The biggest Christmas-time tradition I missed this year was skiing on Christmas Eve as a family. But all the feelings of loss from missing that were forgotten when the Davis's here called Mom and Dad and got the recipe for my favorite holiday dessert - banana cream pie. It was almost as delicious and artificial as I remember Mom's to be.
On Christmas day, we had 3 huge meals in 6 hours - 2 of which came with homemade butter syrup (much like the kind they have with the Magleby's Fresh waffles). The expected stomach-bulging pains came and went. Totally worth it.
2010? The biggest concern about the new year is whether we will call it "Two thousand Ten" or "Twenty Ten." Whenever I say "Twenty Ten" it sounds like how they would say it in a bad science fiction movie taking place in the future. I don't like it.
I've never been one to make new years resolutions, and now as a missionary I will continue to not make any. However, I really am excited to continue inviting the children of Heavenly Father, our brothers and sisters, to Christ. No, seriously, I am. I remember reading the words of one of the apostles telling us that our love for others is rooted in the knowledge that they are our brothers and sisters.
This love can quickly be lost after knocking on people's doors for as little as 10 minutes. "A lot of our brothers and sisters are jerks," I remember telling one of my companions I was with.
Yesterday as we pulled up to a circle of extremely large houses, I feared that the Spirit would be quickly lost after knocking the first few doors. Before we knocked on the first door, Elder Valencia and I prayed together. I prayed that we would remember that these people are our brothers and sisters, and to not lose love for them or get angry while we knocked on their doors.
On this circle of houses lived several very rude and presumptuous people - slamming doors, accusing us of bigotry, not answering the door and then coming outside when we went to the next house, avoiding eye contact when we greeted them. Most would not even listen to ten seconds of anything we said.
This is why so many missionaries don't like knocking doors.
But this time, I remember standing outside each door with the absolute assurance that the person answering the door is my brother or sister. There was no anger or resentment in my heart or mind when they shut the door. My love didn't diminish as we knocked more and more doors. I really did feel peace. I knew how important of a thing we had to offer these people and they treated it like junk mail. But I also knew that God loves them just as much as he loves me. And I know he loves me A LOT.
Anyway, I just thought it was cool that the prayer really was answered that we would remember our relationship with these people and not get angry. There have been very few times when I haven't gotten at least a little frustrated when people reject our invitations.
Have a great New Year everyone. Don't be afraid to correct someone when they call it "Twenty ten."