Merry Christmas!

This week, I did something quite odd. I started praying every day for the Persian members of our church, that they can grow, and that we could find some Persian investigators. You see, on my mission the Persian people have become my mission. I have fallen in love with them. They are a large portion of my heart. Some of my dearest friends on this earth are Persian.

From my first Persian investigator, I felt an abnormally strong connection to the people of Iran and Afghanistan. So I’ve honestly been down  having gone for the last several weeks without a single Persian to teach; and so I put that in my prayers. I began praying for Persians to meet on the streets. I’m not one to make specific checklists in prayers, and I do not recommend making them, but this time it just felt right to do. And, what happened? Suddenly, Persians just started popping out of the man holes!

The greatest news I’ve received in a very long time came this week….It was honestly the best Christmas present ever. In a cardboard box, at Zone conference, I received 30 beautifully hardbound complete Persian copies of the Book of Mormon. You must understand how happy this gift was. We only had about half of the Book of Mormon translated poorly in a flimsy soft cover in Persian, disallowing Persians to read large sections of the Book of 2 Nephi, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, and excluding the book of Ether entirely. Now the church has finally published the Book of Mormon in full with pictures and everything, and a much better translation, in Persian. It honestly made me cry it was so happy. I can only imagine the rejoicing in heaven. So we loaded our bags up with the new complete Persian books, and with a increased energy walked every street we could and came home empty handed, having handed out all of our Persian copies.. From it, we have found some new wonderful investigators. One Persian woman we met on a rainy street started dancing for joy when we told her that we have another testament of Jesus Christ that had just been translated. They are such a prepared people. I love them so very much.

Unfortunately, we do not actually have a real p-day this week because of Christmas, so I can’t really write much. Despite how we are preaching that Christmas time is a time of peace to contemplate the birth of our Saviour and not get caught up in the worldly Christmas, we are still finding ourselves over stressed with all the expectations of places to be and things to do on Christmas leaving us rather flurried. Bu, I want to try as hard as I can this Christmas, despite the over booking, to set some time aside just to meditate on the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. I love what Elder Christofferson said in this month’s Liahona:
“With all of that to come, though, I think it’s appropriate this time of year to just think about that baby in the manger. Don’t be too overwhelmed or occupied with what is to come; just think about that little baby. Take a quiet, peaceful moment to ponder the beginning of His life—the culmination of heavenly prophecy but the earthly beginning for Him.
The Holy Night

The Holy Night, by Carl Heinrich Bloch

Take time to relax, be at peace, and see this little child in your mind. Do not be too concerned or overwhelmed with what is coming in His life or in yours. Instead, take a peaceful moment to contemplate perhaps the most serene moment in the history of the world—when all of heaven rejoiced with the message “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”

I wish you all a very happy Christmas. I wish I could write more but I must run off to teach some people about this beautiful gospel.

much love,

Erik

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