Dear family and friends,
Merry Christmas! Oh it is has been so fun being a missionary at this time of year! At the beginning of last week, the assistants gave the GREATEST training about contacting and door to door during this Christmas season. Although it is NOT AT ALL Christmas tradition in France to go carolling, the assistants asked that the entire mission incorporate that into their finding. If that doesn't quite make sense, I guess that means that everywhere we go, we invite people if we can help them more fully place their focus during Christmas on the Savior by coming to their home; sing a Christmas carol; share a message about the birth, life, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and pray with their family, leaving the Spirit of Christmas and blessing in their home. Although to us this tactic may seem perfectly normal, it is NOT AT ALL normal to the French.:) haha, but we have seen miracles unfold more than ever before.
Last night, Soeur Stahly and I had a little bit of time at the very end of the night, and although it could have been very easy to hit the hay and head home, we decided to do a little contacting from door to door in a town not far from ours. At the first door I said a little something like this: "Hello, my name is Soeur Judd, and I am from the United States. During this Christmas time, where we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we would love to sing a Christmas song and pray with you and your family so that the Spirit of Christmas may be in your home. May we come in?" And IMMEDIATELY the mom at the door said, "Yes! Please come in!" We then spent the next half hour singing songs, praying, and sharing a message about Christ with this family of five. Soeur Stahly and I were so happy afterwards, our hearts were so full, that on the way home in the metro, we sang Christmas carols for the entire train car.:) It was the most memorable Christmas experience I have ever had.
For this Christmas, what are you doing to invite the Spirit of Christ? You could sing, you could read the scriptural accounts in the Bible AND the Book of Mormon, you could do a little service. No matter what it is! do it with the Savior in mind. I testify that He is our Savior and Redeemer. He was born in a lowly stable, lived a perfect life, suffered pain in the garden and death on the cross, and was resurrected to fulfill the perfect plan our Father in Heaven created in the beginning. I testify that He lives in our hearts through the power and influence of the Holy Ghost. He is never too far, especially as we seek Him. I know He will come again, at a time not too distant from now. He knows us, He knows you, and He loves you. Of this knowledge I have, I humbly testify in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are. Find someone to help, and always, always remember to smile.:)
I love you with all of my heart.
Soeur Laura Lee Judd
P.S. one of our investigators, Manon, had a baby girl this week. in honor of the Christmas season, she named her Emmanuella.:) I hope you like the picture.:)