Monday, December 9, 2013
Another "White" Christmas
Hey Family and Friends!
I love you all so much! I hope that you are enjoying the Christmas season as much as I am. It seems so easy to just smile and be happy this time of year, even when you are out and about in the falling snow all day. That was our day yesterday! We had a great Christmas program in Church yesterday. There were some great musical numbers and even Elder Bates and I with 4 other men from the ward sang a song called "Guard Him, Joseph". We sang with a harp and a flute playing behind us, so it didnt matter how good our singing sounded haha everyone was focused and delighted by the harp!!! It was a win-win situation ;)
Yesterday, we also finally met the family of Jose Hernandez! I forget how much I have written about him but he was a man who wasnt attending church but is a member and we found him outside his trailer one day! He is from El Salvador and was baptized there and we didnt even have his records here in Iowa City. Well that was 3 months ago when we found him. Since then, he talked to his family (wife and 3 kids) that were in Mexico and told them that he found the missionaries and the Church. None of them were members and his wife told him that she would never become a member of la iglesia mormona (the Mormon Church)! Well, the kids saw some missionaries in Mexico that very week he told them he had found us and they wanted to be taught about the gospel and our Church! Long story short, Jose's family, including his wife (haha) were all baptized in Chiapas, Mexico on Nov 16th this year!!!! Whats even crazier is that they went to Tiajuana, then San Francisco, and then flew into Cedar Rapids, Iowa and got to Iowa City this past Saturday! We met them all last night and it was one of the coolest feelings in the world. It wasnt just a family reunited after a long, long time (11 years) but it was now a family united in their faith in Jesus Christ, each with a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including the priesthood power to seal/bind families together forever!! That is their common, uniting goal :) how sweet it that?!
This is why being a full-time missionary is the best thing in the world, b/c now, its our privilege and responsibility to continue to teach them about the plan of happiness, how to study the scripures daily, and help them get to the temple so they can be sealed forever. Pretty sweet job description.
Well, I'm grateful for my family. I look forward to being with them next Christmas! Yet, I find true joy and happiness in leaving my family for 2 years so that other families can be together for eternity. (I stole that from a quote :)) Last night in the 2013 Christmas Devotional (found on the homepage of lds.org), President Monson quoted President McKay when he said that "True happiness comes only from making others truly happy." I love that and I know that it is true! I'm going to look for more opportunities to give of myself to make others happy, b/c it makes me happy. That is the Christmas spirit :) Love you all, Elder Seth McGinn
ps The picture is Elder McKeon and I! He is a good friend I have made out here and he just finished his 2 years and went home to Santa Clarita, CA for the winter haha lucky guy ;)