Merry Christmas, everyone! Today I got the best Christmas present ever, and that was to Skype my family - they are the best ever! Everyone really has grown and changed in their own little ways (although the Dad jokes remained the same). I'm so grateful that our family will last beyond this life and into eternity through the Atonement of Christ, whom we celebrate today. Truly His life and sacrifice set the rest of eternity on course. If you get a chance, look up "The Living Christ," the testimony of the 12 Apostles. Anyone in any walk of life really can become happier and more fulfilled by following the example He set. What a blessing it is to be able to celebrate His life today!
This morning, I was studying the December edition of the Ensign (church magazine) from the past few years. In the 2014 edition, an article by President Uchtdorf really stuck out to me. Here's an excerpt:
Think of the simple yet dignified way our Heavenly Father chose to honor the birth of His Son. On that holy night, angels appeared not to the rich but to shepherds. The Christ child was born not in a mansion but in a manger. He was wrapped not in silk but in swaddling clothes.
The simplicity of that first Christmas foreshadowed the life of the Savior. Though He had created the earth, walked in realms of majesty and glory, and stood at the right hand of the Father, He came to earth as a helpless child. His life was a model of modest nobility, and He walked among the poor, the sick, the downcast, and the heavy laden.
I know that Jesus Christ lived and died so that we could progress eternally with our families. Nothing will bring us greater joy :)
In other news, I have a new companion! My seventh companion- definitely more than average. But we are doing really well! Sister Fritchen is from California and just got to Japan a little over a week ago. She's this cute little ball of smiles and energy, and also a really hard worker. We'll be together for the next three months, maybe more, and we're so excited!
The work in Japan continues to explode! Here in Iwakuni, we are spending a lot of time with American marines, actually, and teaching them the gospel. It's a little weird to spend so much time with Americans, but we are all children of our Heavenly Father and need the strength the gospel provides. We are working hard to find new Japanese people to teach, as well. This week, we had a fun Christmas party with our English class, where we sang Christmas carols, were visited by Santa, and decorated cookies (my favorite!).
The other day, we were out talking to people by the train station and saw two cute girls waiting at a bus stop. We went over and talked to them about our English class and quickly became friends. When we found out one of their birthdays was the next day, we ran into the donut shop and bought all four of us donuts! The look on both of their faces was absolutely adorable. They couldn't stop saying "are you sure?" "Wow, this is so nice!" "Wow, thank you!" and it totally made our day. Little acts of service...you can do them anywhere and make new friends easily! (We're also pretty sure they posted our picture online, so we're happy about that too.)
This has been one of the best weeks! I'm wearing short sleeves and a light jacket today - it really doesn't feel like Christmas outside, but on the inside, the spirit is there. So grateful for that
Grateful for all of your love and friendship! Merry Christmas!
Sister Janette Jorgensen
Japan Fukuoka Mission
9-16 Hiraozyosuimachi, Chuo-ku
9-16 Hiraozyosuimachi, Chuo-ku