Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas letter from Pres. Brinton

Av. das Américas, 1155 Salas 502/503
Barra da Tijuca - Rio de Janeiro, RJ
CEP 22631-000 Brasil
Fone: (21) 2111-9243/ 2111-9244
Fax: (21) 2493-6237

Dear Helland Family,

Christmas is our favorite time of year. It is a wonderful opportunity to think of the many gifts that we enjoy in our lives. We are grateful for the gift of the baby born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, and for the greater gift of his sacrifice upon the cross for the redemption of our sins, and the equally great gift of overcoming death through His resurrection. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission with your son. What a priceless gift you have given to us! When we arrived in this mission we knew that we would develop an affection for the missionaries who served with us, but we did not understand how much we would grow to love them.
We are grateful for the values that you instilled in him before he arrived here--a desire to search the scriptures, a desire to love other people, a desire to work hard, a desire to have new experiences, and a desire to know his Father in Heaven. We are grateful for the habits that you instilled in him as he was growing up—the discipline to get up at 6:30 a.m., the ability to live within a budget, and the skills to keep his apartment clean. (Some of these things we are still perfecting.) Most of all, we are grateful for the love you have for him and the support you show him through the letters you write and the prayers you offer in his behalf. Of course, you will have an opportunity to talk with your son on Christmas day. Believe us, he is looking forward to this opportunity. The missionary handbook gives this direction to your son, “Take care that these calls do not pull your thoughts away from your service or create a financial problem for your family. Keep them short (preferably no longer than 30 or 40 minutes).” Let your son share the excitement of his missionary experiences with you and try to avoid conversations that will make him homesick.

He is performing a great work here among the people in Rio de Janeiro and is well loved by the members of the church and the people he is teaching. We recently talked with the missionaries about the allegory of the olive tree in Jacob, chapter 5. In the 72nd verse, we read “And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their might; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.” We often think of this verse when we think of these fine young men and women performing their work. They are His servants and they are laboring with their might and the Lord is laboring with them. They are truly among the “noble and great ones,” chosen before they were born to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the humble and pure in heart.
Along with them, we testify that God, our Heavenly Father lives, that He sent His Son to live and die for all men. We know that Jesus Christ lives again as a resurrected being and that in the spring of 1820, Joseph Smith actually saw God, the Father, and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Through him, the Lord restored the fullness of His gospel. Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God and this book is tangible proof that he was a prophet. We have faith in the promise given by Moroni that if any person will read the Book of Mormon, having faith in Christ and pray with a sincere heart, that the Lord will answer that prayer with an assurance that the book is true.
Merry Christmas! We wish you peace, and love and joy at this time of year.


President Brinton Sister Brinton

No comments: