Saturday, December 21, 2013

Dearest family and friends,

Let me start of by sending a very Merry Christmas! I hope we can all pass this Holiday season happily recognizing that the bigger joy comes as we spend our effort giving and serving. 

It has been a crazy and satisfying week. There were definetely some nights without much sleep, lots of trips to the airport to pick up different groups of missionaries, and many hours spent traveling and training. It is hard to believe, looking back, that it all happened in just one week.

Yesterday after arriving from Tepic, Nayarit at about 8:30 pm, and after a long and honestly tiring week we were on a final local bus headed back to the offices. The bus was pretty empty, around 10 people there. We had been celebrating Christmas all week with the missionaries so I guess we had a pretty good Christmas spirit. I turned to my companion and said, "if you give a brief introduction, I will sing a Christmas song". He smiled and got up to ask permission from the driver and briefly explain that we were missionaries etc. 

Here on the busses it is quite common for people to get on and sell things. Ranging from chewing gums and candies, to workbooks for english, math, science, etc, to pictures, to relics, you name it. And lots of people get on to sing and ask for money as well. So getting up to sing a song is nothing novel in itself. 

I decided to sing "What Child is This", happy because I love the song. Anyone that rides the bus gets used really fast to ignoring and turning away from anyone selling, singing etc. So it was fun to see how at first everyone reacted, turning to stare out the window, pulling out a phone, putting in earphones. But as the song went on slowly the faces started to turn, conversations were paused, the phones were put down, and even the young man in the front discreetly pulled his earphones out. It is a beautiful song, a sweet rendition of the birth of our Savior in humble conditions to his mother Mary. The song concluded, I extended the invitation to all to remember the true spirit of Christmas in this special time of the year and passed the address and hour of our weekly services. A stop or two later we got off. But I certainly felt a nice, sweet, Christmas Spirit, or in other words, the Spirit of Christ.

This week there have been three of us as Elder Casas accompanied us to the different trainings.Monday he gets on the plane in time to be home with his family for Christmas. And Elder Umaña and I will be left to really get going. 

This week I had the great blessing of spending almost every day with President Wagner, his wife and daughter. Monday and Tuesday we trained the new missionaries together. WednesdayThursday andFriday we were together as we trained and celebrated Christmas with a simple program each day. In our travel time together we took advantage to discuss different things of interest, such as what the scriptures teach about the Second Coming of Christ, the importance of repentence, and some current challenges the world and society is facing. I am grateful for the time to spend with him.

Things are going great! I am looking forward to another wonderful week. I hope everyone has a great week and is able to spend their time with the people they love most.

Elder Brighton

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