It was a splendid, white Christmas - one of the best ever. I was presiding over the Arizona Holbrook Mission, where my wife, Roita, and I served from 1981-84. Christmas 1982 was nearing, and, ironically, this joyous time of the year can sometimes be discouraging to missionaries. Thoughts often turn to home and loved ones. For many of them, this is a first Christmas away from home.
Searching for ways to make this season special to these dedicated young servants, we decided to try another kind of white Christmas. It would not be meaningful from inches of snow. It would be meaningful because of humble souls, dressed in white, entering into the waters of baptism. After all, in this season of gift giving, what greater gift could missionaries give their fellow men than the gospel of Jesus Christ? What greater gift to God could their contacts give than the gift of self as they entered the waters of baptism to take upon themselves His holy name with a promise to keep His commandments?As their mission president, I felt impressed to promise each pair of missionaries that, if they would work hard, prayerfully exercising their faith, they could have this great experience on the 25th of December.
Our mission took on a new spirit of challenge, faith and purpose that December. Thoughts of home became secondary to a higher preoccupation with the sacred cause of missionary work, to which we had been called. Hard work, coupled with sincere prayer and an exercise of faith, literally produced miracles.
Christmas morning was greeted with a new kind of anticipation. On that joyous Christmas day, every missionary companionship participated in a baptism. A traditionally low month for baptisms became one of our best.
"Are you still troubled about being away from home this Christmas?" I asked one of my formerly troubled elders.
"No, President, I haven't even thought of home."
"Why not?" I inquired.
Through tears of joy, he smiled and said, " . . . wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:49.)
I don't remember if Santa came that year, or if there was snow on the ground, but I do remember that we had a very lovely white Christmas. - Wayne B. Lynn, Centerville 19th Ward, Centerville Utah South Stake