December 25, 2012
Dear Friends and Family,
I would like to take this time to send you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I have thanked my Heavenly Father every single day for the opportunity I have had to serve a mission here in Peru. It has certainly been a bittersweet experience with lots of ups and downs, but overall, I have felt the Spirit of the Lord so strong in the work, and I know that is due to the exercising of one important ingredient that I lacked in my pre mission life: love. I know that the love for these people that I feel is due to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and just how much he loves us. It is hard to walk down the streets every day and see the situations that many of these people endure, but I know that the light of the gospel that we bring to this little town makes absolutely everything better. I know that if they listen and apply the things that we teach them, they will not only find peace and enduring happiness in this life, but they will find eternal salvation with all their family in the life to come.
I know that we are here for a reason, that these two years are not a waste of time, nor simply a time to do humanitarian work or "make the world a better place". We are literally preparing souls to return back to our Heavenly Father, and for the part I have been able to play in that process, I am eternally grateful. I know that He loves us in an eternal way that we cannot comprehend. He knows us personally. He has called a prophet to lead us today, President Thomas S. Monson, who is an instrument in the hands of the Lord used to guide us back to Him. I know, without any doubt, that the Book of Mormon is true. It contains the words of Christ Himself, and through following the principles contained within, we will find eternal life.
I know that if this Christmas we choose to love a little more, if we choose to forgive and forget, and if we choose to try and lift the hands that hang down, we will save lives, starting with our very own. The greatest blessing of missionary work is that the convert who has most benefited from my efforts and the blessings of the Lord is just one: me. I wish you all a merry Christmas, and with hopes that the Lord will bless each and every one of you to save the life of another this year. After all, it is the birth of the Savior that we are celebrating. Feliz Navidad de Peru.
Elder Trace Levos