Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hugs are from Heaven

   Hugs. Who doesn't enjoy a good hug? To me, a good hug symbolizes love and acceptance. I like the feeling of having another's arms around me... and I like to put my arms around others whom I love- whether they be the loving arms of my husband, the grateful arms of my children, the encouraging arms of my friends, the understanding arms of my parents, or the completely trusting arms of my grandchildren. Hugs are an expression of love.
   Even though I am very accustomed to giving and receiving hugs from others, I cannot (of course) currently hug the Elders in the mission. Thank goodness there are sister missionaries here for me! This week, two valiant and hard-working missionaries went home. At the airport, I hugged the Sister and turned to the Elder with my arms open.  Whoops...  we laughed.  I then sent him off with the usual handshake.
   God's love can encircle us like a big hug. I have felt His loving arms around me. I have felt His compassion and love. He has lifted me and comforted me. His arms are open, extended, stretched out, and encircling. They are arms of mercy, arms of safety, arms of unfeigned love.
   As we first respond to His open arms and allow Him to "hug" us, He is there for us and we may "hug" Him in return. Even though there are times when Heaven may seem far away, there is always hope, "Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (see D&C 88:63)
   President Uchtdorf taught, "Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount--that is the measure of God's love for you. God does not look on the outward appearance. I believe that He doesn't care one bit if we live in a castle or a cottage, if we are handsome or homely, if we are famous or forgotten. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely." ("The Love of God," Ensign, Nov 2009)

   Hugs- pass them on!

Here are photos from recent mission activities:

Good-bye to Elders Bell and Guillen...



Elder Snyder enjoys his birthday with the missionaries:




I never knew how popular a "cereal bar" would be for snack time!




Some pictures from Leadership Training meetings...



Elders Low, Parry, Watson
  
Elders Hartle, Love, Given, Resendiz, Brandley


 
Sister Farr, me, Sister Villalobos

President Trayner with his mission counselors, President Mendez and President Duarte

I can't figure out the purpose of the name for this water tower (white mountains)... This part of Texas is flat- very flat and hot!...maybe it's only trying to make me homesick...

Baptisms...
 


 
 Good-bye to Sister Bevan and Elder Taylor!