Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Letter 2013

Family, Friends, and Fallon 5th Ward,

What’s crackin?  Hope your Christmas season is going as well as mine.  Y’all deserve it.   I’m stoked to be able to share a few words with you.  I’d like to focus my words on the verb “remember”.  President Kimball once said, “Remember could be the most important word in the dictionary.”  After a year and a half on a mission I have come to agree with him.

The 30th of May, 2012 I entered the MTC in Provo.  I remember this day like it was just yesterday.  Like most young missionaries, I was freaking out;  asking myself so many questions.  Is this Church really true?  Will I actually be able to speak and write in French, or is this whole gift of tounges thing a joke?  Will all 5 of my lady friends still be cute and single after 2 long years?  To put it simply, will it be worth it?  Just some hours before entering the MTC all of three of these questions were answered.  Before leaving our hotel  to drop me off at the MTC, my father put his hands on my head and gave me a Father’s Blessing.  Every doubt I ever had was gone!  I knew right then that everything I believed to be true in my heart was actually the truth.  The spirit whispered to me that my mission call was indeed inspired, that France really was the promised  land for me.  I remember none of what my father said that day, but I will forever remember the outcome it has had on my mission.  I often recall the experience to my memory during hard days here in the mission field.  It helps me to remember that I am indeed where I must be.

“Remember your families,
they’re the only ones you got.
To carry you in times of need,
They cannot be bought.”

I love Christmas and I love my family.  Christmas brings families together.  This happens often because families have traditions.  In the Adams Family on Christmas Eve we read the scriptures about the Savior’s birth and watch the “Nativity” video.  On Christmas we sleep in, we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast,  we watch basketball, go duck hunting, and eat good food all day. Christmas traditions bring the family together, especially when these traditions are centered on the real spirit of Christmas.  The real spirit of Christmas is found in remembering the perfect love of our Savior, in the principles he shared, and in his atoning sacrifice.  I hope you will all remember to allow the real spirit of Christmas to have an effect on your family!

I don’t remember a lot about my baptism 12 years ago, but I do remember one thing very well.  That was the day I got my first real set of scriptures!  All of the standard works in one.  They were a gift from my Grandpa and Grandma Hendrix.  I imagine the scriptures were important to them so they wanted me to have my own scriptures as well.  It may have taken me 10 years to realize, but I now know there is more to our scriptures than just the cool pictures we find in the middle and at the end!  On my mission the scriptures have come alive!  I have really come to love them.  They show God’s infinite love for us, they testify of Jesus Christ, and they are often a way through which God answers our prayers.  Scriptures are there to remind us of the blessings that a wait and the blessings that can be ours NOW.  We can’t afford to not remember to read our scriptures!

This really is the best season of all.  There are so many things that make it the best time of year.  Christmas lights, foods, songs, movies, smells, and decorations.  And above all, time to reflect on the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  There is so much good to see and be a part of this Christmas season!  Who cares about the overwhelming lack of time we all seem to have during this busy season?  Who cares about the stress of finding the perfect gift?  Who cares about how materialistic the world has made this Christian holiday?  Let us not concentrate on the negative.  It’s up to us to celebrate Christmas the right way and to focus on what really matters!  If we look for what is wrong with the Christmas season we will surely find it.  Don’t do it!  Don’t even think about it.  That will not make the season JOLLY!  Be happy!  Remember to smile!  Remember to laugh!  Remember to look for the good in all things.  Remember that, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. (proverbs 17:22)
Christmas is a time for remembering the Son of God!
“See the shining Christmas tree,
see the snowflake fall.
Remember baby Jesus,
the Savior of us all.”

The celebration of Christmas must help us to remember with reverence the role of our Savior.  I pray that this season we may all remember our blessings; especially the blessing of knowing our Savior Jesus Christ.  Let us not be, “slow to remember the Lord”, please!  (1Nephi 17:45)  Each week we take the sacrament and we promise God that we are willing to take Christ’s name upon us and “always remember him.”  But are we actually willing to remember him and to remember him ALWAYS?  Not just on Sundays or when it’s convenient, but ALWAYS!   I testify that in remembering Him always we will find true joy.  We will see that even in hard times we truly are blessed.  We will magically rise up to what God would have us be, even when the world around us seems to be sinking.  I know he lives!

I’d like to share a few words for those thinking about preparing for a mission.  Don’t think!  Prepare, yes, but don’t think twice!  Just do it!  There has never been a greater time to serve the Lord and His children.  Being a missionary is the best.  It’s not necessarily easy, but when you break it down it’s really not that hard either.  All a missionary is doing is helping people to remember.  To help people remember they have had spiritual experiences before.  The just need to be kindly reminded of something they have forgotten.   Missionaries help people to feel the Holy Ghost, and then the Holy Ghost does the rest.  I dread the day my mission will come to an end!  Don’t miss your chance to serve God as his full-time servant!  There is no greater joy then being a missionary!  Remember these words from an apostle of the lord, “The Lord need every able young man to prepare and recommit, starting today, to be worthy of a call from the prophet of God to serve a mission.”

This Christmas, let us remember to give some kind of gift to Jesus Christ, whose birthday we are actually celebrating!  I would suggest that this be a gift of remembrance, gratitude, and recognition.  Remembrance, because we must always remember Him.  Gratitude, because we must give thanks to God for our families, the scriptures, and the gift of His Son.  And recognition because I hope and pray that we can all be missionaries this season by reaching out to others and helping them recognize the life-saving gift of Christ!  Let us follow our prophet and remember, “There are hearts to gladden.  There are kind words to say.  There are gifts to be given.  There are deeds to be done.  There are souls to be saved.”  Merry Christmas!  Joyeux Noel!  Amen.

Elder Miles Adams

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