Janelle's e-mails to her family

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey there family!

I can´t believe that it is almost Christmas! Less than a week and I´ll be talking to you all on the phone! Cannot wait. I hope that you are all happy and together in these beautiful days of the season. I miss you guys, but I am so happy to be here doing what I am doing. These are once in a lifetime moments, and I am just trying really hard to soak it all in. It´s all coming and going so fast, that I am frantically trying to capture all that I can. I guess that is the way it is in life. I have seen it time and time again, but especially in the mission. Just love every second of every day. The hard ones are the ones that help us grow, but thankfully they aren´t the ones we remember most. I love how Heavenly Father helps us remember all the beauty.

I have been thinking a lot this week about why we celebrate Christmas... we went to the store last week and there was so much madness going on about the shopping and the presents and the candy... and I just got such a sick feeling inside. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a very simple Christmas. It’s so much better this way. It allows us to think about Christ, and what He has done for us. I can´t help but think that while we´re standing in huge lines at stores buying gifts that we can´t afford for people that will love us whether we give gifts or not...I can´t help but think that we lose track somewhere in there about why we even have Christmas. Is Christ pleased with how we chose to celebrate His sacred birth? Don´t go crazy with it. It should be peaceful, not a bit stressful. We can´t forget why we celebrate this sacred time of year. I am so grateful to celebrate by sharing this Gospel. It is so beautiful. The work is a little bit harder during this time of year because everyone is in vacations, or in the mall shopping, or with visits....there are so many distractions that no one really seems to have much time to talk about the Savior, whose name we celebrate, but I know that we are going to see miracles this next week. I know that If we help people understand the importance of this message, I know that hearts will be touched and lives will begin to change...I know mine has.

I am grateful to all those who support me so willingly. I thank you with all my heart. I love you all. I am grateful for your letters, and your love, and prayers. I hope that you all have a very merry Christmas. I hope that you all remember your Savior who was born into this world to make it possible for us, unworthy as we are, to return and live with our Heavenly Father again. I hope that you all recognize, and feel His love for you. I hope you all apply what He teaches us in your lives. If you do you will be happy. If you don´t you will not. It´s very simple. We complicate it all sometimes, but it´s not complicated at all. It is beautiful simplicity.

Well I am going to keep this short, because I am going to talk to you all soon!!!! Yeah! But I´m sending pictures. Love you guys more than you´ll ever know. Seriously though...I know it sounds cliche, but it´s true. :) SMILE AND LAUGH LOTS TOGETHER THIS CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I HUGE, HUGE HUG FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love you with all that I have.

-Hermanita Bertagnole

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