Friday, December 27, 2013

the most wonderful time of the year . . .

...It's the most won...wonderful time...of the year :)


...I'm not excited if you can't tell.

Thank you so much for the package!  I can't wait to open it all up and see the treasures inside. On Christmas morning, we are waking up at 4:00 AM to go to a Kruezchor concert in the Frauen Kirche!  If you haven't heard the Kruezchor sing you need to.  See if they are on Youtube.

We had our Christmas concert yesterday at the church which was truly incredible.  Our ward here in Dresden is incredibly musical.  We have 2 composers (like legit) and many players.  A great hour and a half of straight Christmas music!  Of course the missionaries sung a beautiful song, which President has asked us to perform in 3 other instances, it was the song El-Shaddai which is sung by Amy Grant.  We are actually super good at it and our voices blend magnificently. 
This week was us inviting many people to this concert to have them feel the spirit of the church building and the music.  More than half of the people there were non-members and the concert was great. 

We are continuing to find, and to teach.  I am grateful to my Older Brother for His example in showing me exatly how to do that.  I am almost done reading Jesus the Christ.  I have learned so much not from this book but while reading this book, one has to study the New Testament as well.  Really applying every sentence to the life of a person can change perspectives.  I will tell you a little bit about what I have learned from 3 great parables this last week.  The parable of the Lost Sheep, the parable of the Lost Coin, and the parable of the Lost Son:

The Lost Sheep
If we look at the lost sheep we can infer that he wandered off on his own.  The story doesn't explain an outside force in this specific parable.  Who is the lost sheep?  Is it some friend who has seen some green pasture afar off and yearns for the taste thereof?  Is it the action of ourselves; wandering unnoticed into the state of dissipation?  I believe that sometimes, we must stop, look around and pray, and ponder about our current state of being.  Am I happy where I am?  Is this the correct course to my eternal goals?  Do I like the things that see around me?  What do I need to change about my situation?  Is one of my friends wandering?  I invite you to ponder about someone who may have started to deviate from the path to salvation. 

The Lost Coin
This coin did not wander off on its did it get lost?  This coin was acted upon by a person outside of itself.  The coin mentioned is a Drachma, which is a days worth of pay for people back then.  This coin was obviously misplaced and forgotten about.  Can this coin not be compared to forgotten friends, members or family?  Are these coins not important and hold worth?  Have we forgotten somebody who may have needed help?  Have we as members put someone to the side and have neglected their worth by laying them, maybe unconciously, to the side?  Let us look around to see if we have lost somebody.  In search of our coin, the situation would allow us to clean out every corner, sweep every cobweb and clean every spot in search of this worthy soul.  Let us clean our eyes, heart and ears to hear the drop of a coin, falling underneath the deserted dresser. 

The Lost Son
This parable is a choice; a use of personal agency agaist the authority of his father.  These things we cannot do anything against.  What did this father do to the son who has planned to take everything and leave?  For whatever reason why, we do not know.  To these people, we give something for them to remember.  To this lost son, it was the love and compassion of his father.  If we leave the people who walk away from the fold, who deliberatly go agaist authority with something compassionate, loving and charitable to think back on, they will remember, and it will not leave their mind.  When they are in trouble down this destructive path, ALLOW THEM TO HAVE SOMEONE TO TURN TO.  When they leave, give no anger and give no fear.  Have faith that they will return, leave them with a word and action of love and compassion and pour...your heart, soul, thoughts, intentions, plans and faith to your God.  Put your trust in Him who can do all things.  ...'only belive'...  I remember the words of my humble father, echoing in my heart in struggling times, ' I love you Brandon'.  I know who I can turn to and that is what we leave to those lost 'sons' in this world. 

I love the stories of the Savior and I advise the close study of His teachings.  I am grateful for the testimony and conversion that He has given me.  I will not let a person pass me without me leaving a personal earthquake beneath their feet. 

Thank you for all of the letters I have received!  They are all so great and soul warming. 

Love, Elder Hays

Just a clip of our conversation with Elder Hays on Christmas....

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