Week 18: The Polar Express #ChristmasDevo

Family, Friends, Fans, and Fellow Servants,

Hey, how was your week? I pray that everyone is safe from the Typhoon Ruby. Storm was not as strong as expected in my area. No flood, no damages. I’m alive!
I hope everybody went to see the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional last night. I was in Lipa, Batangas to watch with the stake and my fellow missionaries. I think it was a great devotional. The music was superb, the talks were inspired, and the temple ground was just beautiful. How truly blessed we are to have living prophets and appointed servants to remind us of the real essence of this yuletide season- the love and light of Christ on Christmas Day.
For me the highlights of the devotional were:
1) The MoTab’s rendition of O Come All Ye Faithful! Breathtakingly sung. My heart wanted to burst at the end of the song. Soooo good.
2) President Eyring’s concluding talk. What more can I say?
3) The choir and the congregation singing together the last verse of “Silent Night”. That was one sweet moment.
My family and close friends know that I am such a big fan of the Christmas season. It’s just a time for me to reflect on the love and light that Jesus Christ has given to us. We can only avail these blessings as we embrace his teachings and walk in His path. On the morn of His birth, he was not born in a comfortable setting. He was born in a manger, an example of humility. It is not only about the expensive things we wrap for our loved ones, the special Christmas TV episodes; but it is about the primary Christ-like attributes that He wants us to develop.
I have come to understand more of the Spirit of Christmas now when I am a missionary. This Christmas will be the first Christmas I will spend without my family. I’m going to miss opening presents with them and with my friends. I’m going to miss sitting by the Christmas tree and just listen to my favourite Christmas songs. I’m going to miss spending Christmas time with the people whom I loved. This Christmas will be special and bittersweet for me.
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson said it right.

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this season, let us also celebrate all that His birth symbolizes, especially the love. When we see shepherds,may we remember to be humble. When we see wise men, may we remember to be generous. When we see the star, may we remember the Light of Christ, which gives life and light to all things. When we see a tiny y, may we remember to love unconditionally, with tenderness and compassion. May we open the doors of our hearts and reach out to those around us who are lonely, forgotten, or poor in spirit. As we contemplate the example and infinite sacrifice of the Savior, may we also consider how we can be more Christlike in our associations with family and friends, not just during this season but throughout the year.

May we remember these important things to truly feel the Christmas Spirit. I so pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Elder Poblete
Philippines San Pablo Mission
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