Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Time is Here:) and So is Winter!!!

Us with Cute Sestra Smartt (one of our senior missionaries:) Elder Smartt must be taking the picture!!!

Hi friends!

This week has been another great one! I love the fact that it's December and that the Christmas spirit is all around. Even if people don't really celebrate Christmas here there is something still so magical about this time of year! I definitely have times when I can hardly bear to think of our house all decorated, Mom making cookies and watching a movie with the fireplace on, but at the same time there is something so comforting about putting on 20 lbs of clothing and bringing this message to people here. It's more of a "working" type of Christmas spirit now and it's fabulous. 

Sestra Black and I have been working as hard as ever and really just loving every minute of the work here! It's so interesting that the harder I work, the more tired I am when I go to bed, but the more awake I am in the morning! It's so backwards, but I couldn't be more grateful. I know it's definitely a tender mercy from Heavenly Father that I am able to get up and do the same thing each and every day, because we all know I'm not very patient. :) 

We're still looking to find the family that we have been praying for, so we've been talking to everyone we come in contact with! We've really been searching and using different approaches to help people feel the spirit, but we are definitely learning every day that some things work for some people and those same things DO NOT work for other people. haha Lately it's been the bit of the same: people trying to convert us to Islam. I'm actually considering it because they get to wear coverings over their faces and no one looks at them strangely! I bet they are just snug as bugs in rugs under there! haha 
Beautiful Sarajevo in the snow. Doesn't it look like a little Christmas village?
We got our first big snow this week and I have effectively realized that all of my clothes are summer clothes. So what am I doing? Wearing about two outfits on top of each other! I'm learning the magic of tights as well. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE! I do miss my cute patterns and things that I used to have at home, but as long as I am warm I don't care. I've also lost any sense of what "matching" means (sorry Mom) since I only have one pair of boots that are black. I'm all about black and brown these days. Whoops:)
I miss you all so much! I'm so happy to be a missionary. Missionary work is definitely about WORK and I couldn't be more happy doing what I'm doing. I have spent a lot of time in my life waiting for the "next phase" in my life because, of course, AFTER I graduate things will be better, AFTER this semester I will be better at reading my scriptures, AFTER my mission I'll be a better person, AFTER I'm married I'll be satisfied with the way that I look, but this week I was lucky enough to re-read President Uchtdorf's "Forget Me Not" talk and it set me straight.

The lesson here is that if we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us. This is not to say that we should abandon hope or temper our goals. Never stop striving for the best that is within you. Never stop hoping for all of the righteous desires of your heart. But don’t close your eyes and hearts to the simple and elegant beauties of each day’s ordinary moments that make up a rich, well-lived life. The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
With all the hustle and the bustle of this holiday season, let's not forget to be happy now!
I love you all and miss you so much! I hope you have a great week, read your scriptures every day and hug your parents: or at least if yours aren't around, please hug mine for me. :)
Volim vas!
Sestra Giles

1 comment:

  1. Kelley, Thank you for sending us news of Sestra Giles' adventures as a missionary. Looking at the photos and reading about Croatia reminds me of Quebec. Not only do I remember layering clothes upon clothes to stay warm in the winter, but a good portion were Roman Catholic as well. Brianne and I pray for Sestra Giles' success and are so happy for her decision to share the gospel, despite the challenges:-)