Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas packages, happiness and mustaches

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  The highlight of our day was to get to talk and see Elder Darke!  He is doing very well and claims not to be homesick yet.  He loved the packages and letter/emails that he's received.  He seems to be trying to comfort us from thousands of miles away - just like his usual self!
From Elder Darke:
This week was super fun!
    So as I hope you all know it was Christmas!  They do celebrate Christmas here in brazil and it is very simmilar to Christmas in the states (as far as I could tell :D).  All the stores had Christmas specials and Christmas trees!  I saw Santa Clause and there were red decorations everywhere.  But these are just the physical signs of christmas, it goes much deeper.
    The spirit of Christmas was here as well.  It penetrated into every heart and it was very noticable.  Everyone seemed happier, it was easier to talk to people and give out pamphlets and books of mormon.  As my companion and I were working I just kept thinking how we are representivites of Jesus Christ and how Christmas was the day of his birth.  So Christ was definatly in this Christmas.
    This week I also received some packages and letters!  It made me so happy to have them!  Thank you for sending them!  I have so much candy now that I am sure that I will be fat if I keep eating it though :D.
    So I have taught more then usuall this week!  Not becuase we have more lessons or anything, but becuse my companion trusts me a little bit more so he is giving me more oportunities to teach.  The thing about teaching is, I cant really understand what they are saying, so I am still heavily dependant upon my companion to help me.  But I am glad I am having a greater chance to help people learn about the gospel (even if at times they dont understand me).
    Something that made me really happy though is that in the news I have received I have heard stores where many of you are trying extra hard to teach the people around you about the gospel.  Thank you so much!  I know the thought of teaching is daunting, and at times scary.  But just think about what you are doing when you reach out and try to help someone learn.  You are helping them learn things that bring peace, comfort, and assurances that they will see their families again.  Even if they dont join the church.  Even if they dont except your message.  Just trying, just reaching out and trying to help people be happy is worth it.  
    I know I am not there, In fact I am quite far away.  But thank you for thinking of the happiness of others, and trying to help them be happy forever.  It really means a lot to me :D.
    The last thing I can say is probably to just be happy.  Life is a storm at times.  When everything seems to be beating agains you, and you think you are about to drown in all of the noise, stress, and distractions the worlds has.  Just think to yourself, Jesus Christ knows excatally what you are feeling.  Not only that he willing to help you any way he can. He can help you feel peace and comfort.  We just need to turn to him.  Turn to him and then be happy.  And times you wont want to, and happiness seems like a lost dream.  Fight for it, try your hardest to be happy every moment of every day.  Not only will it come, but your will help others be happy to.
-Elder Darke
P.s. If you want to help someone learn about the gospel, but you dont know where to start.  Then kneel down and pray for it.  Heavenly father will provide oportunities for you.  He will help you, but first, you need to ask him for help.  As you do this, he will give you all the help you need. I know this is true, for I have felt his love, and his help personally.

We will be sending Elder Darke a small package for Valentines if anyone wants to add to it, he needed a couple of things.  Our deadline will probably be Jan 15th.  Send me a message if you need to.  Thank You for all of your support for our amazing missionary!
Melanie (Mom)

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