Monday, December 17, 2012

"Jesus Christmas" or "Santa Christmas"


Hello Friends and Family!

The Christmas spirit is definitely alive and well here in Sarajevo! We have had a lot of snow and days reaching 0-degree temperatures. People don't decorate until about a week before Christmas, so now we're really seeing Sarajevo at it's finest! We asked our English students if they celebrate Christmas and they lovingly told us that they don't celebrate "Jesus Christmas" they just celebrate "Santa Christmas", which I thought was very interesting. It's definitely a very commercial holiday here, but it hasn't stopped us from feeling the special spirit we get when we celebrate the season of our Savior's birth. 

This week has definitely been an interesting one for me. Sestra Black and I have been working really really hard to find people in the city who are prepared. We're tracting and talking to everyone we come in contact with about the Gospel. We have gotten a lot of people that give us their phone numbers and we meet up with them, but then they usually let us down fairly gently and tell us that they are Muslim, thanks for the book, they'll read it, but they will live and die a Muslim. It's fairly frustrating, but so is missionary work! We are keeping on and won't stop until we find that person that is searching for us too!

I'm excited to share this season with these people who don't necessarily understand what it's really about. Every day I am here I realize how lucky I am to be a part of this Gospel and to have the opportunity to share it! That's the challenge I want to give to you all this week: Share the spirit you feel! It's a time for us to get together with our families and partake in traditions that have been around for years, but what about starting a new tradition? Have your local missionaries over for dinner and a lesson about this season with one of your less-active neighbors! Go on lessons with the missionaries. Give referrals to the Sister missionaries on temple square! Think of the joy that you feel in this special season, and more importantly, WHY you feel that joy. Believe it or not, there are people around you that don't feel that same peace during this season. It only takes a sincere prayer and a pure heart. Trust in the Lord, the spirit will help you.

Let's make this season special for the RIGHT reasons!
I love you all so much. I've had some time to think on that this week and I really can't thank you enough for your love and prayers. I feel them every day.

Sretan Bozic i Nova Godina!
S Ljubavju,
Sestra Giles

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