|Ashlee & Sister Garlock|
|All Sister Missionaries in Ireland|
Christmas is in 8 days! That is crazy. I don't feel the complete "magic" of the usual Christmas season but it has been a different kind of "magic" for me this year. Serving a mission is... lets be honest... crazy! We constantly put ourselves out there to have the chance to be mocked, we have hardly any communication with the others in the world, we are with one person 24/7, we are to love and serve everyone around us and be in charge of helping them to the celetrial kingdom, etc. So why do I do this? Because of what Christmas is truely about. Our elder brother Jesus Christ. Sure all those things I mentioned can get me frustrated and down many times a day but Christ and our fellow brothers and sisters are the reasons that keep me going ( and the promised blessings that will come to me ). I am so thankful for Christ and the day to day blessings I recieve from him. Most days I feel we don't even know all the blessings that come to us because of the sacrafices he made to make sure that we have the chance to be eternally happy. I think the greatest gift we can give people this year and every year is our time. Just a listening ear to someone lonely, cleaning someone's yard who is unable to do it themselves, just talking to someone who needs a friend. Those are gifts that will be remembered through the eternities.
This week has felt a bit long but good things have happened. Zone conference was AWESOME!!! Elder Kearon, member of the 70? , came and talked with us. Nothing to report but I was definitely uplifted! There are riots going on in Belfast right now and we were to have exchanges with the sisters there but both of them ended up staying over with us. It was very interesting but fun. I was with Sister Morgan(she was in the mtc with me). She is a great missionary and we had a lot of fun together. Saturday morning we all split up and did some finding around town. Sister Morgan and I went across the street to Fairview park. I realized something interesting as we talked to many people. One man was athiest. He just couldn't believe that such a loving God would allow all these bad things happen to people (many people say that) but yet could turn water into wine. We testified of how it has helped us to believe but he just couldn't see it being real. We talked to a few like that. But we then met this man that had been through cancer, lost a son and a brother and a sister, and yet knows God is there for him and loves him. It was such a breath of fresh air to hear his testimony and faith in God. He was so kind and walks in the park every morning so we hope to take another walk with him thursday and talk more about the gospel. People that come out of such hard times with their faith stronger are such an example to me. Now for the best news of the week!!!! Every sunday we go to the Aliphon family for family home evening. The mother and 2 sons are members but the father and daughter are not. The dad tells us all the time that he will not be baptized (we still ask him every week he is funny) but we weren't exactly sure why the daughter wasn't (she is 10). We know she was going to before but the dad stopped it from happening. So we were blessed with the dad needing to go into town for something, so we were able to ask the mom and daughter about it. The girl wants to be baptized and the mom said we could ask the dad again if we want to. So when he came back we gave our lesson and ask the dad why she has not been able to be baptized. He said if she wants to that she can. He said on one condition.... if the bishop will bapize her. He has such great respect and love for the bishop. We told him to call and ask the bishop right then and there. He did and the bishop was DELIGHTED!!! WE ALL WERE DELIGHTED! Come December 29th there will be a baptism that we are so excited for!!!! A true miracle! Definitely the best Christmas gift! Well I am excited to be skyping home next tuesday! I love you all and wish you the best christmas ever!!!
Love, Sister Nicoll