Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Northern Lights and Christmas Stories

Hello friends and family!

I'm sorry I keep doing this, I'm almost out of time to write! We need groceries! Haha!

 This past week has really been awesome though! We had our missionary Christmas Conference where we finally sang that multi language hymn!  The video didn't sent properly though... Sorry!
The whole Christmas conference was so great though, the music, the talks, the love. All the missionaries went out of the chapel to pick up an envelope and then came back into quiet Christmas music. It was there that we were able to open the envelopes to reveal cards, emails and letters from our families! It was such an amazing experience and there weren't many dry eyes in the room.  What an amazing spiritual experience!

We had a lot of fun too! I got to see sister Bahtishi and lots of other missionary pals. :)

On Saturday we attended the Tagalog Christmas Party with an investigator and her family and we saw so many awesome cultural activities and got our picture take with Filipino Santa! What a fun night! Haha!

 Then we had a Sacrament meeting packed with musical numbers on Sunday! We also saw the northern lights that night! It was an experience to be remembered! They were seriously "Brother Bear" status!  But we forgot our cameras!  Although we still got some pretty vivid pictures from our balcony, which I included!

We've had so many gifts given to us by members of the ward and I love and appreciate them so much! The church members are so awesome and I love them so much!

There's two things I'd like to close with. A short story that we heard at FHE (family Home Evening) yesterday called, "Who Will Take the Son, and an article called, "Gifts" from the April 1993 general conference. :)

WHO'LL TAKE THE SON? (Author Unknown)

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art.
The young man held out his package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this." The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."
The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected. The man died a few months later.
There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son. The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted. "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will someone bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice shouted angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting.. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!" But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the longtime gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10, who will bid $20?"
"Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"
A man sitting on the second row shouted. "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over." "What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings. The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on a cruel cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is, "The son, the son, who'll take the son?" Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

April 1993 General Conference, "Gifts"

Love you all lots! Have an awesome Christmas and remember to serve someone this season!

Sister Baker

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