Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dec. 27, 2016- Invitation to read the Book of Mormon - Read it with me!!

Merry Christmas from Chile
It was great talking to you on Christmas. You guys make me so happy, even if you try to make me pose for a bunch of pictures and recite stuff in Spanish and French. Only 138 more days until we get to do that again for the last time. Crazy!                       

I absolutely love being a missionary. It makes me sad that I only have one more year left as a missionary, but I continuously realize more and more that families are at the center of absolutely everything. I will do all I can to bless the families in Santiago, Chile in this year and in doing so, I know God will bless my current and future families.

The family back together (sort of :))
As I think back on this past year, I reflect on what’s different now, or rather how I am different now. I think of who I was just a year ago and to be honest, I’m not sure my desires have really changed much. One year ago I loved God, I wanted to serve Him in any way I could and I hoped and had faith that He would show me how. I write this today as someone who has these exact same desires, but there is a difference- today I’m happy to say I’m not just dreaming, I’m living my dream. I have a lot to learn still, but in this year God has given me the opportunity to fulfill desires to know more of the Gospel and understand the scriptures through study and by experience. I’ve been given the opportunity to wake up every day and dedicate every hour, every minute to serve God’s children here in Chile. I can finally do what I wanted to do 365 days ago and in learning how to work in the work of salvation I’ve been able to come to better know my Savior. I look at this first year as my training for what lies ahead of me this year.

In this past year I’ve also come to truly love and appreciate the Book of Mormon as a source for inviting the spirit into my life and as a source for personal guidance and direction. I know this book is true and I’m excited to start reading it from the beginning again on Sunday, Jan 1st  reading 2 chapters daily until I finish it. I’d like to invite everyone reading this (probably just you, mom) to join me and together we will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and his restored gospel.

There are still dreams and hopes I have for my mission that have yet to be fulfilled and I imagine we all have dreams and desires that have yet to be realized. I hope that we can all make 2017 the year that we do that together. Whether that be in school, work, in the family, with friends, in sports, in the kind of person we want to be, or in our relationship and service to our God. I know God wants us to take that step in our lives, and I testify that it’s liberating to finally do so.

Love you,

Elder Birrell

Best Christmas present!!
Elder Birrell with his Christmas tree
.....and presents

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