Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Christmas in July

At Christmas time I always find myself remembering special experiences from the past. One of the most memorable and special experiences for me was my experience in shepherds field. As most of you know I had the opportunity to spend a summer in Israel, where we studied in depth the life of our savior. We traveled to many of the places where he lived and preached, in the last 3 years of his life. While we were there, I was really looking forward to our visit to Bethlehem. However when we arrived at Bethlehem and visited the church there, I was very disappointed. It was a dark and dreary church and all the ministers were dressed in black (I have no idea what religion they were from). There were tons of ornaments and trinkets all around. We went down into the cave where THEY thought the savior was born and I remember feeling sad. I remember thinking we have no idea WHERE exactly the savior was born. Where he was born is not the important thing we should focus on, it is WHY he was born.
Later that evening we traveled back to Bethlehem (it is only about a 45 minute bus ride from Jerusalem). Except this time we did not enter the city. We stopped at some fields just before you enter the city. We sat on the hillside and the view was spectacular. The sun was setting and just across the valley you could see the lights of Bethlehem. There was no church and no ornate ornaments; it was just a simple field. However the spirit there was amazing.
My journal entry (July 27, 2000) :
"I am trying to imagine what it would be like to be a humble shepherd watching over your flocks and then have an angel appear to you and tell you that Christ, The Savior, the person that is going to redeem you from your sins has just been born. Then a multitude of angels surround you and you have the opportunity to sing praises to your God. How lucky were those shepherds!"
We spent the rest of the evening singing all of the Christmas songs in our hymn books. I have never felt the spirit of Christmas more powerfully than I did on that July evening. All of us there left with a renewed testimony of our Savior. He is our Redeemer and was born into humble circumstances "to bring us good tidings of great joy."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday will come!

At testimony meeting today one of the ladies spoke of the funeral of Elder Wirthlin and bore testimony of when he and Elder Oaks came to the hospital to bless their missionary son. When I came home from church I watched some of the broadcast on the internet and was inspired to share with you a quote. I know that some people struggle in the winter months with depression and others may just be passing through some rough times. May these words bring peace to your soul.
From the speech given by Elder Wirthlin's son:

“Dad had a simple yet powerful witness of the resurrection. He always liked to read what Alma taught his son Corianton ‘The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea and every limb and joint will be restored to the body; yea even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.’ (Alma 40:23) ”
“Dad’s special witness of the resurrection was best expressed shortly after mom passed away. These words have been ringing in my ears all week. He spoke of the contrast between the gloom of the Friday when Jesus was crucified and the joy of that Sunday when Jesus was resurrected. ‘Each of us will have our own Fridays, those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We will all experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays, but I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death, Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next…Sunday will come!’”

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Some pictures of everyday life for our family.

Roy loves to have Mercedes look like a princess and he loves to put lots of clips in her hair. You can tell when Roy has done Mercedes hair because he will put 5 clips in her hair! When I came home from a meeting the other day, Roy and Mercedes had been playing dress up!
We recently watched Stewie the cat, while our friends went out of town. I love animals of all kinds and have missed having a pet. Roy claimed that he hated cats, but by the end of Stewie's stay the two of them were best friends!

Mercedes loves to cook with me. So I sit her on the counter and we spend the afternoon baking, occasionally. Bread is our favorite thing to make. I found this apron and some kids cooking stuff for her that she loves to use when we cook. I don't know how I ever cooked without her!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a boy!

So we had our ultrasound on Monday and found out that we are having a boy! We are very excited. Now comes the hard part...figuring out the name. We know for sure that the middle name is going to be Thomas after my dad. The hard part is the first name, we don't want it to be too american or too peruvian. I like Ryan Thomas but Roy (doesn't Roy and Ryan sound cute?) says that it is too american. I also think Oscar is cute but my dad says that he will call him Oscar Meyer Weiner and Roy is not too big of a fan. We also like Lucas but Lucas Thomas Benites is kind of alot of S's. Votes? Suggestions?