Hi and Merry Christmas to all. It’s Christmas night here on Guam. I know many of you are still sleeping at home with visions of sugar plumbs and all that goes with it. Here on Guam it’s all over for another year. All but the crying as it were. It’s always hard to see Christmas time come to an end, especially here in the mission field for us. It has been a great season with lots of well-wishing and fun. It has been so good to see the missionaries and help them through the lonely season away from home. We have continued to see many miracles in our lives. Things are still very crazy for Sister Hamilton and me in the office. We still put in long days but the blessings are so great. The love that is present among the missionaries is a great thing to witness. They truly love and care about each other. They tease each other some but I know they would each put their fellow missionaries first before themselves. We still have little problems creep up from time to time but for the most part it is heaven on earth. We have many truly talented missionaries here so we have had some great music. We even had a missionary fireside that will be repeated next month. We will also have the Chuuk pageant preformed on Guam next month. Just some explanation about that. Chuuk finally got a complete copy of the full Book of Mormon, so President Zarbock had a Pageant written, similar to the Pageants at home, only not on such a grand scale. It was such a success with over 1500 attending. Guam asked if we would do it here because of the large Chuukese immigrant population here. We did the same thing a few months ago in Kosrae when they got the full Book of Mormon in Kosraean. We continue to have several baptisms. We have another tomorrow. Transfers are coming up again this week. I hate them. They are always sad/happy experiences for all. Many tears are shed as companions get separated and think they will die, but they always find new hope and the work of salvation goes on.
The President is here on island for a couple of weeks. Some of his family is here for the holidays. It is always a blessing when he is here. He is a great teacher. He carries a heavy load.
I will tell you a little about our Christmas day here now. It has been unique to say the lease. I will start with Christmas Eve, because as you know all really good stories begin with “it was the night before Christmas.” Yesterday began like many others for us. We got up showered, ate breakfast then headed to the office. I was feeling pretty good because I was finally getting caught up. It’s the end of the year, so I have to store this year’s files and get ready for next year. That’s what I was concentrating on. I got an email saying the AK car was done. It had been done for a while they just forgot to tell us. That’s the one they have had ever since I came on my mission. I talked about that car in other emails. Sister Hamilton and I bundled up!, to go out in the 80 degree weather to pick up the car. Just thought I would throw that in for all in Utah today. We got the car and headed back to the office. I stopped for a red light and the car started sputtering again and almost died. Still the same problem. When we got back the day went pretty good with very few interruptions until about 2pm. Then things started to fall apart. By 5:30 I was so far behind it will take me a week to catch up again. At 5:30 we went out to go to a Christmas Eve Social at the Dededo building pavilion. I don’t want to rub in in but it was outside on December 24, anyway our car wouldn’t start. “Dead battery.” I moved some presents for some missionaries to the AK car and we took that. We got home about 8:30pm. At 11:15 we left again and dropped by the office for something on our way the Midnight Mass at the Catholic Basilica. I just happened to try the car while I was there and it started right up. I didn’t want to move my stuff that late at night so I just kept the car I was in. Midnight Mass was a good experience and something that I always wanted to do. I don’t think I will convert any time soon though. We stayed for about 2 hours and just as they were bringing the wine out Sister Hamilton decided we had been there long enough. We did get to see the wafer part but she made me leave just as they brought the wine. On Christmas morning here we got up and went to the office to help the missionaries skype their families. When we got there my car was gone. What! I had the only key in my pocket. That’s right between midnight and 6am on Christmas someone stole my car. They also got my prescription sun glasses, some medicine, my water proof camera, and the thing I will miss the most, they got my rope. I spent a couple of hours with the police. In the afternoon Sister Hamilton took me to see the new Star Wars movie. Then it was home to open the gifts that we had received. It was a great day, even though we are down one much needed car it was great anyway.
We want to thank all of you for your support you have and continue to give us. We received many cards and gifts this year from dear friends and family. Thanks for all you do for us. I had a young missionary sister tell me today “that’s how I know I’m loved. When someone gives me something and I don’t know who or why, I know I’m loved.” She just came here from one of the other islands late Wednesday night. I was kind of an emergency. Nobody knew she was coming but she found a gift with her name on it in the office when she came to call home. She started to cry. That’s what Christmas is here in the mission field.
We love you all Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.
Elder and Sister Hamilton