'Twas the Week Before Christmas

thnx for the hats todds :=)

20 year old snowflake creating CHAMP. what.

the plague

my comp has perks

ayyo im sending out the Christmas cards and etc. holla back

because #stocking

Christmas Post

It's like déjà vu. Last year at this exact time, I had been out in the mission field for three days.  I picked up a cold and got sick, and received some home made toffee from the Rhoton family in a package. 
Except, I'm not three days old. I'm like...a year and three days. I've picked up the plague or something. I've been hacking and coughing all over everything and have a drip line out my nose. I KNOW I'M DISGUSTING IT'S FINE.

I swear I've been crazy with the soap and hand sanitizer. There's only one of three ways I could have picked this disease up. One, because one of the kids we are teaching started licking our object lesson and I had to clean up his slobber. Two, we did service and cleaned houses for a sick family. Or three, I got locked in a bathroom stall at a Chinese restraint this week and may or may not have crawled underneath the door to get out. My companion literally thinks I'm five. But what was I supposed to do, call 911? Yeahhh....no.

A few random thoughts: Happy Birthday Makenna.  I swear I have a letter
on the way..... eventually. The Post Offices are ridiculous right now. We've been getting a lot of Christmas treats so I'm getting fat. My companion has been giving me horse pills I don't think they're safe. She did my nails (again) though and they look awesome. All these RM's are coming home and it's making me kinda trunky. I sent Christmas cards to everybody so you should be getting them soon. Please note we do actually smile. Lolz. We spent like three hours last Preparation day cutting out snowflakes.  What 20 year old does that? We're making cookies today. And buying White Elephant gifts for the District Meeting so that will be interesting. I had a dream last night that I got married #swagga y'all should make sure to send me pictures from Christmas. Who still has mullets? Dylan.. Ethan? Make sure you text Madi about Skype on Christmas!

Also, this just in, we met this lady who is "another religion" she invited us in and was like "see that? That tells me when somebody is in my house that's not supposed to be. And your not supposed to be." We were like oh that's cool. And she was like "and if that security system don't catch em, my 12 gage will."

Why YA gotta be so ruuuuuude. 
Dontcha know I'm human toooo
(Heard it at Taco Bell, not apostate)

We decided to make all of the people and families we've been teaching a little Christmas gift that reminds them of the "Reason for the Season", and the Gospel message. We texted a bunch of members from our Ward and one of them invited us over for some craft time and had all these supplies ready to go. We made Nativity Christmas ornaments for every one's Christmas trees!

We took a small piece of wood
Painted it black
Printed a picture from home (Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus)
Used modge podge glue to press it on the wood
Used a label maker to add a scripture to the back
Used a mini screw in the top
Tied cute candy cane string to hold onto the tree
Sand papered the edges for a vintage look
And woola. You have a Nativity Christmas ornament!

Our members are awesome for helping us out. They turned out super cute, and have been a great gift to remind people of our Savior Jesus Christ and what Christmas is all about. It goes along perfectly with the "He is the gift" initiative as well.  Which is a message we've been sharing quite frequently as of late. We wrapped them all up and wrote letters to each family and individual and began delivering them.

Late one night we showed up at one individuals home. We hadn't seen the couple in a while and so we were excited to see how they were doing. It turns out, things had been quite rough the past while. Lots of problems occurring and they specifically had a major stress issue coming up the next day. As we sat listening to them and their lives as of late, we could feel their emotion and stress and tears began to build up and take form in their eyes. Obviously I won't tell the story because of privacy and sensitivity but you can probably get a feel for what I'm aiming at. They were burdened with a load, one almost to heavy to bare.

They couldn't quite take the subject anymore and seemed to be on edge like they both just might burst.  We carefully pulled out the gift we had prepared and wrapped earlier and gave it to them to open. Really quite shy feeling like right now probably wasn't the best time for celebration and happiness when all this stress was a downpour. They took the gift and unwrapped it to find Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus on a simple Christmas ornament. And on the back it read:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, 
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." 
John 3:16

The atmosphere of the room changed. They smiled. One of them jumped up
with haste and ran into the other room. When he came back in he handed us a magnetic car vinyl. It was a Nativity scene that read 

"Keep Christ in Christmas"

This Christmas season isn't just about gifts
It isn't about money

It's about something so much more. It's about something that can change our lives. Lift our burdens. Put a smile on our face in the most upsetting of times. It's about the GIFT God gave to anyone who would believe on his name. It's about our Savior who came to save us all. To save us from temptation and sin and worldly sorrow and trials and hurt and pain. To save us from the fall, to save us from death, to provide us with everlasting life if we trust in him.

We come together to celebrate the birth of our Savior this Christmas season. And what else but the face of our Savior could put a smile on the face of those in the midst of adversity and affliction when two young girls come to their door?

I was truly excited when they handed us a sign back that read
because this is something that continually needs to be addressed.

So two quick debatable thoughts

1. Keeping Christ in Christmas shouldn't be offensive because it is
the whole reason behind the holiday season (besides the fact that it's
the whole reason behind the possibility that we can even have joy and
redemption here and beyond our mortal existence on earth)

2. Keeping Christ in Christmas shouldn't be offensive, period.

Here's the trip about the District of Columbia. It is incredibly diverse. You will find someone from every country in the world at any time, just walking down the street. Everyone has different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. It's a giant melting pot of humanity. Along with this however, we find that there
are fewer people who have a firm belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior.

This causes a bit of a rife. School systems are constantly debating whether to eliminate the talk of religion, God and Christ from within their schools, at all. Even if it's the Pledge of Allegiance. Even if it's calling Christmas break CHRISTMAS BREAK (it's "Holiday" break now, mind you) Even if it's simply putting up a Christmas tree. I recently learned even the NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE ON THE MALL has been debated over. Yes, the massive tree that's been set up outside the White House for years and years is now considered 'offensive' to some people. This is happening all around the world.  Businesses, school systems, the government all professional buildings must watch what the say, how they address and what they advertise. Even the music at work Christmas parties and on the radio will get complaints because
some people don't "Believe in Christ." Different symbolism's of Christmas become controversial because they relate back to the story of Christ. And people don't want to celebrate Christmas with religious aspect, rather, for the fun and tradition of gifts and surprises.


That idea is seemingly out of context. Christmas began when Christ was
born. Christmas continued because he lived. Jesus Christ is Christmas.
The fact that Christmas has become a marketing solution is definitely
an error and a mistake in our society. If we take Christ out of Christmas, we have an empty holiday with no meaning.  Just lots of empty banks and pockets. Plenty of money spent. There's no reason for Christmas without celebrating our Savior.

There's no reason to take Christ out of Christmas.

If an individual doesn't particularly "Believe" in Christ, why celebrate the holiday traditions? And if you celebrate the holiday traditions, why find offense in the underlying meaning behind them? I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I've never complained to the manager at the City Creek Mall for setting up a display and throne for the largely built man with a fake beard in a red suit taking pictures with children. So what?

On a different note, not comparing the Savior to Santa but rather the idea of one unbeliever of something to another... if Christians desire to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world, who came here to share goodness, and happiness and peace and joy and eternal life and salvation, so what? It's a beautiful truth that promotes Goodness and Service and Joy. Our Savior is the motive behind all that is good. And besides, whatever happened to freedom of religion? And freedom of speech?

There's my controversial rant for you so I'll stop and get back to
bright and beautiful things.
{I've missed debating, sorry, this is uncouth }

Jesus Christ is the REASON for Christmas, period.

Do you ever get super stressed out when Christmas time rolls around?
And why do you get stressed out? Does it have to do with all the gift
giving? And lack of green paper in your wallet? The Christmas season
isn't meant to give you a heart attack and go bankrupt. Quite honestly
there is so much more we can be giving than anything you can find in a
store or online.

For starters, being an example of Christ. Go about doing good, give
service. Help someone in need. This week for Christmas we don't go
home as missionaries, we stay out in the field. So we are going to
this church across the street and are volunteering to help feed,
befriend and help the homeless and the needy. I'm super excited I've
never done such a thing for Christmas before.  But what better way to
show Christlike love?

It could be little things too. Write someone you love a letter. One
year for Christmas we each drew names and rather than drawing a name
of a sibling and buying them a present that would probably get broken
or unused in the next couple months.  We wrote that person a letter and
opened it on Christmas Day. It was a great way to begin Christmas. By reading a letter from someone you care about.  A letter that is personal, heartfelt and honest. That's something I won't forget, rather than a gift that would have been forgotten about after the excitement of the holidays wore

Christmas is a great time to share the gospel message as well. The church made it easy as ever with this new "He is the Gift" video. Take a plate of cookies and a "He is the Gift" pass a long card to your neighbors and friends. Simple as that. And it's inspiring and beautiful and powerful as well.

Share the kinds of gifts that won't be forgotten or overlooked. The gifts of Christlike love and understanding and joy. There is nothing wrong with the holiday traditions and gifts and fun. But remember the purpose of it all. Remember that without Christ and his perfect love and without his birth and life, Christmas would be an empty holiday. Keep Christ in Christmas.

Share that message with somebody new today.

A lot of things happened this week but idk what you want to know about
and idk what readers want to know about so if you have any suggestions
HMU @ madison.stucki@myldsmail.net and I'll try to be cooler and more
informational next week.

Thanks for the Rolo cookies. I almost died and went to heaven

See u on Skype in 72 hours
Love you, bye

S. Stucki

P.S. Dads post is due on the blog in t minus 14 days. Y'all ready for this?

...who next?!
Sent from my iPad

No comments:

Post a Comment