Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas Eve, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve, 2012

 Dear Family:

It was so fun to be a part of the annual Christmas Pageant on Sunday afternoon with all of you.  We were absolutely amazed at how organized and how well you all of you did.  We love you so much.  All of you are so great. We have so many great memories of being all together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our family for the last 45 years.  We spent part of the Christmas holiday together in Twin Falls in December 1967, when I wanted to ask Grandpa Babbel if I could marry mom.  She wasn’t ready for that discussion until a little later in the program.

We remember the years when our only gifts were from the DI and all of the great DI Christmases since then.  We especially remember the Christmas we got the piano and the Christmas at the Cabin with diamond rings.  Today, we spent all day helping some “Christmas Families” in need.  You kids have helped carry on that tradition that Grandpa Babbel began with Gary and Candy when they were 10 or 11.

We just sent the missionaries home after doing the Christmas story from the Bible.  They each had to play 2 or 3 parts and they were almost as hard to keep focused as all of you kids were when you were young.  We love to read and remember the Bible story of his birth and life.  We know more assuredly that He lives and that he set the perfect selfless example for all of us to follow.  We are blessed to understand (in small part) the divine plan of happiness.  We are happy because of Him.  We take for granted the blessing of being born in America and that we had so many selfless, inspired men and women who laid the groundwork of our free country and opened the door for the restoration of the Gospel. This means so much to us as we serve here in Croatia and see the struggles these people have endured over the last 400+ years (about the same time the Ivins family first arrived in the New World).  They have had many wars even since the late 1800's when the Babbels came to America.  For the most part, our ancestors have been spared the horrors of war.  We are so grateful for our ancestors who joined the church and came to Zion (America) one at a time leaving family and friends behind.  Looking back we can see clearly how the pieces of the puzzle have come together through the good choices our ancestors made, including our own parents and grandparents who met and married and multiplied and replenished the earth so we (mom and dad) could meet and marry and start our own new nation.  Of the many choices we have made, the best and most important choice was our decision to marry and to start a family and bring you into the world.  We are so grateful for the choices you have made to marry each other and raise such remarkable families. Thank you for doing your part to help our family progress toward perfection and ultimately realize our divine destiny as one big happy eternal family.  

As you know, having days like this help us know that “We’re richer than Bill Gagen!” per Grandpa Babbel.  We know that you have had some fear and trepidation and a few problems that help us remember that we must live by faith.  But most of all you have taught us that you have been able to do hard things.  Through it all we have learned that "The Greatest Blessing in our Lives, Before, Now and Forever, is to Love and Be Loved.  The Greatest Ingredient of that Blessing is Unselfishness.”  So with this we come back to the Christmas message. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus are the perfect examples of that simple recipe for happiness.  They love us--unselfishly.  They are happy when we love each other, The Lord and ourselves.  We know that.  The key is for us to keep loving—unselfishly.  As we keep this one commandment, to love one another, we will remain in Their Love.  Our favorite scriptures of the week are John 14 and 15.  We thank you for being here on earth at this time.  We thank you for your choices and know that you and your children and grandchildren have been and will be reserved to come to the earth “for such a time as this”.  We love you.  We thank you and we are proud of you and we congratulate you and wish you the very best Christmas ever and the very best and Happy New Year.  

Love Mutti and Bumpa

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