Monday, December 23, 2013

12-23-13: 'Twas the week before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas
and all through Berlin,
many creatures were stirring, seeking presents for kin.
Our Books of Mormon and cards were stacked with care,
in the hopes that investigators soon would be there.
Yet the people stayed home, all snug in their beds,
and the missionaries went out, while dreams of conversion danced in their heads.
And me in my running tights hidden under my skirt,
rallied a caroling brigade, twice our bliss to assert!
And what to passersby’s ears should sound,
but foreign singers, not even asking for a pound.
Confusion, apathy, and occasional joy--
We thought it was quite a wonderful ploy.
We carried it further to a cold street display
(where we considered moving Christmas to May)
We sang and shouted "Merry Christmas to all!"
A snowflake sticker with that and they heeded our call.
Two exchanges also this week,
spreading good news to Marzahn and Spandau, sisters faithful and meek.
The people we continue to work with, the ones that are rare?
Nga wished God a merry Christmas in prayer,
A sweeter girl there could not be.
We celebrated Christmas with our lonely, older women and drank fruit tea,
expressing our love for our dear Heavenly Father.
'Twas the week before Christmas,
we were happy as a clam.
And so grateful for the gift of the Lamb.
For Christ is our light and the very important reason,
we celebrate and share this beautiful season.
Thus ends the quickly-put-together-attempt-of-a-Christmas-poem for the week. I'll take and give whatever I can to add a bit more Christmas feeling to the week.

Because Christmas is coming! Nigh upon us! Especially in Germany, where we have three days of Christmas. We start tomorrow with Christmas Eve, where pretty much everyone goes to some kind of church even if they aren't religious, and most Germans open presents that night. Then we have the twenty-fifth, which is normal Christmas and then the second day of Christmas follows the day after, as the name implies. We are allowed to have three-hour member appointments during these three days and all of our appointments happen to be forever away, but we are excited that we are able to celebrate with them and really embrace the spirit of Christmas this week. For our Christmas gifts, we made brownie mixes for all of our investigators and members so they can make some at home J. Never have I made so many brownies (everyone here is crazy for them) or baked so much bread (which is a good thing of substance to give to people).

Also, maybe you missed it, but I brought my trademark Christmas-joy stickers here and they were put to good use.

Also, Germans don't know what caroling is. Tragic.

More good news: we are past the twenty-first of December, so theoretically it should be getting lighter every day.
Theoretically speaking of course.

I am thankful for this Christmas time, this time to ponder, to speak and show our love, this time where people want to feel something. I am grateful for the capacity to feel and for the wonderful life that I have been given. I just feel blessed on my mission and don't completely understand why so many other people got such hard lives and I didn't, but I trust in God's plan and I know that He lifts us all from wherever we are and He fills us up when we reach in ourselves and really try to feel something. I miss my family and I miss America a bit, but I know I am not alone for Christmas here and that I am never alone.

Thanks for the seasons' greetings and your love and prayers and thoughts.
A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.  

-- Sister Claire Michelle Woodward

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