We have been blessed through the past year. As all of our families are healthy and doing well, we hope that ours and your families will be blessed throughout the New Year.
We are living our goal that we have planned for a long time and that is retirement and then serving a full time Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are serving in the Washington DC South Mission. We spent about a month and ½ serving in the Mission Office and serving Centreville 1st and 2nd Wards, which was a marvelous experience. Currently, we are serving in the Centreville 1st and 2nd Wards as full time Missionaries here in Centreville, Virginia. We have enjoyed serving thus far. It is a bit cold here for us, but we are somewhat prepared with coats, gloves, ear muffs, and scarves. When the wind blows it penetrates and they don’t seem warm enough for us Arizonian’s. We even bundle up in these warm clothes in the apartment. We hope we will be adjusted to the climate by next year. We have had some great experiences thus far. We have had good times and bad times. We have had a car accident, but no-one was injured. Sister Maldonado spent one night in the hospital, the test was negative, she is recovering from a kidney infection, and our rental car plus 5 Mission cars were towed to an impound lot at a rate of $ 125.00 for each car. We couldn’t find parking by the metro, so we parked in a large grocery store parking lot on the day of our Mission Christmas Conference at the US Capitol Building in Washington DC where we took the Metro to get to the Capitol Mall. When we returned to our cars they had been towed to an impound lot. The good news is we had a great time at the Christmas Conference it was held in the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. It is considered the hardest room to get on the hill. And it is really spectacularly beautiful. There were 3 Senators and 7 Congressmen that gave Christmas messages to us. We had a wonderful meal, and great musical numbers, 18 departing words of advice from our missionaries leaving in 2 days, and Santa and Mrs. Clause visited and each missionary sat on their laps, were given a bag of candy and had their picture taken too. We also had this wonderful picture on the steps of the capitol, which included all of the missionaries with the Mission President and his wife with them. And we had a tour of the capitol building. It was a Remarkable Conference. We also have had 3 families that we have referred to other Missionaries. We are teaching the new member discussions to Brother John Kamgaing, originally from Yaounde, Cameroon, Africa in the DR Congo Mission. He is also preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. The Good has outweighed the bad.
This Christmas we are planning to reread in the New Testament Luke 2: (1-20) and from the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 3: (13-21). Both Scripture accounts document the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
As we reflect about the meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of our Savior, we should always say and do what He Himself would say and do. He is our Lord, our Savior, and Redeemer. We should each strive to follow his example. We pray that all of our families will be blessed as we each follow him throughout our life.