For many of you this will be a very different Christmas than the one you had last year and for the rest of you it will be your second Christmas in full-time missionary service of Our Savior and Heavenly Father.
I remember very clearly my first Christmas as a full-time missionary. It was thirty seven years ago. I was serving in Antony, France which is a suburb of Paris. I had a red Christ-mas stocking which hung above my old desk from the shelf by my missionary books. My family had sent the stocking and a few modest presents for the season. I believe the presents included a new tie and white shirt. In those days, we didn’t call home for Christ-mas. It was too expensive. Prior Christmases had always included serving and helping
others, but they were also a time of excitement as I would receive gifts from parents, family and friends. My first Christmas in France was much different and much much better. It was clearly a time of focusing more on My Savior and less on myself and the materialistic things of the world. It was a time when I increased my efforts to lose myself in the work. While I certainly missed my family, the peace, joy and happiness of the season settled much deeper in my heart and was more lasting, fulfilling and real. I was celebrating the birth of My Savior and My Redeemer in his full time service. I was celebrating his birth as his full time personal representative. What a great blessing in my life!
Our missionary Christmases in Idaho have been equally rewarding. We have been inspired by your Christ like example and service. Last year we had the spe-cial experience of having Christ-mas fall on a Sunday. We saw so many new converts receive the “gift” of the Holy Ghost on that day. How can Christmas gifts get any better? We are true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are fully devoted to Our Savior, Our Redeemer – to Jesus the Christ. Again, how can it get any better? If you let it, this Christmas will positively change your heart and life like no other you have experi-enced so far in your mortal years. You will feel a closeness to the Sav-ior, His life, His atonement and His ministry. You will be blessed as a result of your personal decision to put Him first in your life.
We are like the angel of the Lord who appeared to the shepherds in the field. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9-11). You are here to bring “good tidings of great joy” to the people of the Idaho Boise Mission.
Elders and Sisters, we add our testi-mony to that of God the Father, the Holy Ghost, prophets of ancient time and modern time and to each of yours that Jesus was born in Bethle-hem, that Jesus is the Christ, He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Firstborn, the Good Shepherd, the King of Kings, the Lamb of God, Our Mediator, Our Exemplar, Our Savior, and Our Redeemer. We rejoice to be with yoked with you in bearing this testimony to the world as to-gether we gather Israel.
With love and gratitude,
President and Sister Cannon
Sister Madison and I are very happy to be a part of the Idaho Boise Mission. We are both from this area of Idaho. Sister Madison was born in Boise as were her parents. I was born in Nampa. We love Idaho and particu-larly Treasure Valley. All of our 4 children were born at St. Luke’s hospi-tal in Boise. We have four children, one girl and three boys. Three of our children live in the area and one (our daughter and her family) lives in North Carolina. We have 11 grand-children. The youngest is 3 months old and the oldest is 13 years old. We met in Boise in 1967 and were married in the Salt Lake temple in June of 1968. Sister Madison graduated from Borah High School and attended Boise State University. I graduated from Nampa High School and Brigham Young Uni-versity in Provo. I have been in the furniture business since graduating from BYU. Currently I work for Ennis Fine Furniture and manage the Thom-asville store in Meridian. Sister Madi-son and I have enjoyed our opportuni-ties to serve our Heavenly Father. One of the most memorable was to serve with Elder Craig Rowe and Roger Kot-ter in the stake presidency of the Nampa South Stake. Those were times never to be forgotten. We treasure the opportunity to serve with all of you in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people of this mission.
IDAHO BOISE MISSION
1111 S Cole Rd.
Boise, Idaho 83709
Details of the new Temple in Meridian, Idaho: