|Elders Ogden (left) and Madsen with Ma** and her daughters|
Well this week, as you know, was Ma**'s baptism. It was great! She is just the best! She wanted Elder Ogden to baptize her, and she asked me if I would confirm her. We actually had President Sederholm interview her, and he said she was ready and was very excited for her. Ma** was a little sick but after the baptism, even though she was still feeling sick, she looked so happy and just bright. The ward has just taken her under their wing.
After the baptism we talked to Na**. She was way excited for the baptism as well. She had her birthday this week, and is getting closer to choosing a date to go to the temple. It will be so great. We are excited for her.
We had some great stuff happen this week. We actually went to eat with a family in the ward after the baptism and when we got there, Marie was there. It was way good. We had a good time. Then we heard from the guy who was feeding us that two people called to cancel speaking in Sacrament Meeting. Naturally, me and Elder Ogden received the opportunity to talk, haha. It was great!
It was funny because we started out with Elder Ogden’s talk, then we had a lady in the ward speak, then a choir performance. I have tried learning how to sing so when I come home I can impress you all, but I have come to the conclusion that I just don't have it in me to sing. Sorry about that. Anyway, it went great. Then directly after the song, I had the chance to give my talk. It was pretty good. I like that I only had ten minutes because it turned more into testifying than just trying to fill time.
Because of the late notice, I had all of personal study to prepare the talk. Before, I started of course with a prayer, and then reading a little, then went straight to the talk. So while I was studying, I had the impression to talk about Christmas on three levels. We heard a talk in a Christmas concert about the three levels of Christmas, and I kind of just expounded on it, to make it my own, then related it to a different way of thinking at this time of year.
Level ONE is the Christmas tree, Santa gifts, etc. All very symbolic things, if you try to make them. It's just a time to be charitable. These things are temporal, material things.
Level TWO is the birth of Christ, the baby that saved the world. The fact that he was born to a virgin, human mother, Mary, and that He is God’s son, sent to the Earth, is a fantastic message. Very spiritual.
Level THREE and, in my opinion, the most important. The adult Christ. Too many times we think of Christmas as that time of year where we give gifts because it's Christ's birthday. Even though He was born in April, we celebrate it in December. That’s great, but the gift of Christ was noting until his later years when, as a man, he started performing miracles and set an example with His life of what we are to do and how we are to live. The season of Christmas is a time of year to be with family, to remember the things that we cherish most, and to remember his birth. But the third level of Christmas is to remember Christ as the man who saved us from our sins. The man who gave His life so that we can return to our Father and be happy forever. A big portion of the third level of Christmas is to think of Christ all year long, not just at Christmas time. We need to remember what He gave us, that was the ultimate gift. He is the gift of life and through Him we can receive eternal life.
I would like to invite you, and anyone else who reads this, to write a letter. Only you will see it, but write a letter about your gratitude for Christ, a letter of your testimony, a letter to Christ. On the 25th of December, when we celebrate His birth, read what you wrote again. As you do this, I can promise you that you will be thinking of Him more on that day. You will feel the power of His love and His atoning sacrifice for you. The letter does not need to be long, but it does need to be about Him. When you read your letter to Christ, write down your thoughts, feelings, and impressions. Then, re-read those thoughts and feelings throughout the year to help you live the third level of Christmas.
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He gave His life for us to gain our own. He is the gift! #ShareTheGift!
Med Kærlig Hilsen
He is the Gift (December 8, 2014)
Merry Christmas (December 22, 2014)