03674_000_019And if it so be that you should labor all your days … and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy (D&C 18:15).
Greg stared out his bedroom window at the snowflakes fluttering down past the Christmas lights shining from the neighbor’s house. He could hear Christmas carols coming from the radio, and he could smell cookies baking. In four more days it would be Christmas, and he was sad.
He knew that Christmas was supposed to be a happy time. And he did have happy memories. As long as he could remember, his family had spent Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Grandpa told funny stories. They sang carols and popped popcorn. And they read about the birth of Jesus from the Bible.
But this year Greg would not be seeing his grandparents at Christmas, because they were serving a mission. Why did they have to go away? What’s so important about a mission? he wondered.
The next morning Greg stayed in the house. When he heard the lid drop on the mailbox, he ran out to get the mail. His grandparents had promised to send him a Christmas card. Maybe it had come today.
Greg carried in all of the letters. Most of them were Christmas cards addressed to his parents. But when he sorted through the envelopes again, sure enough, there was one addressed to him in Grandpa’s big handwriting!
Greg also found a blue airmail letter with thin up-and-down writing, addressed to “Mr. Greg Peters,” Who could have sent it? he wondered. It had the same postmark as his grandparents’ card.
Greg hurried to his room and sat on his bed to open the envelopes. On a pretty Christmas card, his grandparents had written, “Merry Christmas! Only four more months until we see you again! We miss you, and Christmas will seem strange without you. But we’re grateful that we can celebrate Jesus’ birthday by teaching others about the gospel. It’s our gift to Him this year. Love, Grandma and Grandpa.”
Four months until his grandparents came home! That still seemed like a long time to Greg.
The second envelope had a letter in it that read:
“I want to thank you for the best Christmas present my family has ever received—we are being baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re all being baptized—me, my wife, my children, and my parents. Then when we are ready, we will all go to the temple together.
“Your grandparents taught us the gospel. They say that you miss them very much and that they miss you too. They hope that you understand that they are on a mission so that they can teach families like mine how to be together forever.
“My family and I thank you for sharing your grandparents with us. Now my children can have their grandparents forever just like you can.
Sincerely, Gerald Hobbs”
Greg put the letter down and picked up his grandparents’ Christmas card. How about that! A whole family were being baptized because of Grandma and Grandpa.
Greg still missed Grandma and Grandpa, but maybe four months wouldn’t be so long after all. And maybe it wasn’t so bad to share them for one Christmas, especially for such a good reason.