Week 14. ‘Tis the Season

With Thanksgiving rolling around, spirits are higher, hearts are warmer, and weather is chillier, even in St. George. Sister West (from Arizona) keeps claiming that she was lied to, because she was told repeatedly before her mission that it doesn’t get cold in St. George, even in the winter. We are suffering. It sometimes gets as cold as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. I am not sure how we will survive… 😛 So, yes, just kidding. I lived in Rexburg, Idaho, for two years and we got as cold as -13 degrees. I am not complaining when it gets in the 30s and 40s.

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But anyway, the more important aspect of this season is the warmth in heart, hearth, and home. I had a beautiful experience witnessing a charitable, loving, Christlike-Christmas Season-Happy act. A sweet mother and her two daughters came into the Visitors’ Center a few days ago needing to contact a temple worker from their ward in Panaca, NV. The mother has fibromyalgia and it was particularly bad that night. She didn’t feel safe driving home in that kind of pain and was hoping that the temple worker would be willing to drive them home. By the time someone was able to call the temple, it appeared that he had already left and his car was no longer in the parking lot. They were all but stranded.
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With anxiety and worry in her eyes and a very unconvincing smile on her face, she told her daughters that they would figure something out; that they would find a place to stay for the night and find a way home in the morning; that maybe she’d be better by then and could drive them home. My heart broke at their plight. I would have gladly jumped in the car and driven them to Panaca immediately! But I couldn’t.

Sister West and Sister Hansen

Sister West and Sister Hansen

Sister West, my spectacular companion, thought fast. She grabbed our phone and called a family in our area. She came out andreported that she had found this woman and her children a ride home. The family was willing to come, drive her truck back, follow behind in another car, get her home safely, and then drive back to St. George. The relief that washed over her showed plainly on her face and the kind willingness of that amazing family brought tears to my eyes. That, and the ingenuity and quick-thinking of my companion. I was just filled with a love and appreciation for the kind of people that surround me who don’t think twice about reaching out to help others when they are in need. And you know what? We can all be those people!

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To end the story about this woman and her daughters… Sister West and I ran home and got some hot chocolate mix, rushed back and made them each a cup, and shared a few moments just getting to know them while they warmed up with the hot chocolate. It’s in the small moments when I really, truly, and completely don’t think of myself that I am happiest.
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Everyone loves cookies!

Everyone loves cookies!

In the next few weeks we have Thanksgiving, Christmas, the New Year, and a lot of opportunities to do good. ‘Tis the Season to do service. ‘Tis the Season to love others. ‘Tis the Season to be jolly, and being jolly is a result of being selfless. Take time to think of others and do something nice for someone else. Even a plate of cookies is good! People love cookies! Or a parfait! Everybody loves parfaits! (Name that movie!)
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Anyway, in all seriousness, I just want to express my gratitude for every single one of you. I am blessed beyond belief, and with Thanksgiving coming up so soon (THIS WEEK! WAHOO!) I am even more keenly aware of it. I miss so many things about home, but I don’t know that I would have recognized those small things as such enormous blessings if I weren’t here doing this great work.
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Before I sign off, I wanted to leave you with a message I heard from a Cambodian missionary about member missionary work. I think it can apply to Holiday Selflessness, Service, and Cheer, as well. He said, in broken English:
“Member work is work and study! If a member read the scriptures they will get the Spirit, if they get the spirit, they will help other people by the spirit, and if they help other people by the spirit, they will touch the hearts of other people and they will be happy.”
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‘Tis the season to be happy. Member missionary work, holiday cheer, selfless service, and reaching out to those who need a friend, a bit of warmth, a plate of cookies, or just a smile in the grocery store all come down to the same principles… strive to get the Spirit. Look for ways to let Christ into your life even more than you already do and let the love that God has and that our Savior has for us spill out in your interactions with others every single day. Study the scriptures, speak with your Heavenly Father (pray), look for answers, encouragement, and counsel as you attend church meetings, and seek for opportunities to be a light in the darkness for others. Be Tiny Tim, if you would, and pray that “God [will] bless us, every one.”
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Also, speaking of Tiny Tim, if you have some time this holiday season, pop in The Muppet Christmas Carol  sometime and watch it for me. I can’t watch it out here on a mission and it’s my favorite. If you tear up and that isn’t normal for you, you’re just channeling me, so don’t worry. That and you’re feeling the holiday Spirit! Embrace it!
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Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol for me!

Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol for me!

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I love you and you are all definitely on my list of reasons to be thankful! I wish you Happy Holidays and safety and warmth and cheer and every good thing. You’re in my prayers and thoughts!

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Love and turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, especially,
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Sister Hansen
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P.S. Eat some pumpkin pie for me, too.
The Visitors' Center is ready for Christmas: Sister Hansen and Sister Dupre, from Kentucky

The Visitors’ Center is ready for Christmas: Sister Hansen and Sister Dupre, from Kentucky

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