Monday, December 22, 2014

merry christmas...feliz navidad...fijne kirst...joyeux noël...(Katie-Belgium)


I'm not sure if you noticed.

I did. And I'm so excited and happy and just...a little in awe, actually. We had a marvelous conference with President Teixeira, presiding general authority over the western europe area this week, and my entire view of Christmas as a missionary changed. Something he said specifically really touched me (this isn't a direct quote):

"Worried about not getting a meal? You'll have thousands in the years to come. Excited to sleep in? That'll come soon enough. Impatient to open those packages? Years of christmas gifts will fill your life. But this is one Christmas that should never be forgotten. You are a missionary for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You are living Christmas every day just by being a missionary. So let me ask you this: What can you give Christ this year as His missionary? How do you make this Christmas really, truly, all about Him?"

What can I do to make this Christmas really, truly, all about Him? 

We have some plans, but they haven't technically happened yet, so I'll share our experiences next week. What I do want to share, however, is how touched I've been by the power of music this year. I've had the opportunity to be a part of two musical numbers, one in Sacrament meeting (yesterday, actually) and the other in our Stake Christmas Concert. Both times I could feel the power of my testimony through the words of two songs very much about Christ. It was such a neat experience, and a very sacred moment when I realized that the Lord was hearing this testimony, and smiling at the thought that us, Children of God, were sharing our testimony of Him for everyone to hear in a language that all can understand. 

We also had a neat experience yesterday with a less-active couple in our ward. After our spiritual thought we wanted to sing a Christmas song, but they don't speak French. However, they agreed to try if we would share our mini-cantiques (hymnbooks) with them. We started singing "Douce Nuit, Sainte Nuit" (Silent Night) and the spirit filled the room with the beautiful melody and harmony of that song. I looked over at the wife as we sang the third verse, and I saw tears streaming down her face. I blinked tears out of my own eyes at the beauty of that moment. And she didn't even understand the words.

We also had our Spanish christmas party this week, and all 8 missionaries had the opportunity to sing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", spanish-style. This time I was the one not understanding any of the words, and yet the spirit was so strong as I testified of the Savior (IN SPANISH) through this song. And even though I didn't say the words perfectly, and I didn't sound perfect, our wonderful Spanish members felt the spirit and the power of my testimony. It was another neat moment.

Basically, with our zone goal to sing 75 christmas songs before Christmas, music is on my mind ALL THE TIME, and I've never felt the spirit as strong as I do when I sing or hear something beautiful (that involves notes and stuff). I hope that you go and each have an incredible Christmas centered around our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that if you can do nothing else for Him, you can at least listen to songs testifying of Him. I promise, it counts. :)

I love you all so much! Joyeux Noël!

Soeur Katie Pettingill
Christmas time in Paris under the grande arche? yes :)

Grande-Place in Brussels
Here is a link to the light show in the Grand Place in Brussels. It's beautiful!

No comments: