect as we are, He seeth fit to bestow on us so many bountiful blessings during our stay in Mortality, on top of the eternity of joy He promises to those who love Him.

I'm grateful for my great family and all the blessings the Lord has given me in my life!

Merry Christmas to all of you,
Elder Sims

In Choibalsan to train a district leader.

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