HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY! I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks for everything that you do for me and for all that you've taught me growing up!
Mom it sounds like you're having an amazing time in Sacred Heart. It's interesting, you and my friend Kelsie are both in that same unit right now, and both wrote me the same thing about how sacred that experience is. I want to see Meet the Mormons so bad! I'm glad that it was a good movie, I guess it will be one of the first to see when I get home! It's an awesome missionary tool. Thanks for the talk suggestion, I'm printing it out right now! mommm, stop making me trunky haha I still have SO much to do here, the time really isn't running out just yet! Love you!
Kacey, I'm glad you are doing well in AP US! AND WE WON BATTLE OF THE BELL! That's seriously so awesome! Go Cats haha (because I've always had such school spirit :P ). Sounds like you're a social butterfly this year and having lots of fun with lots of different people. It makes me happy to hear all about your adventures! Love you!
TJ, I saw a picture of our new goat! Is he cute? What did you build in the building competition? Sounds like you had a fun week! I love you buddy!
Jake, glad you got 7th in the race, that's awesome! Do you still have some races left or are you just focusing in basketball now? Love you dude!
Daddy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY...AGAIN. I can't believe this is the fourth year I haven't been home for your special day...it's been a while since I've had mom's carrot cake haha. I really miss you and hope you know how much I'm thinking about you today. Thank you for everything you've done for you and for being the kind of dad that focuses on his kids and their personal happiness, The best lessons of the Gospel that I've learned have come from simple moments with you and mom. As President Eyring spokeabout his mother, I thought about both of you. My feelings are the same as his. I'm glad that you've had a good week and that the YM presidency is working hard for our stake. I'm so excited that Tyler and his family are going to be moving up in time for Christmas! It's going to be so awesome to have so many members of our family close! Love you Daddy!
This week has been a good one. Humbling. But good. We're still working hard trying to find the Lord's chosen. I feel like the life lesson of my mission is just how little patience I had in the past. The Lord is constantly teaching me to be patient, humble, and to rely more on Him than on myself. He constantly leads me by the hand and reminds me that even when things aren't going my way...they ARE going HIS way and I just need to trust in His timing. We aren't having the most SUCCESS at this moment...but we're learning so many lessons, and I feel the Spirit constantly witnessessing to me that my Heavenly Father is proud of my efforts...so we move on, searching, finding, teaching...repeat.
I found a quote that Sister Rogers sent me a while back...it's become something that's keeping me excited and helping me trust in the Lord "Seek to be personally converted, obey the rules of the mission, strive to have the spirit of the Lord in your life, and WORK HARD. These are things every missionary can do. If you do those things, I promise you in the name of the Lord and with the authority of my office, you are a success in His eyes." Elder Holland.
This week we dropped Jose. We had to leave him because he isn't willing to pray and ask God if the things we teach are true, and he won't commit to being baptized. He doesn't want to rely on the Lord nor His will. We had a very spiritual lesson about Joseph Smith's first vision and the restoration, and how Joseph's prayer is a pattern for all truth-seekers. The Spirit was strong, and I invited Jose to pray on the spot and ask his Heavenly Father if this was true, and if he should get baptized. He refused to do so. So we closed with a very direct prayer. We had explained to him that we'd taught him everything we could, and that we couldn't help him more until he decided to pray to God and progress. He told us that when he finds his answer, he'll contact us. He still comes to church. He came to General Conference this weekend.
We're still searching for families.
We had a special experience with a menos activo family we're teaching. They've been sealed in the temple, they're a young family, but they haven't been active in three years. Nothing we seemed to teach them had an effect...until yesterday. We had one of the most powerful lessons teaching the Plan of Salvation, focusing on the Atonement and how we need to act NOW...how TODAY is the DAY of our REPENTANCE. We realized that this family didn't have a good grasp about what Jesus Christ did FOR THEM...personally. This is the biggest problem for people to accept the Gospel, many times people just don't understand who Jesus Christ really is. We were able to explain the Atonement and bear powerful testimony to them. You could see the change in them during the lesson as understanding came. Both had tears in their eyes. As we left, Brother Hernani told us that yes or YES they would be at church. We're making progress.
I love you all. I'm grateful for my mission and the lessons that I'm teaching as well as the lessons I'm learning. General Conference answered so many of my personal doubts and needs. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and that the Apostles are as well. I know that the Gospel and church of Christ have been restored through Joseph Smith. I know that this is the Lord's church, that continuing revelation is real, and that if we follow our church leaders and the words that come from our Heavenly Father, we can return to His presence and find happiness and peace at this time in our lives.
Have a wonderful week,