Monday, January 6, 2014

My Final Missionary Christmas in White! - December 30, 2013

2013 is ending quite well!

Elijah was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday! It has truly been a miracle and an answer to prayers to see him enter the waters of baptism! It was extra neat because Elijah asked me to baptize him, so I had the opportunity to baptize someone for the first time since I've been a missionary. I'll tell you one thing, it was really weird to be in a tank of water after not being in water for 17 months.

Christmas was wonderful! Elder Nelson and I made a french toast breakfast with bacon, orange juice, and homemade jam from home. Then we Skyped home at the Youngblut's, a family out here in Waterloo, and they fed us really well! Then we had another dinner. And after that, we went to the Marshallese Christmas party and they fed us as well. I still feel that I haven't recovered fully from all the food we ate that day! 

This week was full of unexpected events. We were called to help jump the Sister's car one morning and we were called to help with another companionship later in the week in the morning. Then Kianna, Tia, and Deacon, who were scheduled for baptism this last Saturday, didn't get baptized due to some miscommunication between us and their mother. It was a big bummer, but we were so happy to see Elijah baptized and confirmed!

The attached pictures are Elder Nelson and I with Elijah and his mother. Elijah's mom gave the closing prayer at the baptism and she was so touched by the Spirit that she was speechless, then she finished her prayer. It was so powerful! 

I hope we were all able to enjoy the Christmas Spirit this year! May we take that love into our lives and let it flow into the lives of others as we make our New Year's Resolutions this year. May we read and ponder the words of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf who spoke Of Regrets and Resolutions in General Conference of October 2012. May we ponder his words and the marks of a finisher as we finish 2013 and move into 2014.

The Marks of a Finisher:
  1. The Mark of Vision.
  2. The Mark of Effort. 
  3. The Mark of Faith. 
  4. The Mark of Virtue. 
  5. The Mark of Courage. 
  6. The Mark of Prayer. 
These, the marks of a true finisher, will be as a lamp to our feet in the journey through life. Ever beckoning us onward and lifting us upward is he who pleaded, “… come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22.)

- President Thomas S. Monson, April 1972 General Conference "Finisher's Wanted"

Happy New Year! 

Elder Zachary R McKenzie
Iowa Des Moines Mission
D&C 6:34, 36
  Doubt Not, Fear Not.

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