|Christmas day google hangout with the fam|
Christmas was great. It was a really slow week because everyone went to the beach (note: it's summer here), so we talked to a lot of drunk guys that don´t have family to resort to this season and don´t like the beach.
On the mission I have a really hard time organizing my thoughts in English so I always feel like my emails/ blog entries are poorly written and expressed. Maybe the terrible English shows you my love for the Portuguese language which truly isn't Portuguese because of the Brazilian modifications. Let´s just say I speak Brazilian. I can´t remember how the English hymn book goes nor can I remember my favorite songs. It's sad to my temporal mind but, on the inside, I feel free.
Ian´s Christmas thoughts
Who were the first to be alarmed by the angel of the Lord? The Shepherds.
The first that knew of the Savior's humble and sacred entrance were the meek and humble shepherds. I wonder if I could be humble like a shepherd. Forgetting myself in the search of one lost sheep that has strayed from the path, or leaving my post to adore the greatest shepherd of all. I imagine the stable to be a solemn and lonely place. Mary and Joseph were alone and rejected because there was no place for them in the inn and the only covered shelter to be found was full of farm animals. I imagine that Joseph, the earthly father of the Christ, must have felt embarrassed because he couldn't find a place for our Heavenly Father´s son to be born. The Prince of all time was wrapped and placed in a manger. How happy they must have felt when they saw the shepherds come to adore him. Leaving their posts, the shepherds adored the Christ-child and gave the holy family company in the night. When we are called of God to be shepherds among his people, do we adore the Christ and give others company when needed?
Christ came to the world as a small and innocent baby.
The innocence and holiness of the Christ-child makes me re-think my life a little. Everyone knows how I love little kids and love all of my nephews. It's pretty hard for me to get frustrated with them or judge them for their lack of knowledge. For me and for the rest of the world, we have a hard time judging babies. It's impossible! We want to take care of babies. We want to make them laugh. We want to feed them. We hold them until they stop crying and until they go back to sleep. We teach them. We do all these things for babies but we sometimes fall short of helping our fellow man. Just a couple of years older in our eyes, but in the eyes of God they are the same. On the mission you learn how gossip and poor-judgement are weapons. They destroy our self confidence and make us feel worthless. I have seen so many people fall because they were not loved or nurtured. When we look at the Christ child as a symbol of hope for new beginnings we should remember that when we see our fellow man we need to see them and treat them as Christ would.
Christmas was strange because of the heat and no one throwing snowballs or wearing a scarf, but I saw it from a different perspective this year. There are a lot of people that don´t have a place to feel loved. As I walked on the sidewalks I saw a lot of lost people and I had the urge to help them. It felt good to know that God wanted me to help others. I felt like He confided in me.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!