MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I hope everyone is doing fantastic and that you all are enjoying the Christmas season. First off, I would like to say that even though we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who was the ultimate GIFT, but we should also remember the one who gave the entire Earth that gift, Our Heavenly Father. So this Christmas I encourage all of you to not only to celebrate the birth, but Christ's whole earthly ministry, the atonement, and our Heavenly Father’s willingness to sacrifice His only begotten son. So what will all of you give to our Lord and Our Heavenly Father for Christmas? Please share your thoughts with me. I would love to hear what you all would say. The gift I am willing to give unto the Lord would be to bury my "weapons of rebellion". Towards the end of the Book of Alma in the Book Of Mormon the Anti-Nephi-Lehis bury their weapons because they were converted onto the gospel of Jesus Christ. So to never be tempted to kill again they buried them deep in the ground, and so when the Lamanites came to destroy the Anti-Nephi-Lehis they let their enemies destroy them, for they knew that the Lord would bless them and that they would soon be in the presence of their Heavenly Father. So I would encourage you all to read that story and ponder what will you bury in order to draw closer to Christ.
So this week has been absolutely fantastic! I am starting to really enjoy my time here. This last week has been a very spiritual week for me. Not only because we are drawing closer and closer to Christmas, but because we know enough Russian now to take some time and to focus on recognizing the spirit. I came to realize that many of us want the spirit to hit us hard and for it to being shouting at us. But the spirit talks to us when we might not even know that it is happening. Elder Bendar of the Quorum of The twelve said that if the thought leads you to do good it is of the spirit. It does not matter whether or not it is the spirit talking to you or if it is your thoughts if its good just do it. I can testify that this is true as a servant and representative of the LORD, JESUS CHRIST that the Lord will not lead his Church astray and if it be truthful and righteous it is of GOD. I have experienced this belief countless times this week.
So my Russian is coming along just fine. I received a letter from an elder who just arrived to my mission in Ukraine and he told me all about it and I am soooo stoked! I can’t wait!! Also, our investigator, Lena, is being baptized in two weeks! She had a concern about being baptized again but after studding the Book of Mormon, she now Knows that she must be baptized by the Authority of the Holy Priesthood. That was another example of listening to the spirit: if I hadn't asked her a question which the spirit lead me to say, she still might not have got thinking about baptism. There was a random investigator, Evet, was walking around our classrooms and stopped us and asked if we could answer some questions about the Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints and we agreed and we taught her for about two hours. Evet said she felt love and peace when we where teaching her and that she would like to learn more from us. I know that this was the work of the spirit and of our Heavenly Father, I am merely an instrument in the Lords hand's.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I love all of you and I’m praying for all of you constantly. Don’t forget to dear elder.com
Love Elder VanBuskirk
Hey Mother, I got your package! Thanks haha. The wrapping on the socks was destroyed, so sorry I opened them. haha Also, I unwrapped my nail clippers too cause i needed them, haha. Sorry. But that was it. So Mom, I’m gonna write some thank you letters to some people and I'll just send them to you so you could send them for me if you could. Thanks haha.Also. thanks for getting me Adam’s and Chris’ addresses.
Hey Mom, I’m so excited for my Christmas gifts from you and grandma. I read the letters and I’m so excited Star Wars seemed awesome. You’re a “Star Wars fan"! Wow. "Girl Power!!!!!!" My comp laughed when he saw that video haha
And I’m so glad my friends all went to church. Keep encouraging them, also tell them that I love all of them and care for them.
Could you send me the lyrics to "Man of Constant Sorrow" from the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? That song is just stuck in my head haha. Also, could you send me if you can a couple of Kennedy half silver dollar coins because Im constantly flipping coins and those are great for that haha. I know, I know, hahaha. I have gone a little crazy. Thank you. hahaha By the way, I’m not in constant sorrow. I just like that song. haha
Also, I am actually in the MTC nativity play tomorrow. I am a wiseman!!!! I auditioned with a song and an acting piece. It isn't a speaking part, but I don’t care. I’m a wiseman and I have this awesome outfit!!!!!!!
Christmas will be awesome! An apostle is coming and I’m in the MTC choir. We are signing The First Noel. Also, I sang a song in sacrament meeting,” Angels We Have Heard on High” in Russian as a solo! Yeah, I love the MTC choir! The solo was only in front of my branch, so only like thirty people. hahah
Tell Luke I love him and I enjoyed his letter. Also I’m excited about the trampoline. haha Sweet !!!! Where are you putting it? Is Derek pumped for the cruise? I bet. hahaha That was great to hear that all my friends came to church on Sunday.
Ah thanks !!!!! I cant wait to talk to everyone! Also tell Derek and Dylan that I have a strong impression that they need to invite Mia from choir to church and to meet with the missionaries. Tell them please.
When is Franky coming? Next week? Sweet! hahaha And he is there for a week? I"ll pray for him!
Gotta go. Talk to you 3:45 your time on Christmas!
Love you. Bye.
My comp made this Darth Vader