Well, yeah, the traditional calendar says it's the 8th, but if we're going by my chocolate advent calendar, it's totally the 22nd already.
Hello from Canadia! Celine Dion says hi. I must apologize that I haven't written in a long while, but things here have been crazy busy. (The good kind!) How are things in internet-land? Did any of you attempt/finish a NaNoWriMo novel? Canada is wonderful—it is great, it is white, and it is north. I have eaten moose, poutine, and real maple syrup (thankfully not all at the same time), but I have yet to meet a real Canadian Mountie. Someday!
So you want to know what's crazy? As of Christmas Day, I will officially be halfway done with my mission. (Shameless plug: TwitterWit makes a great stocking stuffer! *cough*...especially page 152...*cough*) Even though I've got nine months left, I can confidently say that this is the best thing I have ever done in my life. I've pushed myself, stretched my comfort zone, and taken a stand. I've had a few good cries and even more good laughs. I'm learning how to love—this has probably been my biggest challenge, but my heart has grown immensely and still has plenty of room to grow. I'm becoming the person I was meant to be and that wouldn't have been possible without this experience.
Never before have I realized just how much the gospel of Jesus Christ means to me. I am infinitely grateful for Joseph Smith and I know that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet today. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Not only does God exist, but he knows us and loves each of us!
This Christmas time, I want each of you to know that there is a reason for each of us being here. If any of you are wondering, searching, or questioning, I can't urge you enough to turn to the Book of Mormon or your local LDS missionaries for answers. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is strong enough to heal all wounds and because of Him, eternal life and eternal families are possible.
This year, I've discovered that Christmas is all about giving. (I'll take "Blatantly obvious statements" for $500, Alex.) Not so much about the giving of tangible gifts, of course, but about giving of our time and our service and our heart. May you all feel the joy of Christmas in your homes, not just now but all year round. I don't care how cheesy it sounds, but I mean it for reals. I miss you guys like Canadians miss Terry Fox. I'll write again soon!