Hope you are all having a great time during these wonderful CHRISTMAS holidays! I know that the people that I am around everyday are enjoying it but we are trying to help them enjoy it for the right reasons and to remember the spirit of Christmas. Its all fine with the gifts and tinsel and carols and stuff but whats the point unless we strengthen our faith and the faith of others in our Savior Jesus Christ. To me Christmas time is not about the gifts but more of service and making the world a better place because you were there. Its about spending time with those things that matter most, family especially! And thats the message that we bear on our hearts daily and testify of those around us that are seeking for the truth and to all nations, tongues and kindred around! So thats my testimony of Christmas to EVERYONE!
So this past week was really good! I truly enjoyed every minute of it and all the great people that I was able to associate with this past week! On Monday we went to Newcastle to meet with other missionaries to practice the song "Homeless" by Michael McLean from his Christmas CD the Forgotten Carols. But alas my hopes were slightly dashed because people were unable to make it to practice so was had to call an audible and changed the song at the last minute. We ended up deciding to sing "O Come All Ye Faithful" in parts. It was really good (if I can say so myself).
Tuesday was the Christmas party full of laughter and fun! We started traveling EARLY and then we ended up making it there just before it started. I have realized how in the sticks we are! its pretty funny! So at the party we played silly fun games and I learned how to throw a card into a melon properly. Then we had our taken show. It was really good. It takes a lot for people to get up in front of a group of their peers and show off what God has given them. Its even more so when they do it solo. Well done to all those who participated.
Then we watched a great British Christmas comedy called the Nativity. I think the main character is also the main character playing in the Hobbit series (the posters came out this past week and it looks sweet. Marathon in a few months ... yes!)
Wednesday we had a great meeting in Newcastle about setting goals, giving all of our efforts and then achieving them! The biggest thing that stood out to me was the quote I came up with ... "Challenges and trials are put into ur lives to push us to our absolute limits. Its at the edge of comfort and fear that faith must come into our lives. We must jump off the cliff and then and only then is when we learn to fly. If we merely stay in the nest and give up, that is when our trial seat us down and they will keep us there if we let them. We must be harder and fight as lions during life to succeed! Challenges are only impossible if you give up, and if you give up, you will Never grow, profess and be better!"
Thursday was a day full of service with a great couple of people that are in the ward. We were scraping off wall paper all day and had so much fun coin git and enjoying some Christmas music. For lunch the sisters made us some really good fajitas.
Friday was crazy! So much so that it passed in a flash and all that I can remember is going to this members home and watching Joy to the World with her. It was great to be able to bring the Christmas spirit into her home and into her life. She loves Christmas because she gets to spend time with her family and I don't blame her! Once again, I restate that Christmas is ALL ABOUT FAMILY AND CHRIST! Let us not forget the CHRIST in Christmas.
Saturday was pretty busy too! We travelled a long time to get to Sunderland to watch the Christmas truce program that has been put on! Its a wonderful reminder for those who have sacrificed and those who still sacrifice. My heart goes to those courageous men and women who have fought for the wonderful freedoms that we enjoy now. Please, this Christmas season, stop and think of the things to be grateful for and if you know someone that has served in any aspect of any wars, thank them because without their or their family's sacrifice you nor I would be here today to be able to enjoy what we have and do.
Well, I hope and pray that you all have a wonderful Christmas season full of joy, peace, laughter and full of the love of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Elder Zachary Lee Dotschkat