Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Firesides and some sweet chapel saxophone‏

Hey everybody, hope y'all are doing spectacular. The work continues this week with me and Elder Soller. Not sure if I mentioned this week-- Elder Soller is from Porto Alegre, Brazil, in the south of the country where it actually gets cold. 

-Shoutout to Sister Mitchell who returns home from Campinas, Brazil this week after 18 months of hard missionary work. Everybody go to her homecoming with signs and raucous cheering since I can't be there!

This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Rhode Island, first to Warwick and then to Groton Connecticut to play soprano sax and cello in the MBM Christmas musical fireside. It was a sacred experience honestly, and I'm so glad that I was given musical gifts and also the chance to learn instruments and be able to perform. Playing sacred music teaches me a lot about how God allows the Spirit to work through us. Often we ask ourselves if promptings are from God or our own mind, about which side of the invisible line our desires and ideas fall on. But when you play sacred music, you can't distinguish that line. You can ask someone who has just done an inspiring performance, was that you, or was that God? And the answer: it was both. God takes our abilities, our talent, our hard work and practice; he takes the notes we produce, beautiful in and of themselves, and infuses them with the power of the Spirit, which drives home the actual message of what were performing. You form a symbiosis with the Spirit in that situation; he cannot reach out without your performance, and your performance cannot reach out without him. 

That's really what being a missionary is like too. Its a symbiosis with God; a covenant relationship where both He and I are all in. His work is my work because my work is His. I think that's why it feels so good.

I'll shoot out some pictures, and end with this request: 

All I want for Christmas is a letter and a photo from you guys, if you have time. I'd love to read your handwriting and see a glimpse of what you're doing right now.... plus I need some more pictures for my wall :) my address is 19 Ackley Place #2, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.

Elder BDJ

p.p.s on the way to a fireside this week we stopped at Panda Express and guess who was there? the founder of panda express. got a picture with him. he likes missionaries and has a second home in Park City. best part? $10 GIFT CARD.

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