Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Bells Ringing Singing!
I realize this is like the same title as last week, but I think it's more significant this week :)
How are you all doing family!?  Staying sunshiny warm in California??  I love the pictures you have sent me!  Every one seems to be changing in a good way :)  I am so grateful for all of you!  I hope you know that. 
So this week Sister Youngberg had 2 exchanges and Zone conference!  So we felt like we hadn't been in our area in like a million years but it was a really really good week.  Zone conference was incredible.  We learned about the atonement.  I was so touched as several missionaries shared their tesimonies of how the atonement has worked in their lives.  I hope all of you have a chance to think of the Savior and what he means to you.   If you get a chance you should look up a video on youtube, it's called "Missionaries and the Atonement"  President used it in his training.  I was overwhelmed with the power of it.  During this holiday season there is no greater gift we could give to anyone our savior included than that of inviting someone to come closer to Christ.
So I had a fun experience I thought I could share, and Aunt Kristie asked if I had any caroling experiences, good thing that was what I was planning to tell you about!  Music is one of the most remarkable tools of the spirit.  It touches people in a way that words cannot.  While on an exchange I was with Sister Beck who had heard of this great idea called the "living Christmas Card".  The Idea is that we "blast" people with the spirit!  We go to their door and begin by singing a fun christmas song then a spiritual song, we read Luke 2, bear testimony and state gratitude we pray and then we leave them there.   Cool right?  haha you are probably thinking "or a really good way for people to think your a weirdo"  Yes Thomas I know I just read your thoughts.   But Sister Beck was prompted to go visit a referral they had recieved a week or so ago and so I came along.  We knocked on this woman's door and she let us in to give her her "christmas card"  We sang Rudolph and she began to sob, (weird right?  who knew rudolph was such a powerful song?)  But she told us that her daughter had died the year before.  She was a 9 year old healthy child, she was sick one day and they took her into the doctor where they found it was cancer.  She died 6 days later.  I was overwhelmed at this tragedy.   We continuted with our singing, as we sung silent night, then we read Luke 2.  How powerful it is to read of the birth of our Savior.  We bore testimony to this sweet woman that the Savior of the world is real.  He died for us that we might all live again.  We testified that he is taking care of her daughter, he is so mindful of her sweet family.  It was an incredible experience.  She shared with us after about how she had never felt so lonely during the holidays than she did after losing her daughter, but she very much appreciated a reminder of the peace that can come from the holiday.  She also sympathized with us missionaries who are away from family during the season, we shared how yes it is hard sometimes but no matter what we know we will be with our families once again, and will be able to spend eternity with them.   She took the missionaries number and I pray she calls these sisters and progresses in the gospel.
So maybe someday I'll come back to Nebraska City and get to teach her, but until that happens I hope Sister Beck and Allen will have an opportunity to help this woman progress.   Miracles are happening all over the world.  It truly is an incredible experience to be a missionary right now!  I love every minuite of being out here.  I hope you know I'm really well taken care of, I appreciate the incredible amount of candy you have sent me it is definately a sweet Christmas this year.
I love you all!  Be good and serve anyone you meet so they can feel the happiness that you all have.  Have a very Merry Christmas!  I'll talk to you soon!  (super weird that I'll be talking to you, don't freak out I pray I haven't turned into a lion or something....)  I pray for you and I quite honestly feel the prays you are sending my way.  Thank you so much for your constant support. It means so much to me.  
Love you all to the moon and space and back and around the planets and inside and out of snowflakes. 
Sister McMaster 

Loving our Itsy bitsy teeny tiny christmas tree!

we try to make pretty faces occasionaly....

Upside down pictures!

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