Sunday, December 21, 2014

HE is the GIFT

At the Christmas party!

This is the community service project we did for Sister Segovia! We cut and burned all of the coconut tree leaves in her yard! SO FUN!!

This is the bascongada family with baby yen yen who has CSP

With Sister Joy who worked with us this week

The Lopez Family

Dear Family,
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM PALAWAN!! I hope all of you are happy and safe and enjoying the company of family and good food! I love you so much! 
Christmas time as a missionary is the greatest! Honestly, I was expecting to be so sad and depressed just missing my family like crazy, but I am just so at peace and so thankful to be where I am. It has been almost shocking to me to be in a place like this for Christmas.
There are no trees, no snow, no presents, no fancy gift wrapping, no stockings, no ANYTHING that resembles the Christmas's I am used to back home. When we walk down the street, you would think it was still the middle of August. 
BUT, despite the fact that outwardly, it doesn't feel much like Christmas, inside, I feel closer to the Savior in a way that I have never understood. I've always heard "remember the true meaning of Christmas." But until I've had the opportunity to go without all of the commercialization of the season, I've never really comprehended what the "true meaning" of this wonderful season is. 
This week we had our mission Christmas party! It was really fun. The Ostler's came dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and we did a service project for an orphanage in Manila.  We did our Nativity Play, and had a lot of fun being together.  At the end of the party, the Ostler's showed us a video they watch with their families every Christmas called "The 4th Wise Man." It tells the story of a 4th wise man who never made it to the birth of the Savior to add his gift to the gold and frankincense and myrrh. He didn't make it because he was met along the way with people who were in need of his help.  He kept being stopped and different beggars and leapers or disabled had need of the gifts that he had brought to give to the Savior.  At the end of this man's life, when he feels defeated that he had nothing left to give the Savior, Jesus Christ comes to him and says "You have already given me your gifts. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." 
THIS is the true meaning of Christmas.  It is coming to know He that was born for us.  It is spending our whole lives in the service of others because it is He that taught "As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
I don't want you to be worried or sad for me this Christmas season.  I am having the opportunity to serve among "the least of these" and really walk and talk as the Savior would if He were here. Don't forget the real meaning of Christmas, or let yourself get worried about all of the expectations of a "perfect Christmas". The perfect Christmas comes from inside us! 
HE is Christmas. HE is the gift. And the only gift He wants from us, is the gift of ourselves. 
Sister Lockwood
PS. At our Christmas party- I had 4 packages on the stage! All the missionaries were walking by and like "these are all for one person?!" Its so ridiculous how spoiled I am!! Thank you all so much! Next time you feel like spoiling me, email me and I will give you the name of a Philippino missionary who probably will go their whole mission without receiving a package and you can send them one! Even just a letter would brighten their day sooo soo much.  We really have no idea how lucky we are.  I was seriously one of the only missionaries that got any packages and i got 4!!! how ridiculous is that. I am officially that american sister with the reputation of spoiled....
Also...haha funny of the week.. So i'm breaking out. which really is fine, but philippinos are so blunt they ALWAYS point it out to both me and Sister Teo. This week one investigator told us he could "cure our faces" LOLZ

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