Dear family and friends,
I love you all dearly. =) I'm sorry to say, but I really don't miss you. Not in the conventional sense, at least... Sure, I miss our times and smiles and laughs. I miss your words and voices and personalities. But really... I'm on a mission. I just don't miss anything too much. I love this. I've been receiving so much here... It's just better. So, sorry, but I won't be home for Christmas.
Mom, I get to Skype home. What time is best for you guys? I'm going to aim for 8 A.M. there... But honestly, I don't know when that is here. I think it's 3 PM, but I'm not sure. So if y'all could do a little research for me, that'd be perfect. Let me know? Also, if that time doesn't work, let me know. I have church here from 9-12. A card is also on its way with Sister Reedy. She is SUCH a saint. Please, thank her for me.
This week has been good! Lots of lessons, lots of spiritual moments, etc. We're teaching lots of people right now, but I'll just highlight one for you guys: His name is Lusala. Lusala is SO cool. We visit and HE shares thoughts from The Book of Mormon with US. He, like so many others, is waiting on marriage.
We just got done at the Reedy's (she wanted to throw the missionaries a big Christmas party before they left for the states for Christmas) and it was just perfect! The meal was so very Mormon... Gosh, we had funeral potatoes, broccoli salad (you know the kind... Bacon bits, etc.), frog eye salad, Jello salad, a big ham, and sweets after sweets. This won't mean anything to most of you, but Mabel Reedy makes better cookies than Nancy Langston. I know, Aubs; it's a tad unbelievable. Then she gave us all homemade stockings filled with candy. If there's an award for sweetest woman in the world, she might win it.
Tomorrow we receive word about transfers again. Already? Life here just flies. I have a feeling that I'll be with Elder Rainbolt and that I'll stay in Luanda 2... That said, it's mostly just a guess. We'll see. =)
Next week, we have Christmas with President and Sister Walton. I'm excited! It'll be fun and super spiritual, I'm sure.
Portuguese is awesome. I'm not fluent, but I'm definitely on that road. I can understand everything around me and can say what's on my mind and get my point across. That said, I've got plenty that needs improvement. It's an ongoing road and a dang fun one at that.
Well, have a truly Merry Christmas my beloved family and friends. I wish you all a Christ-centered experience this year. I'll close with my personal testimony of the importance of the birth of Christ. Without Christ in my life, I'd be lost, miserable, and sunken deep into the world. But... I have Christ. I have His love and companionship. I know that He knows me and that He's taking care of me. I know that above all else, He wants me to take His path and bear His gospel. I know that by doing this, I'll receive all that He can give me. Please, consider the simple birth of a child in a cave surrounded by beasts of burden while being praised by the Hosts of Heaven for they knew what His birth would bring to pass: The Great and Infinite Atonement of All. All existence held its breath for that moment and found relief only through that little boy-child. And now, we have a hope. Find that hope in His life. I leave these words with you in my Savior's Holy Name, that is, Jesus Christ. Amen.
'Tis the season,
Elder Cody R. Eckman