518: The area code in Toga, the amount of snow we got in millimeters on Christmas morning, the amount of chocolate I ate in ounces, and the number of inches my heart has grown out of love for Sister Zimmer and the Saratoga Ward!
WOW. I have a new favorite tradition for Christmas and it's called BECOME A MISSIONARY. This holiday was THE BEST. We were spoiled rotten!! On Christmas Eve, we had a great 1 hour of church and people gave us goodie bag after goodie bag! My favorite was this man who came up to both my companion and I and said "Sister Beagley, thanks for being a sister!" It made my day! You're welcome Sir. We also handed out hot chocolate on Broadway with the Elders to celebrate Light the World!! It was really fun and we had a competition to see who could hand out the most... I'm not saying I won or anything but my record was like 15-2 sooooo... We had an awesome Christmas Eve dinner with the Cobabe family and they have a fun tradition of a shepards meal before the actual meal. We all sat around the living room and listened to Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant and ate pomegranate seeds! So fun. Christmas day was THE BEST. We spent the day laughing and eating with members and enjoying the spirit of the season! It was a blast. We also got to SKYPE with the family!!! It was so great. It filled my heart with warmth to see them all!!!
We had a *Christmas* Zone Conference this week and it was so amazing! One of the branch presidents from Vermont came and spoke to us all about the shepherds in the Christmas story! As the angel came down and told them to go find the baby Jesus, they were obedient, diligent, humble, common men, watchful and aware, they had testimonies! Then he likened them to us as missionaries! We have been called to go out and share Christ's light and life with people just like the wise men did after they saw Him!! How cool! He said "You have the same calling as those shepherds did that special day." We all have the calling to preach the gospel, so we are all shepherds!
It reminds me of that verse in Alma 5:26 that says "If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?" When we experience the joy of repentance, or the power of the spirit, don't you just want to go out and tell people about it?! We have this amazing gift, and plan, and light and we should go DECLARE it to everyone! SO EXCITING. We were out tracting the other night and we ran into a deaf lady! She came out of her house and looked so sad, so I busted off my gloves and started signing with her!!!! She light up and I was able to explain we were missionaries and invited her to come to church for Christmas eve! The spirit was so strong and me and sister Zimmer both left crying and it was pretty much the coolest thing ever! I'm so grateful for unplanned opportunities to help people to smile!
I love Jesus Christ. He is one of my best friends! He is also the most reliable friend we could ever have! "His life was a great vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth!" Jesus Christ is joy and that's why we celebrate His life this Christmas season! I challenged my family to memorize the Living Christ with me this upcoming year! There are 12 months and 12 paragraphs so if you memorize a paragraph a month, you're all set!!! YOU SHOULD TOO. It's incredible to learn more about Christ's life and memorize facts about Him and I promise as you do so, you will come to know our Savior better! His spirit will be with you more and you will be a BRIGHT light to the people around you!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and are staying warm!