Christmas Planning and Transfer Planning

Our son, Aaron, arrived from Provo yesterday.  He’s been a big help getting things ready around here as we sent out the Christmas Brunch food for every zone.  Each zone will receive pancake mix, bacon and eggs, orange juice and hot chocolate, tangerines, paper goods and popcorn for their movie.  They’ll gather together as zones at 10:00 on Christmas morning, enjoy a delicious meal together, then they’ll get to choose a video to watch (Best Two Years, Prince of Egypt or 17 Miracles).  Below is Pres Lewis’s weekly letter to the missionaries with the instructions about this Christmas holiday.2017-12-22 (5)2017-12-22 (3)

Dear Faithful Friends,

It was wonderful to be with you all at last week’s Christmas Gatherings.  We hope you felt the love and spirit while mingling with and hearing testimonies from your fellow missionaries.  You are an amazing group of disciples.  Thank you for your devoted service.  All for one and one for all!

BAPTISM UPDATE:  Two more souls were baptized this past week, bringing our December total to 12/36.  We have 5 on-date for the week of Dec 23rd and 16 on-date for the week of Dec 30th.  Let’s all join together our prayers of faith for these 21 people in their baptismal preparation!  We’re so grateful for your diligent efforts.

The week before Christmas has arrived!  What a glorious time as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ—the greatest of all the gifts of God.  I trust you have all made inspired plans for using each day of this week to its fullest as you find and teach those who are open to the message of Jesus’s birth, life, and Atonement.  Let your face and your actions show how much you cherish this knowledge and make every interaction count.

The Savior said “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  May you be blessed this week as you follow His invitation to be lights to the world.  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  You are magnificent, bright lights.  Cherish your opportunity to light the world throughout the coming week and into the new year.

Like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day are important family days and we want to be very respectful of this time for families to be together. We want people to feel that Mormon missionaries respect this sacred family time at home. So, after Church on Dec. 24 through all of Dec. 25 and from noon Dec. 31 through all of Jan. 1, we ask that you suspend any tracting efforts and focus on “doing good” within your areas. These are days when you can make visits to select investigators and members and wish them Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year) in warm and wonderful ways. #LIGHTtheWORLD can work in many different ways and maybe treat deliveries are involved! These are days to visit those who may be lonely during holidays–assisted-living centers, old-folks homes or senior-citizen centers, homeless shelters, hospitals, etc. You could check with the United Way of Central Washington (headquartered in Yakima) and see if they need any help serving the community on these days when other volunteers are hard to find. Often they are out delivering donated Christmas gifts on Dec. 24 to those in need. Check with your Zone Leaders to see if there are any JustServe projects that might work for you. Ask your ward council if they know of any community service that’s needed on those days. There is much good that can be accomplished on these days that will bless lives and fill your hearts with the Savior’s love. I wonder what He would be doing on these days if he were away from His family, ministering to God’s children? Don’t be shy about sharing #LIGHTtheWORLD with everyone you see as you mingle with the community on these special days. Keep Opening Your Mouths! And if there are investigators who would welcome your lessons on the holidays, please don’t hesitate!

The loving members of the Church will undoubtedly invite you over to share the warmth of the season. Be sure and be extra grateful for their kindness this time of year and don’t impose on them. These visits shouldn’t be unduly long (normal visits shouldn’t extend beyond 90 minutes) and should allow them to still have ample time alone with their families. Spread yourselves around and always have the goal to build faith and assist members with their missionary labors.  Don’t be casual and remember to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

ZONE CHRISTMAS BRUNCH:  On Christmas morning, each zone will gather for a comfortable Christmas Brunch.  Your zone leaders will give you the details of exactly where and when, but here is the general outline for Christmas morning:
(1) Have a regular morning schedule of prayer, exercise, shower & dress, planning, and a full hour of personal study. Open Christmas gifts in the place of breakfast!
(2) Gather at a pre-arranged location at 10am for Zone Brunch.
(3) Work together to prepare and enjoy the meal (we will provide the ingredients).
(4) Don’t forget heart-felt prayers and singing Christmas carols on this important day.
(5) Watch a movie together; as a zone, you will decide which of three authorized movies to watch.
(6) Clean up really well after yourselves and leave no later than 1pm to begin your Christmas Day service and visits.

Christmas Day is also the day to Skype home to your families. We ask that you keep these calls to a maximum of 40 minutes. You may Skype your families from a suitable computer, including from a member’s home, as long as you visit no other online sites. Please be sensitive to the members’ time and circumstances. If your mother and father do not live together, you may call each of them and split your time between them. We encourage you to call each one. Remember that these calls are opportunities to share missionary experiences, bear testimony, and offer love and support–from both ends of the telephone line! Please make the calls uplifting and supportive of your current service and not a distraction from your work. We pray that you will have wonderful, loving exchanges with your families on Christmas Day.

There are no unusual mission curfews on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Day. However, on New Year’s Eve, we ask that you be in your OWN apartment at 6pm for the rest of the evening, for safety reasons. The normal mission schedule applies on all these holidays. In fact, your study time can be extra powerful on these meaningful days.

We hope this gives you some good guidance on how to approach the upcoming holidays. You can do a great deal of good around you if you plan well and prepare for special opportunities to serve. Please ask your leaders if you have any questions. We love you and pray that the Lord will guide you in all your missionary efforts—especially during this special time.

Pres. & Sis. Lewis

Today we did some more work on Transfers.  The APs were here for a few hours helping.2017-12-23 Transfer Planning (1)2017-12-23 Transfer Planning (2)2017-12-23 Transfer Planning (5)2017-12-23 Transfer Planning (6)I am feeling better today.  I am up and about.  Not full speed, but getting there.  Thanks for all of your prayers and warm wishes.  Tonight our oldest son, Adam, his wife, Heidi, and our GRANDSON arrive!   Claire and Graham will join us on the 27th and our family will be complete!2017-12-22 (2)

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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