Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year! (or in Twi: "A fesha fa")
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas no matter what the circumstances. And for those of you lucky enough to celebrate it with family, I hope you enjoyed "papa!"
Christmas over here was definitely an experience. First of all, the most difficult step, we woke up (JUST KIDDING- It wasn't difficult because chickens seem to love our yard in the morning. Jokes on them, they all got slaughtered for food this holiday season), then me and Elder Ulu bought some Koko (this one is porridge not plantain) which is now one of my new favorite breakfast meals. Then it was time for presents! Thank you to the Watertown youth (and visitors) for the notes/pillowcase. I love them all. And of course a big shout out to my family and any others who sent letters, whether received or still completing their journey to me. All of that aside, my favorite gift that day was getting the chance to speak with my family. Sorry you nosey people, I'm keeping our conversation to my self (; But, seriously, it was sweet.
One of my biggest regrets is that I took so much for granted before my mission, most especially my family. When we are given much, we tend to forget how much we really have been given. And when this happens we set aside these gifts that are precious as things of naught. We begin to ignore or even forget about the things that are most important, and of the most value, because we take them for granted. We instead focus our time, energy and interests on things of less, little or of no value, especially when looking through an eternal lens. I can't name all the things of value in this life that we should be focusing on, nor can I name all of the things that may be distracting us from them, but I know that as each of us look at ourselves, our lives and our interests, we can find areas that are in need of adjustment and correction. Be creative when looking at yourself (; There is nothing wrong with improving.
Something that we tend to forget this Christmas season, in the excitement of giving and getting gifts, along with the countless other distractions of the holidays is, ironically, the true meaning of Christmas. The birth of Christ. The greatest gift that has ever been given in this earth's history. The expanse and significance of this/His gift is vast, and my testimony of it, simple, but it is real.
I Know that He is our brother who we each kew before we came to this earth. I know that He knows and loves each of us! He knows who we are, He knows what we are going through, He knows our pains, whatever they are, and our weaknesses. I know that He is our Savior. He came to this earth to fulfill His and our, Father's plan for us. I know that He was sent here to set the perfect example and submit to the ultimate sacrifice so that we wouldn't have to. I know he can comfort us no matter what we are going through, and that through him we have a path through which we can return to live with our Father in Heaven and our families, eternally. I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ and His church that these things are true. And it is my invitation, that all will find out by investigating for themselves, and not set aside things that are precious as/for things of little or no worth.
Always improve! Always learn more! Always focus on what is important! I am nowhere near perfect, (I'm not even sure if no where is 1 or 2 words), but I wouldn't want anyone to waste the time that we have been given here.
MERRY CHRISTMAS (Late) TO ALL!! AND TO ALL A ... Happy New Year as well, I guess (;
-Love Elder Speakman
ps At Branch Christmas party I pounded lots of fufu with the big pistol... (Stick) I guess it was kinda cool or something... haha (smirk).