One fairly new missionary asked what Christmas is like here and was told it is like any other day. In some respects, that can be disappointing. In other ways, it is a blessing to continue being busy going about doing our missionary routine. When families aren't gathering together to celebrate, it is less likely to feel like we're missing out on anything. On Christmas evening, we will all be attending a baptism of a nine-year old girl in one of our branches. A missionary can't have a better Christmas than that! We also have the blessing of speaking with our family members. Having a missionary son serving in the field ourselves, we are looking forward to our semi-annual visit with him. It is the highlight of our Christmas Day! Unfortunately for him, he is only talking with us and not with all of his siblings, but we have fun comparing missionary experiences and motivating each other to be the best missionaries.
Of course, we miss being with family; we miss the special Sacrament Meeting Christmas program; we miss the more evident feeling of love and cheer "on the street"... We don't miss the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the hurriedness, the things that can consume our time away from things that matter most. We are so grateful for the birth of Jesus Christ. His exemplary life and teachings change lives. That is the wonderful miracle that He can bring into each of our lives...love, hope, and faith. That is our wish for all of you - love in your hearts and in your homes, hope for peace, happiness, and eternal life, and faith in Him who makes everything possible. We know He lives! Merry Christmas!