Christmas is always the last major event before a new year begins. It was a wonderful Christmas for my companion and I. We were invited to quite a few members homes, including some of the best families of the ward, so it was a really fun time. They gave us so many gifts and treats. We all got some ties with the Hamburg crest on it and also some small, handcrafted nativity sets. I just ate my third chocolate Santa this morning, haha. I am going to be a marzipan ball myself once I am doing eating all of those things. And of course, we got to Skype with our families, which is always a highlight. This was easily one of the best Christmases that I have experienced. The German holiday spirit is a spectacular thing to live through.
But at the same time, Christmas is also that last hurrah before the new year sweeps in. It is the harbinger of a brand-new start, which is a wonderful opportunity. Now is an auspicious time to do things that I maybe haven't done yet, and to set some new goals for the things that I want to accomplish before the year is over. In scriptural terms, it is a time to repent. There are only a few days left in the year- take the time to do the same! Evaluate yourself and make some small, yet vital changes to come one step closer to who you want to become at the end of 2014.
We met with quite a few less-actives during the holiday season. The holidays are a perfect time when people open their hearts to us and are more excited for when we ask them to draw closer to their savior. This week, we were able to get into a home that has never let us in, and we were able to give them some Christmas goodies. I am thankful for the little miracles that happen everyday as a missionary- those little things that are explainable, yet still a wonderful and unexpected event. I have seen a lot of those this week, and it makes me very excited to start of this new year. I only have a few months left- now is the time to wear another pair of shoes out and to continue to share the gospel to the German people.
Have a wonderful new years (und einen guten Rutsch!- German term, which translates into "have a good slide") I love you all and hope that you are healthy and happy!
- Elder Eric Gibson
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzen Tage