Dearest mom and family, I have noticed as I see the Finns rush around from place to place how the peace of Christmas sometimes is lost. It also happens to missionaries where we try to pack our schedule to the brim trying to be most effective but really forgetting to ''take time to be holy'' (song by Mormon Tabernacle...ps very good).
When the Savior taught that His peace is not like the worlds, He spoke truth. The world tries to paint a facade that peace can be obtained tomorrow after shopping or maybe during vacation which does not come until another 3-5 months. But the Savior wants us to enjoy peace every day. Such peace that our hearts and minds are at rest. Yes, life is not perfect but the adversary wants us to feel that we cannot have peace. He cannot mimic true, lasting peace. He wants to take it away but he cannot unless we yield it to him like Nephi said, how he ''give[s] place to the enemy of [his] soul''. It is a choice to develop more peace as well as losing it.
I have set personal goals to develop more peace for the past 7 months and it has been so hard but so worth it. I have never felt so much peace, spiritual growth, and love of a tender loving Heavenly Father. As I have taken each step, I have felt my faith grow and my sensitivity to the Spirit increase. Inner-peace is a great measure of your standing with Heavenly Father.
I hope those words shed some light at this special time of the year. Remember I love you and look forward to seeing and feeling your personal growth.
Currently I am in Espoo with Elder Leppard. What a blessing to be with this amazing British elder. He has many gifts and I am seeking to learn from him. He is actually from the same MTC group as I so we have been good friends for some time.
The Espoo 2 (two wards in this city) ward has already planned our Christmas Eve and Christmas day with some great dinner appointments. So do not worry, we will have a special Finnish Christmas.
Our ward is great with missionary work. They support us and do their best to work with us. Also Abe Silvennoinen, a 4 day old return missionary from Japan Tokyo Mission, returned and gave his homecoming talk. We had a dinner appointment with him and felt his spirit. He gave his heart to the Lord in which the Lord expanded Abe's heart and abilities.
I pray that Christmas is everything that you dream it be. I love you and remember let peace flourish in your heart.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.