Merry Christmas!

Hola, mis amigos amados!

Espero que cada uno de ustedes tengan una Feliz Navidad. Estoy muy agradecida para ser una misionera. Qué grande bendición que tengo de poder celebrarla como representate de él que nació esta día–nuestro Salvador!

On Christmas we celebrate the most precious gift of all–the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who atoned for all of our sins. I am so so grateful for this gift; if it weren’t for Him, there would be no hope for us to return to live with our Heavenly Father and therefore no reason for us to be here on earth. Everything that I am learning here and everything I will be teaching goes back to the Atonement. Because of our fallen state as individuals, which we can’t overcome on our own to meet the demands of justice, there had to be an infinite and atoning sacrifice for our souls. Christ was the only one who could have done this for us. He was a god by nature. He was perfect. But He had His own agency: the ability to choose whether He would follow the will of His Heavenly Father. I’m so grateful that He did. I’m so grateful that He suffered all temptations and sorrows and afflictions in His own life in addition to praying for all of my trials and sicknesses and sorrows as well as my sins. Without Him, there would be no hope for me.

I have been saved by the Lord’s grace. Of this there is no question. But I have also been changed by His grace. Through the Atonement I have become a much better person than I could possibly become on my own. I have been helped to overcome temptations which have so easily beset me; I have been given the spiritual gift of charity; I have been given the gift of tongues; and I have been given the ability to change other peoples’ lives as a missionary. I know that this is one of the purposes of the Atonement is to help us better ourselves. It’s not enough to get by in this life; that’s not our purpose here. We’re required to learn and progress and become more like our Heavenly Father, and I’m so grateful that Jesus Christ made this possible. I am so grateful for the gift which I have to share: that of the restored gospel. The only thing better than receiving it is giving it. It has truly brought so much joy into my life and I want to spend the rest of my existence on this earth sharing it with others. I know without a shadow of a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is TRUE and that Jesus Christ’s gospel has been restored to the earth in its fullness. What I blessing it is to live in such a time as this!

One of my favorite Christmas carols, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” there’s a verse that goes like this:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd I would give a lamb.
If I were a wiseman I would do my part,
But what I have I’ll give Him: give my heart.

This is exactly what I want to do this Christmas: tell the Savior “This is my heart. It’s yours; I’m not protecting it anymore.” I’ve decided to turn over to Him the things that I’ve been holding back or keeping for myself, the things that are preventing me from being a missionary every second of the day. I am not here for myself. I am here for the Savior because He gave His life to me. I am on my mission for the same reason we celebrate Christmas. And I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t true or if I hadn’t seen it work miracles in my life. Thank you all for your wonderful examples. Take time to serve somebody in a significant way today. I love you all and Jesus does, too!

Espero que sea una Navidad muy especial e inolvidable para Ustedes!

Hermana Ball

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