Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas, y'all!

I want to start off by thanking everyone who has sent me Christmas letters or packages, all my family and friends and the Grove Creek 10th ward as well. It's been a lot of fun receiving a letter in the mail each day for the "12 days of Christmas". Even this morning, we got a knock at the door and it was "Cami", my mom's cousin, who lives in the area. She came by with her family and gave me a huge Round Rock donut! haha it was so nice!  It has been such a great Christmas time so far! With all the gifts we have been receiving, and we even got a Christmas tree for our apartment from a family in the ward. hahaha even without any snow, Texas sure has the Christmas spirit.... (I have a picture I will send of a sign that says "Merry Tex-mas y'all"....

SKYPE: We aren't exactly sure what time I will Skype y'all. It will be in the early afternoon though. I'll call early that day and tell you, so we can get it all figured out. I'm really excited to see all of your pretty faces again haha I can't believe it was so long ago that I Skype-d with y'all last. It feels like it was just a few weeks ago. It will be fun :)

Christmas Conference: On December 17th, we had our Mission-wide Christmas Conference, it's the only annual time that the whole mission meets together. It was so much fun! I was able to see missionaries that I haven't seen for a long time. I also took a picture with the missionaries that I came to Texas with. They are all doing so good!
In addition to taking a lot of pictures. President Slaughter talked to us a lot about the Atonement of Jesus Christ... oh man, he blew all of our minds.
They also do a Talent Show every Christmas Conference. Elder Shorts, Hilario, Tovar, and I were in a Mariachi band! hahaha we each made our own matching Mariachi jackets and played separate instruments. Mine was the maraca's. It was so much fun haha besides Elder Shorts, the two other Elders are both native from Mexico and they were singing in very strong accents haha I'll also send a picture of our outfits.
At Christmas Conference, they feed us the best barbecue ever! It was so much food!
On the way home we stopped at Gourdough's, in Austin. It is a burger restaurant, but instead of buns..... they use donuts.... hahahaah it was soooo good!

January 3rd: We have been teaching an 11 year-old named Hunter that really wants to be baptized. His mom is a great person, and is a member of the church, his dad is not. His parents have been going through a very long divorce for a long time now, and the father wouldn't let Hunter get baptized. As soon as the divorce as final, the mom would have full custody, so the dad was just try to prolong it as long as he can. Well, just recently the divorce was made completely final, and Hunter is so excited to get baptized! 
He will be getting baptized on January 3rd. He already has a very strong testimony, and for an eleven year-old he has a phenomenal understanding of the gospel. It was such a miracle that he is able to be baptized, and he is just so excited! Please continue to keep him in y'alls prayers and pray that everything will roll on smoothly towards his baptism.

My boy, Malik: Malik is still doing fantastic! He has such a strong testimony. He recently moved out of his friends house, and back with his mother, he told us yesterday that he knows he is supposed to share the gospel with her and the rest of his family. So cool!
He also taught the Sunday School class yesterday,and he did an incredible job! We are all so proud of Malik, he is just an incredible saint. There is a lot going on in his life right now though, so please keep him in y'alls prayers. He told me to tell you (my family) thank you for all the prayers on his behalf.

Christmas Gift:
Everyone loves to give presents around Christmas time. It's a great way to show that you care and love someone. Many people try to remember the true meaning of Christmas, and often think about what they can give Christ. That is a great question to ponder... however, He has already given us the answer. "And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offering shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit..." (3 Nephi 9:19-20)

If we really want to give some to Christ "...offer your whole souls as an offering unto him..." (Omni 1:26)

Obviously, offering our "whole souls", might seem like a big commitment, but the more we give to Christ the more we want to give.

Weekly Assignment: Spread Christmas cheer.

I love you all, more than I can explain in words. I wish that you all have a very happy, merry Christmas. Everything is going well with me, I am happy and the Lord is watching over me.

Talk to you soon :)
Love, Elder Giles

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