Sunday, December 25, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

It’s been a whirlwind of a year, I’d say. For those of you who haven’t heard (which I guess would be anyone who chanced upon my blog and doesn’t know me personally), I’m home again as of the beginning of November. I’ve been meaning to write a post about my feelings on coming home, but I’ll save that for another day. Today, being Christmas, I wanted to share some thoughts I’ve had today.

Today, I didn’t get to be with family. I didn’t get to go home and the majority of my day has been spent sitting in my apartment by myself. But you know what? That’s okay. Earlier today, I had the chance to work a lunch shift. Now, working at the MTC cafeteria has been a challenge for me in the past. Last summer, I was so jealous of the missionaries there that I almost wanted to quit. Even since being back in Provo, I’ve wondered how smart it was for me to start working at the MTC again. Today, none of that mattered though. I got to spend Christmas Day serving Christmas dinner to ordained servants of God. I’m so grateful for the missionaries today (and there was many of them) that thanked me and my coworkers for working Christmas Day (and even more so since it was Sunday too) so that they could have a Christmas dinner. Many times throughout the shift, I thought to myself “How lucky am I to get to spend Christmas serving God’s army?” Every “Thank you” and “Merry Christmas” that those Elders and Sisters said made my day.

It’s been an interesting change being back from my mission again. A year ago, I remember thinking (and probably telling a couple people, like my parents) that all I wanted for Christmas was to go back on my mission. Today, I’m just grateful to be in Provo with a job and to be in my old ward (despite how much turnover the ward had since I left). I honestly don’t know what I’d ask for a Christmas present. Maybe it’s the fact that my parents gave me my one Christmas surprise the night I came home (I get to spend this coming week in California with my entire family… it’ll be the first time in over seven years that all of us will be together) and I knew that that was my Christmas present. I guess if I had to choose one thing that I want for Christmas it would be just friends… to be able to spend time with the people I care about, to be able to make new friends in an essentially new ward, and to find a group of friends to have more good times with. This part, I guess, just comes back to trusting that my Heavenly Father will put people in my path to become friends with… that’s what happened with Garrett… that’s what happened with Eric… that’s what happened with Justin… it’s happened every time since I’ve come to BYU.

I know that He loves me. I know that He watches out for me. I know that He gives me the people I need to become who I need to be. I’m grateful for this time of year that the entire world is turned toward the birth of the Savior. Yesterday, I posted a scripture on Facebook in honor of Christmas Eve with a little note. I want to share that scripture and that note here too:

"Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets." (3 Nephi 1:13)

The sign of the Savior’s birth saved the Nephites from physical death. His death and Atonement saves each of us from spiritual death if we will come unto Him.

Merry Christmas!