December 18, 2017


Rapid City,South Dakota,USA


Almost Christmas


It's cool finding out that people you knew back home are now serving

Here's a letter to us missionaries from our mission President. I just
thought it was worth sharing to all yall, considering a lot of you are
missionaries, or are families that have missionaries serving.

President Hess

Dear Sisters and Elders,

Are you ready for a very meaningful Christmas?

Ponder this quote from John A. Widtsoe.

“It is easy to give to our own, those whom we love. Their gladness becomes
our joy. We are not quite so ready to give to others, even if they are in
need, for their happiness does not seem so necessary to our happiness. It
appears yet more difficult to give to the Lord, for we are prone to believe
that he must give and ask nothing in return.
We have foolishly reversed the proper order. Our first gift at Christmas
should be to the Lord; next to the friend or stranger by our gate; then,
surcharged with the effulgence from such giving, we would enhance the value
of our gifts to our very own. A selfish gift leaves a scar upon the soul,
and it is but half a gift.”

As you are in the Lord’s service this Christmas and have aligned your will
with His, there is no greater gift you could give to the Lord. Your order
is not reversed. Your families will be blessed through your service and
they themselves will recognize the added blessing brought buy your giving
to the Lord first, and next to the stranger.

May you find great joy by sharing the gift of your testimony that He lives
and is our Savior, thereby giving the words of eternal life. Could there be
anything more meaningful?

Love you,
President Hess

Brooke is coming close to her baptism date, January 5th. She came to church
for the first time yesterday now that her work schedule has been changed,
and she loved it, and is coming again next Sunday. She called us up last
night and asked my companion, Elder Ripley, to baptize her. She's so ready.

Also, my personal testimony of angels around us continues to grow. My
companion and I received blessings last week, and during mine, I once again
felt an angel, to put it lightly. When my companion was receiving his
blessing, I saw the effects of the angels around us, to put it lightly.
It's amazing how real they are.

Love ya,
Elder Westlake


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