I received the following letter from one of our fine missionaries:
"Dear President Murray,
We hope you have had a wonderful Christmas season. We sure did. Let me tell you about our Christmas Eve. So on Christmas Eve our district (a total of 4 missionaries) decided to go caroling to the homes of our investigators. While we were waiting for Elders ____ & ____ to pick us up, we saw a destitute member of our ward and we waved him down and started talking to him. We found out he was not going to have a Christmas of any kind, so we told him we would spend some time with him the next day. Once he was gone we got on our cell phone and called lots of members -- trying to someone who might have an extra place for this man at their dinner table. Eventually we found someone who was so generous to let him come to their Christmas dinner.
We then looked up and saw this same man again. We ran up to him and told him that we found some people from the ward who would allow him to come to spend Christmas with them. The look on his face was just priceless. This is a man who barely has anything at all -- and no friends and no family. He just lit up and just beamed. He expressed pure joy and happiness that he was going to have a Christmas!
We enjoyed that experience so much -- it was the best part of Christmas Eve, so far.
So then we went caroling and after a while we were driving by a Catholic church that was getting ready for their Christmas Eve Mass. I've always wanted to attend a Catholic mass. We discussed it as a group and decided to go. We arrived at 6:30PM and the Mass did not start until 7:00PM so we just sat in the back of the church and looked around at the church and its architecture.
Before the service started, the priest came up to us and welcomed us. So then the mass started and when the Catholic priest got up to speak he welcomed everyone and then he said, "I would like to welcome our four special friends in the back in suits. They are missionaries from the Mormons." All the people turned around and started looking at us. For a second or so everything was very quiet in the church. Then the whole congregation began to applaud for about 30 seconds. It was truly neat.
We never thought we could spend Christmas Eve having a standing ovation in a Catholic Church. Christmas truly changes people so that are looking at each other as brothers and friends and fellow Christians.
All my love,
Elder _______ "