It's an exciting time of year. The best time EVER to be a missionary. I love the spirit that you get to feel around this time of year especially. Everyone has a new glow about them. You can see that the light of christ is reawakened in people that have gone without it for pretty much the entire rest of the year. Somehow the love that is in the air just seems to be contagious. I was very happy just being at Wal-Mart this morning and getting some groceries. We each bought a bottle of Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice for Christmas Eve! We are going to have such a sweet week! The Tarvin's are amazing! Wow guys, there is a line in my patriarchal blessing that tells me if you work harder than you have ever worked "you will be able to search out the honest in heart, bear your testimony to those you find and it will be carried to their hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost.... They will bless YOU because YOU came." That line as I was pondering upon it yesterday during church finally clicked for the first time. These people, staring clear back in West Chester almost 2 years ago have had more of an impact on my life then I have had on theirs. I am giving what I can, but truly I am indebted to them. They have helped me to find my Savior.. " A testimony is found in the bearing of it" Being able to see how honest in heart they are, that they truly care about this whole life thing, that they honestly believe in their Savior Jesus Christ and that all they want to do is follow Him has made me look inward. I never asked myself what the purpose of life was, what happens after we die, how do we know who God is, does He love us? I never really even thought about those questions until I met these people. The fact that they cared enough to think about it helped me to think about it and realize how blessed I have been all along. I have had the truth and I took it for granted. Still do sometimes. All of the answers that have been given to me since primary, they have spent their whole life trying to find. Since I've been able to teach them the doctrines that I had been taught, I have come to find out along with them that these aren't just wishes, or popular ideas, these are eternal truths. Nothing is more valuable than knowing for yourself an eternal truth. When the fact that Jesus Christ was born in a manger in Bethlehem, that He lived a perfect life, that He suffered for us in Gethsemane, and was crucified at Golgotha, that He rose again on the morning of the third day, that in each one of His scars our names were imprinted somewhere, that He knows us personally and saw our faces when every odd was stacked against Him. that He ascended again to heaven, clothed in His immortal body, to retrieve His throne on the right hand of the Father. The same throne He descended from to appease the demands of justice on our behalf. When these eternal truths move from our heads to our hearts that is when we are converted and that is when we "become the children of Christ." I've seen the miracles that came after the trial of my faith. I believe it with all my heart and that makes this Christmas the most special one of all. It's hard to be away from you guys because I love you all so much that it kills me inside, but I know that one more Christmas is a small price to pay so that others can spend eternities with their families. Brooke was baptized by her father Kevin, (who was recently reactivated) He came home after 5 months on his mission and has been away from the church for about 20 years now. It was so awesome to see him come back and baptized his daughter! The Tarvins are just doing incredible. They have overcome it all. There is no way you woulda thought the first day we met them that they would be baptized so quickly, but it's gonna happen the 31st is set. They asked Elder Cannon and I to baptize one of them and one of the children each, but we had this idea to have one of us baptize Brother Tarvin, then to confirm him font side and give him the Aaronic Priesthood so he can baptize his wife and kids. I hope that is what ends up happening! Nothing would be cooler to see him baptize his kids. Also Scott got extremely sick this week (those darn trials of the adversary so we decided based on teaching purposes to combine his baptism with the Tarvins. Judy isn't getting baptized on the 24th. She told us again that it's going to happen soon, she just needs to do more study to feel 100 percent confident in her decision. Personally I feel she getting alotSmuin is our new comp. He is from vernal Ut and he is a STUD! I love this guy! Cracks me up, he has alot of energy, but he is actually normal for a change! Played Baseball, and Football in High School. Loves talking about College football, loves country music. Super easy to get along with, and he came pre-trained. He is skilled and loves the work so Im sure president just put him with us to give him a pre training to become a zone leader. We are gonna have super fun couple of transfers. I know that I will almost guaranteed finish these last 2 transfers with these same companions. Pres. Nilsen likes to leave missionaries in areas A LOOONG time. He also loves 6 month companionships, some have even gone 7 or 8 months if they are performing well together. Thanks to the blessings of the Lord and His tender mercies Elder Cannon and I have been leading the mission in baptisms ever since we got together and with all the people that are going to be baptized this upcoming transfer and the prospects we have for February Pres. Nilsen pretty much flat out told us he refused to break us up. We've had our rough patches, but all three of us get along great now so it should be great. Well family, I better get a going. Life is awesome. We got to give Elder Smuin his first hard core bashing experience with some Germans when we went tracting for the first time with him on Thursday. They invited us right in and were all smiles, then came the hammer and I knew it was coming, because the Spirit told me instantly when we walked in that they weren't sincere. Well we stayed for a bit anyways just to give him the experience but boy do these people drive me nuts sometimes. Telling us we've been brainwashed and they fear for our souls doctrines we teach contradict the bible. "The bible is the only authority we have in this world" it's a common phrase we hear alot out here. They said they were genuinly concerned for us and they hoped good people such as us would "free ourselves from the band of a cult" haha. It's crazy because all it does is strengthen my testimony and there were plenty of times i just gave them a grin and said. "With all do respect we are here to tell you this because we know it's true and we are messengers of our Savior and it is his will that we share the truth with you, and if you don't mind I will go ahead and let him stand as my judge and we suggest you do the same" Whether you are willing to accept it or not we have offered you truth and that is all we have in our power to do. Pretty intense for his first time. ha. Love it! Well fam I gotta get going! I love you all and can't wait to talk to you on Sunday! have a great week and enjoy the season! It's the best time of the year by far!