Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Letter

Friends and Family,

It's a privilege this Christmas season to be able to share with all of you a few words. My prayer is that it will encourage and lift each of you. Now, Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. It's the best time of year because everyone is always so much happier. Everyone is in the giving spirit. Everyone puts on a nice big smile. Families gather together for the holiday season. The best Christmas music is played all around town and on the radio. Gifts are given. Gifts are received. And there is plenty of food to go around. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. However, with all of the excitement and festivities that the holiday season brings, the true meaning of Christmas is often overlooked or forgotten, and is lost amongst the giving and receiving of presents.

My Christmas message I would like to share with all of you is simply this. Do not miss the real meaning of Christmas, but make our Savior Jesus Christ the center and focus of all we do this holiday season. Bring to life the birth, mission, and life of our Lord. That is what Christmas is all about. Growing up our family would watch the video “Luke II” together every Christmas Eve, and share with each other our testimonies following the film. I will never forget the power and influence that my parents testimonies had on me and my life on those nights before Christmas. My greatest memories aren't the gifts I received or the food that I ate. But I will always remember most those feelings that entered my heart and testimony I gained from remembering our Lord Jesus Christ in that way each Christmas Eve. We can all remember the In-Keeper mentioned in the 2nd chapter of Luke, who told Mary and Joseph there was no room in the inn, and that they had to go elsewhere. This Christmas each and every one of us is the In-Keeper, and we decide whether or not there is room enough in our lives for Jesus Christ. Let us all put Christ at the center of all we do and say this holiday season. Love him. Adore him. Admire him. And emulate him. Thank him for the greatest gift ever given to mankind. The Atonement. No greater gift can or ever will be given.

I would like now to share an experience that I cherish and love from my mission, one that has a great impact on me. One that helped me understand more fully the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the example he set for us, and how we can emulate him. Late one afternoon while proselyting were walking along a dirt road on our way to our next appointment after church, when it started to rain really hard. So we stopped and waited for sometime underneath the overhang of the nearest building. While we were waiting for the rain to stop a little 5 year old girl was running down the road, on her way home I presume. While she was running she slipped on some mud and took a hard fall right on her face. She lay in the middle of the street crying. There were a lot of people nearby but nobody would stop to help her. It was as if they didn't see her. I couldn't just stand there and watch this little girl lying in the street scratched up and crying, so I ran over to where she was and picked her up in my arms and carried her over to the building we were sitting under. I washed her face off with my tie and then wiped off the rest of her body the best I could. She was still bawling. I talked to her small in Fante and after a while I was able to cheer her up. I got her to smile and talk a little. When she was smiling again and happy and cleaned up we sent her on her way and continued on. Afterward my tie was covered in thick muddy clay and my shirt was completely covered in mud from top to bottom from carrying her in my arms. There was no white to be found. But I couldn't have been happier. I will never forget the feeling that came to me afterward. I had never felt more in my entire life what it really meant when they say; "We are the Lord's hands" "We are his servants" "We represent the Savior and do what he would do". I have never felt closer to the Savior. It was a simple and small act of kindness. But I was the Lord's hands and I was doing what he would have done.

I wanted to share this story because we need to always be on the look out for those that are struggling, not only physically, but also spiritually. It will bless your life more for helping , than it will bless the one in need. I have never been happier in my entire life and felt more joy than what I experienced after helping this little girl. How many times has the Savior picked you up, cleaned you from your cuts and wounds? How many times has he come to the rescue when there was no one else there? I encourage each of us this Christmas season to stand firm as a representative of Jesus Christ and do what he would do. A heart-felt act of service is the greatest gift you can give this Christmas, and the blessings and feelings that follow are the greatest gift we can receive. There is no better way to put Christ at the Center of this holiday season.

I share my testimony with you that Christ is the center of everything. I know that he lives and that this is his church. And that he is our Savior and Redeemer. That he truly did suffer all things that we might not suffer, if we would repent and follow him. I've come to know that more than ever this past year. Serving amongst these humble faithful people in Ghana has been the most remarkable experience of my life. I am not sure I will ever want to leave. I have come to love the people of Africa in a way I can't express. In a way similar to the way Christ loves them. I love all of you. Many of you have a special place in my heart. You have made me who I am today, and I have you to thank for that. Thank you for your prayers. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Lords choicest blessings be upon you.

Love, Elder Adams

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