Hi!Sorry I didnt email yesterday, My P-day for this week is today, so ya :D. Today was a blast. We had a zone activity so at the church we had like 30 missionaries there and we did have a great time. We watched a movie, played volleyball, ate meat, drank soda, threw water balloons :D We just had a fun time :DMy zone leader is getting transfered tommorow and it is really sad because he is my friend. However he is awesome and I am sure that he will be a great blessing to the area and the people that he is going to next :D. We got one of those bottles with the corks in them to celebrate his freindshipness and That was loud! I didnt expect it to do that, but it like shot out of that bottle like it was trying to break through the wall :P. The soda tasted like apple juice to me, and it was really good :D.We watched a christmas devotional the other day, but i didnt understand it becuase of portugese. Through all of these I really have come to understand the value of good music. Becuase i have not been able to understand the words people speak for some time, but the music, and the spirit of good music is easy to feel. I have come to understand just how much i took for granted the blessing of music that i have. It took me not being able to understand anything to be able to appreciate the thing that i have always had :D. Becuase of this i want to be able to play music to, so one day i might be able to help some other soul who might not understand what is going on appreciate the soft spirit of good music :D.So Christmas is comming up and I was able to finish Jesus the Christ. What a great thing to be reading as we come to the season of Christmas. Jesus the Christ talks about everything that our lord did while he was alive. How he lived for us, and then died for us. and it even talks about Christmas, the day that our savior and reedemer came to the earth. I guess this is also something that I have taken for granted, but I am trying to fully appreciate the blessing, and the true meaning, of Christmas. It isnt about the Christmas Gifts we receive. It is about the birth of our lord, and the gift that he gave to us later in his life. It is appreciation for the wonderful mercy he gives to us. It is celebrating that our savior came to the world. What more important day could there be? (retorical question, for there are many important days). However for me, this day (Christmas) Is the day that i hold most precious to me.In harmony with the day that is comming, I encourage you to give greater attention to Jesus Christ this Christmas. Talk about it in family home evening, let your family help fill your Joy over this day to overflowing. Study the Scriptures about Christ. But most of all, Make sure to focus on Christ, this Christmas, in any way that you decide is best.:D-Elder Darke
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!Christmas is near and the spirit of the season is really helpful for missionary work. The ward that I am serving in right now has sung christmas Charols at the mall and we were able to give out so many pamphlets and books of mormon that, at the moment, we are almost out of them :D. That is a good thing though becuase that means more and more people are receiving our message that we have! Now if they decide to act upon our message is up to them, but I really hope they do :D.the stake president and the missionaries (my companion, me, and the zone leaders) sang a bunch of christmas songs in connection with our stake presidents talk. It was really amazing, the spirit was really strong, and even though we are not as good as the mormon tabernacle choir, I thought that it went well :D.My portugese is making headway, I can talk to people about simple concepts! That is a huge development and it makes me really happy :D. I still cant understand them very well becuse everyone uses weird words. However I will figure it out soon :D.So the other day i was thinking, and I realized that I have been on my mission for about 6 Months. WOW! Where did the time go? I feel like I just barley left. I am excited for the next 3/4s of my mission becuase I get to be an even better missionionary. To teach people, become a better person, and to learn about the gospel and the church. I realized that there are things that I need to work on, BUT everything that up to this point I though I had some things that I didnt need to improve on! Was I wrong! I need to get better at everything! Because I am not perfect at anything! :D. I know that as i do this I will be able to grow into the missionary that I want to be.So while I have been here I have been cooking a lot more then I ever had before. So If you have a favorite recepie, or a food that you really like, shoot me an email about how to make it! So that was i can make fun foods :D.I have received letters from many of you! Thank you so much. Each letter I have received seems to be right what I need at that time. Missions are awesome, but there are times when a helping hand is needed. Thank you so much for your support and love! I am not sure where I would be without all of you!I miss you all but I am having so much fun on my mission! I am really not that homesick becuse i feel like I was just there :D. So Yep :D. But I miss you all, and I love you all :D.:D-Elder DarkeP.s. If nothing else, just be happy this Christmas. Becuase you being happy makes me happy. Even if you dont tell me your happy, Me just knowing that you are makes me so happy :D.
Remember that you could be the answer to the prayers that other missionary families are giving! Invite, Invite, invite. Help your local missionaries be successful also!
Love, Melanie (Mom)