I interrupt the Christmas holidays to present portions of Elder Daniel Willoughby’s seventh email from the Missionary Training Center, received Christmas Day.
Yesterday was awesome and again my preparation day is on a holiday so it is crazy. I thank Mark and Connie for sending me the card and I’m grateful they are my friends. :) Thanks Sarah, Derek, but more importantly Bryson for sending the bowling pins and card. Thank you Wards for the wonderful card and pictures of the family — they were great to see this morning. Also thanks to the Dixon family for sending me a card, I really enjoyed what they wrote. I appreciate what the Johnson family sent and I’m very thankful they spent the time to write some insightful things to me. I enjoyed the Santa hat card from the Langs as well. Thank you!!
I got your package Mom as well as one from Kelsey. The card was great too. I haven’t yet opened your package Mom but I will soon. I’ve opened the other packages awhile ago. :-) Thanks Steven for the pictures. You have a really nice camera, I really enjoy the pictures. Its like I’m living the moment, I really like how you try and capture the action and not just people smiling for the camera. Thank you Ada for your great email. I smiled when I read it. I am very happy you married my brother. I’m excited to see what the baby will look like.
So Christmas eve was really exciting. Our teachers all came the whole morning and spent a lot of time with us. We did a lot of activities like Christmas caroling, nativity re-enactment, and watched the nativity video. We shared our favorite scriptures and bore our testimonies of them. Mine was 2 Nephi 4:17. Its about how Nephi rejoices but then calls himself “wretched man that I am.” Later he says I know in whom I’ve trusted. Chapter 4 is so real to me. I want to be like Nephi, he is my hero and I love learning about him. I know I can trust the Lord. I know he loves his children so much and that he will allow me to help his children. I’ve felt of my Heavenly Father’s love so much it makes me so happy, I want others to feel what I have. I deeply love my Father in Heaven right back, I really don’t deserve the blessings he always gives me.
This email is quite long, but its Mom’s Christmas present. David A. Bednar came yesterday night. He brought his youngest son who is married. They all spoke to us. I enjoyed everything his daughter-in-law and son said. So much of what they shared answered my prayers. I am amazed at the time that is spent by Heavenly Father to answer my prayers. Elder Bednar shared a lot too — how to dig into the scriptures and really find things. He took us through step by step. His wife is really funny! Before the meeting starts they show a photo of the speaker. Sister Bednar, when she spoke said something like Elder Bednar is so young and good looking in that photo and totally photo-shopped. Elder Bednar got really red. He he. Then she said can I get a ride home from somebody else? Ha Ha Ha. It was funny.
Afterwards everyone got to shake his hand. Yep, every missionary one by one. I am so grateful that we have apostles that are special witnesses of Christ. I felt the spirit even before he entered the room. I was so happy to see him, I couldn’t stop watching every little thing he did. I really look up to him. I know we have a true prophet and that all apostles really do testify so powerfully of Christ, I know he lives and that he loves me.
Merry Christmas today! I love everyone and I wish the best. Have a great and happy day. Be nice to each other. :)
Love, Elder Willoughby.
List of Daniel’s missionary posts.