(Sorry folks, running a week behind because of being out of town… -Doug)
Merry Christmas from California for the final time this year!
This Christmas season was one of the most rewarding and spiritual Christmases ever because of this wonderful mission! I have witnessed the miracles of the season as people’s hearts have become changed and focus on Christ as a world. There were many great memories and experiences that happened this week!
First off was Christmas day! Our apartment of 4 missionaries arose and made a big breakfast before opening the presents that friends and our family had sent our way. I was in charge of making all the pancakes and there were a lot…. In the pictures attached, I got a little lazy at the end of making breakfast put as much batter into one pancake as a I could. The result was this HUGE pancake that actually really tasty. Props to me for that! We enjoyed our morning before 10am church service and went on our way wearing our new ties that we got! (Ties are personal essentially your identity as a missionary…)
We had a zone conference this week with the Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, and Simi Valley zones! We had about 70 missionaries there and it was focused on pushing ourselves in the work because we adore Jesus Christ with all our hearts! We then had a baby picture surprise that all our parents sent in! Thanks mom for sending one that wasn’t too embarrassing. We then watched parts of the Polar Express and found the gospel analogies! It was a pleasant surprise and I never knew Polar Express could be so motivational and spirited!
As a district we went caroling to a few homes for 2 hours before Christmas! We went around handing out candy canes and singing our little hearts out. Most of the time we weren’t in tune but it was still fun! We got to one house, the Morgans (don’t think that I am related. Grandpa Morgan will need to check) and they invited us all in for hot chocolate and food. Singing Christmas songs sure does pay off!
It was a wonderful Christmas and the highlight was getting to call home and talk to my family! As missionaries we sacrifice most communication with them so that we can focus on the work 24/7. We call home on Christmas and Mother’s day. I just want to say that I love my family and thank them for all their support!
I want to end with a great quote that was shared with me this past week that wraps the season up perfectly!
“You can give a great and wonderful Christmas if you remember the gifts that God has given you ,and as best you can, offer them to others as He would.”
Happy New Year and keep the Christmas spirit going all year!
Elder Austin Morgan
2455 Vista Wood Cir
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362