He is the Gift

I don’t know how many of you are aware of the video that the Church has put out called “He is the Gift”, it is the same style as the Easter “Because of Him” video. As missionaries we are focusing our work during this time around the gift that God gave us in his Son, Jesus Christ. It is so important for us to know that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because Christ came to the world. Without Him there would be no Christmas. So although it is a busy time of the year and that is a lot of stress that comes along with it, please do not forget that He is the Gift, He is Christmas. I would encourage you to share this video with at least one person and to share your testimony of Christ. I know you will be blessed as you do it.

On a slightly different note, I am being transferred again. I will now be going to serve in Potsdam just outside of Berlin. I will be serving with Elder Lyon, he has been out two transfers now and I am very excited to work with him. My district will include two other cities called Leest and Brandenburg, so companionship exchanges will involve a little more travel this transfer. I am now going to my fourth city to be with my sixth companion, and I have been in Germany for eight transfers. I trust my mission president that he knows where I am needed and where that Lord wants me to go.

I am so thankful for the time that I got to train and to serve here in Braunschweig. I felt so much love from the members here, and I felt like the Lord has been helping me to become more and more like He is. And I have learned how important it is to love those you serve.

In my study this week, I studied in Preach my Gospel and the Book of Mormon. One thing that I really liked was in Alma 17. Ammon is out watching over the sheep of the King. Men come to scatter them and the other servants begin to wine and complain that they will never get the sheep together and that the King will kill them. As I read this story, I likened it to missionary work. If we think of the sheep as our investigators or those that we work with, this story takes an interesting new light, for me. Sometimes in missionary work, our members or investigators become scattered. They may not have time to meet with us, not want to, or just are difficult to contact. I asked myself, am I like Ammon or am I like the other servants? Do I lose courage when my teaching pool gets scattered, or do I carefully gather the flocks with faith and then protect them with renewed zeal and determination? This also works in life outside of a full time mission. Sometime it feels that everything is going wrong, but God has promised us that every challenge we face can be overcome when we put our faith in him. Together with God we will be able to gather our sheep and learn to defend them with more faith and determination.

I would like to end with a scripture from D&C 128:22. As I read this scripture I saw a connection between the the time of the year that we are in and the work that we are all a part of:

“Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.”
Please do not forget who you are and the many things that are possible because Christ came into the world. Go forward with Faith!
Thank you all and I love you!
Elder J Billings
Braunschweig district the day before Thanksgiving

Braunschweig district the day before Thanksgiving

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