It's was an interesting experience last week, for reasons more than just one. This last Christmas was completely different from any other that I've had before... but it was a special experience I wouldn't trade for the world--something that I will always remember. On that day I was able to feel so much of God's love through tender mercies and strong impressions of His spirit. I loved being able to see my incredible family again, which reminded me of just how lucky to have them! I am excited to spend all of eternity with these awesome people!
Shortly after Skype, we got a phone call from the Mission President's wife saying that our zone of missionaries needed to go visit a young man from our ward who went to the hospital the day before. The spirit that I felt as we all gathered there in that room to sing and pray together was undeniable!
Reminds me of the words of the Lord to the people of Alma, as they faced extreme persecution from the Lamanites: "And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage. And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions." God seriously loves His children so much... I know He gives us trials and burdens for our benefit, but He does not leave us comfortless. Especially when we make special promises, covenants, with Him. He will always keep His promises! As long as we turn toward Him, He gives us the love, the support, and the strength to endure.
The rest of the evening was spent as a zone, as we stood in the busy downtown, serenading the gathering crowd of people with hymns and talking with them. Such a wonderful experience it was to spend the day focused on the Lord and His work!
Wish you all the best! Enjoy the rest of this Holiday Season, and have a safe New Year!
Sister Marissa Hatch
travel and using other email accounts, I am late posting Marissa's Christmas letter. I will post it soon.