Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Elder Benson - South Africa Jo-Berg Mission

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Missionary Christmas

This Christmas in Johannesburg has been one for the books!  After Skyping home, I can honestly say, "I'm going home this year".  It's a pretty strange feeling to have 10 months left on my mission.  Time has ceased to exist in such a drastic sense that continues to amaze me.  The members in Springs and Selcourt do a magnificent job in making us feel at home (pictures would come if I hadn't sent home my SD Card.  There's no chance I'm risking my pics getting stolen😊)

Well, in the Spirit of Christmas, I've attached a wonderful poem dedicated to the Benson clan, especially to my beautiful Mother Jennifer.  It captures the feelings felt, the tears shed, and the joy captured in the sacrifice of the absence of a son in the service of the Lord.  I hope you may all enjoy the holidays with your families, whether they be near or far, and that CHRISTmas can take a whole new meaning for all of us as we commemorate the commencement of the coming of Christ into the world.

A Missionary Christmas:

I skipped the sales after Thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn’t there.
No pictures taken with Santa Claus. My decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts, and ties, two suits and socks… no fun.
I’ve bought him all white clothes because this year I’m giving Christ my son.

I’ve spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I’ve re-read November’s Ensign, felt strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently. My tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because this year I’m giving Christ my son.

I wonder how those Lamanite mothers gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion—their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence. I’ll miss his smile a ton.
For two years we will pray for him. I’m giving Christ my son.

I stare at his face when he’s not looking. I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He’s always hungered for the part of him, that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard. His choice and mine are one.
I’ll put my faith in God’s hand. This year, I’m giving Him my son.

Past gifts have lost their glitter. I think I finally understand
Christ’s birth should be celebrated by giving Him a hand.
It’s because I know Christ lives and reigns that all his packing’s done.
My gift has taken years to make. This year I’m giving Christ my son.

I know there’s One who understands the sacrifice I’m making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, the toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before. Greater love — there could be none.
For years ago God gave to me His only begotten son.

The hands I washed, the hands I held, the hands I taught to pray—
Now knock on doors to find the ones who will listen to what he’ll say.
Because I know Christ needs him until all the gathering’s done.
My gift has taken years to make. This year I’m giving Christ my son.
— Author Unknown

Love you all!  Stay safe, and stay well!

-Elder Benson

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