Monday, December 29, 2014

Spoiled, snow, family friendships, press and feast

First snow of the season in Moscow, Idaho

December 29, 2014
Moscow, Idaho

Hope everyone had a very merry Christmas! It was so fun to be able to see the family again on our Skype call! Everyone looked great. The house was beautiful as always and Toby was fat as always :) Everything exactly where I left it. Send me photos of the academy! I'm sure it's beautiful.....

Here are highlights of my week: 

Christmas Day:  ugly sweaters at district meeting
Christmas was fun! We were spoiled :) We started off the day with a district meeting. We had yummy treats and wore ugly sweaters.  Then we went over to a less active family's house and they fed us delicious spaghetti. After that we went Christmas caroling to a few houses and then in a rest home. Then we went to the Schofield's house and they fed us dinner and used their computers to Skype home. That was definitely a highlight! 

After that, we went to Bishop Woodbury's house for more food! We had Mexican food and delicious dessert. I don't know if I've ever had so many sweets in one day before! People told me the mission changes you, but I never thought it would change me in this way :P 

Snow! It finally snowed. It's usually much colder this time of year here so I really lucked out. But the snow has been beautiful! It's expected to drop to the negatives later this week so that will be interesting. I didn't know people lived like this! I don't know how they do it! 

Family Friendships
Seeing the Garrisons. The Garrisons lived in Palo Alto years ago and I haven't seen them since! We visited their ranch when I was in 5th grade and that has been a fun family trip we've remembered all these years later. We bailed hay early one morning with them, rode horses, shot guns, Mom and Dad slept in the saddle room, we sailed down Snake River... 

Today they took us out to lunch and were so generous and took us shopping to get warm gloves and scarves. It was great being able to catch up and laugh about old times like when Dad caught his first fish but while trying to look tough and show off the tiny thing in a picture he actually got cut and started bleeding or the time Tom pushed mom into the water while she was holding her lunch and she managed to hold her plate above water and everything else was drenched but she saved her food. 

He even walked me out to the parking lot so he could show me the very same truck that he let me drive years ago when I was so little I could barely see over the steering wheel. I'm so grateful for family friendships like these that can last over so many years :)

Press and Feast
My scripture for this week is 2 Nephi 31:20: 
"Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." 
This is a well known scripture that we often used when talking about enduring to the end. But I was able to think about it more deeply this week and I love the scripture even more than before! 

I love the wording that we must "press" forward, not keep moving along.  Because if we want to improve and if we want to stay on the course, it really must be a conscious effort. Because there is "opposition" in all things, if we are not consistently pressing forward, we will be moved backwards or in some other direction. It is also interesting because when I think of the word "press" I picture pressing against something, or that perhaps something is pushing back against me too. I think that's how it is in life with the Gospel too, there are consistently other forces and other things that may be trying to hold us back and that we really do need to press against all these things and that it won't necessarily be easy.

2 Nephi 31:20

I also love how this verse says we need to feast upon the word of Christ for the promise of "eternal life." This is so true! The way we get to know Christ is by reading the scriptures. Just as reading family history or stories about my ancestors gives me the feeling that I truly know these people, I think it is the same with Christ. Or perhaps like looking through somebody's entire Facebook profile (like I did before I met my roommates) I felt like I already knew the person even though I had never met them. Through reading about the Savior, we come to know Him. 

I think that often the way I communicate with my Heavenly Father is through prayer.  But the way that He responds to me and answers my prayers is through the scriptures. That is why feasting on the words of Christ is so crucial to gaining eternal life. 

Hope everyone has a happy new year! Sending all my love! 

Sister Hancock

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