This Christmas is totally different for our family. It's happy and a little hard all at once. You see... not one, but TWO of my daughters are currently serving missions for our church. We are so incredibly pleased with their choice to serve God in this way
Hannah (Sister Johnson) with her Missionary Companion in the Missionary Training Center, Provo Utah. Hannah is currently serving in the Utah Salt Lake City Utah Mission (Centerville South Stake). You may be saying "Utah?"... yes... there's a lot of missionary work to do there. She is getting to speak English and couldn’t be happier. (I couldn't be happier about her being there too!) Hannah returns home on May 2015. Here is a little from her most recent letter home:
"Christmas is just so wonderful because its a time when everyone can focus on Christ and what He did for us. My challenge to you: Share the gospel with someone. Christ was the first Christmas gift, and the best gift you can give is the gospel, and its really NOT THAT HARD! Everyone needs it and its a great gift to the person you share it with, yourself, and Heavenly Father!"
Alex (Hermana Johnson) with Her Mission President, a new missionary that she is training, and the Mission Pres. wife. Alex is serving in the Chile Santiago North Mission (Quilicura, Lo Marcoleta). She is now fluent in Spanish and learning French and Creole. She returns next August. Here's a little tidbit from her most recent letter home:
"I feel so blessed to be in the mission during this time....for that exact reason. I remember Him more, and I remember the sacrifice He has made for me. I know He loves us so much. ¨God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son...that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.¨
We're feeling like our nest is suddenly near empty. We do have two beautiful daughters still at home but it's SO strange to have Alex and Hannah gone. We miss them. We had gotten a bit used to Alex being gone to BYU... but Hannah's never left the nest before and it's been only a month... and a bit hard. And why would we be willing to be without both of our beautiful daughters this Christmas... and one for next? THIS is why!
This is the Reason for the Season... and they are spreading that Joy! We have a sure knowledge of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. They are losing themselves in service to others. What more could a mother want than to have a child dedicated to God, the Savior and serving others. So when I feel a bit gloomy and am missing my lovely daughters I just remember what good they are doing. Our family is really blessed by both of them serving!
This video is another Christmas treat...and one of my favorite Christmas songs. The Piano Guys are so talented!
I want to extend a wish to you all that you have a most wonderful and Merry CHRISTmas! And for those of you reading this that might have visited with my daughters on their missions and shown them the abundant love that they've spoken of... THANK YOU!
Thank you for once again poppying by... you really all are friends and I am thankful for you!
ps... if you do happen to run into Sister Johnson or Hermana Johnson while your out and about please give them a hug from me!