They're giving us just a couple of minutes to write to you and tell you Merry Christmas. Today has been good and we still have lots to do (a talent show and a fireside with Greg Olsen after this). This morning Elder Russel M Nielson spoke to us. Since I was in the choir in the front row, I was able to watch him walk in. We were in the middle of a song so instead of the usual silence- he was greeted with two-thousand-thirty-something missionaries singing about Christ's birth. The devotional was good. I have to admit though that it's really really really really hard to be here on Christmas. They do their best to make us feel at home, but trust me- if I didn't know that Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection are and were a reality- there is NO WAY I would chose to be here, without even a phone call to family on Christmas. I miss you. But He IS. He was and He always will be. As Elder Nielson reminded us today, we are called to link eternal families. I would not be here if that wasn't a reality. Elder Nielson was also very real with us. He reminded us that as we go out we need to yes, open our mouths and preach the gospel, but also open our eyes and listen when the spirit guides us out of dangerous situations. This world is a termultious place- the gospel stands in great contrast with that. Even as missionaries, protected in the MTC from the "world" we know of many tragedies in the world right now. With the recent events, we came to an even more critical realization of why the gospel is so key. In so much sorrow and pain, Christ is the only source of Joy. He is Joy. In a world of imperfections, it is comforting to know that God's plan of Salvation is Perfect.
I miss you all deeply. My heart feels like it's in so many places at once today- and I know there are hearts that are broken and hurt this Christmas. I'm so grateful for a Savior whose birth we celebrate today- who has the atoning power to seal our hearts, IF we chose to accept and open that great gift of the atonement (Mosiah 4:20). I hope you all remember Christ with Joy this day. I miss and love you all.
Please, please, please have a very Merry CHRISTmas day.
Sister Michelle Curtin