Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Xin Nian Kuaile!!!:D

Happy New Year!!  Starting off the new year with a new transfer. I've been released from my leadership position and I'll be training a new missionary for my final transfer! I'm so excited, it's what I really wanted. There are 10 sisters coming in tomorrow, 2 are coming from Japan and 3 from Taiwan so I'm hoping to get one of them, but now that I've said that I'll probably get a real Aussie girl! As for right now, I'm serving in Ashfield (the Mandarin Ward) for a few days while we wait for the new arrivals to come. Family Home Evening was last night, It's the first activity I've been to that was all in Chinese! It was good though, we played a game at the end where you have to pass a basketball around the circle without using your arms, you can only use your feet but the ball can't touch the ground. Not a great game for sister missionaries in skirts, I'll say that much. haha.

Transfer meeting was yesterday,10 missionaries went home and I have served with each of them, so crazy how fast the time goes. The hymn, "God be With You Til We Meet Again" has a completely different meaning to me now, knowing that quite literally some of these people I might never meet again until we are at the very feet of Jesus Christ himself. Transfer meetings are always emotional, but it's amazing to see the missionaries going home and how they've grown and changed on their missions. We've all had experiences with each other that would just be impossible for anyone else to fully understand. I look forward to the day when we can greet each other in heaven.

Well, there is an expected 1.7 million people to be in the city tonight for the fireworks. All missionaries are to be home before 8 p.m. to do our annual deep clean :) haha, but until 8 p.m. we'll be hittin' the street looking for those who are prepared to hear the gospel. Wish us luck :) 

Beginning a new year is always exciting, we set new resolutions, a "clean slate" if you will. I've been thinking about this a lot the last few weeks and it makes me think of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, more specifically, the sacrament. What a blessing it is that each week we can come to church to partake of the sacrament to renew our covenants and begin a new week with a "clean slate,"  Of course, repentance is required to have a change of heart, promising to be better and to do better than you did the previous week. The blessing of the Atonement is that we don't have to wait 6, 8 or 12 months to start over, we can make the choice now or at any time to change, to accept the Atonement and through Jesus Christ become clean. "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt 11: 28-30

Through Christ, our burdens are made light. We can overcome any challenges that we might face in this life. I don't know if I'll ever be able to fully grasp the meaning of the Atonement, but I do know that it is real. And I know because I've seen others change as they've come closer to Jesus Christ, and I've seen myself change. It is real.

I love you all, and I wish you a Happy New Year!
Sister Raitt

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