I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It doesn't seem too strange
that it is already over, since it barely seemed like it was celebrated here.
Time is flying. 2011 is almost over. We are approaching the time when we
reflect on the past year, on what we have accomplished and what we haven't.
What our goals were, and how close we got to reaching them. I would like to
share a small example from one of the books I received for Christmas:
There once was a farmer. He was proud of his work, and always had straight,
long rows of corn, wheat, and all manner of healthy crops.
When the farmer's son was old enough to learn the farm work, the farmer took
him out into the fields to teach him how to hoe, plant seeds, irrigate, and
other small chores. One day, the farmer decided his son was old enough to
learn ho to plow. He put him on a tractor and told him how to plow straight,
long furrows. The way to do this, he said, was to set your sight on
something on the opposite side of the field, and to steer straight toward
it, not veering to one side or the other.
The farmer then went off to other chores. When he came back to check his
son's work, he was dismayed to find the field full of crooked rows. He was
furious! He stormed over to the tractor to find out the reason for this
The son explained, "Well, Dad, I did just what you said. I sighted in on
something on the opposite side of the field, and headed straight for it. I
never veered to one side or the other."
"Then why are the rows going every which way?"
"Well, the darn cow kept moving!"
This illustration can help us understand the importance of our goals, and
the things we strive for in life. If we choose to sight in on the things of
the world, we will end up like the farmer's son, going every which way in
our lives. But if we set our sights on heaven and God who is the same
yesterday, today, and forever, we will be lead straight and true. I invite
all who read this to consider this message as they look forward to the
coming year. Let us learn from, and not dwell on our mistakes during the
past twelve months, and set our sights on the blessings of our Heavenly
Father, including the temple, scripture study, and our families. I have
learned in my mission the difference righteous goals can make in our lives.
They give us direction and purpose.
I love everyone, and am so grateful for the opportunity I had to see and
talk to all of you yesterday. This was the first time I did not feel
homesick after talking to my family. Perhaps it is because I know that it
won't be too long till I will see you all again.
Mom, I will use the money wisely and eat lots of fruits and veggies. And I
will *cough* start taking my vitamins again.
The first picture is from our End of Year dinner. Ludmila and I traded
clothes for a bit. I'm not even sure what that thing I have is called. A shawl, maybe?
The other picture is right after I finished talking to everyone on the phone
yesterday. *Notice my new pink tie and tie pin! Thank you for those, and for
all of my Christmas gifts, especially the love I felt from everyone.
Elder Scoty Stobbe