Family! Thanks for writing!! Pretty everyone send me emoticon thingies haha. By the way, I wanna lay a ground rule for writing me. No one is ever allowed to mention how much time left I have in their emails. Sound good? Haha just preventing future problems.
Dad! I dunno if you could expect Michael to wait to open his call. I think if I had to wait any longer than I did I would have just opened it. That's so cool about your convert. I wanna maintain contact with them. It's a lot easier with Facebook now. Michael doesn't have to apply for that scholarship if I remember. I'm pretty sure it just applies automatically with your grades. Something I haven't done much in my mission is use family history. We've set goals to use it more in our finding efforts this week. Hopefully things go well!! That's really cool about your uncle Ben.
Love you Dad!
Mum! Time passes by way too fast. That made me laugh about the guy banging his head too. My comp almost died laughing. Sebastián did get baptized! Conference was awesome. It was cool seeing a bunch of other missionaries I know. I'm impressed with how Jake and Charly are handling things too. They're awesome. We're the best family ever. That activity sounds massive. Something like that here would be incredible. It's tough to get 30 or 40 people out to an activity in our branch. In Coelemu it was tough to get 5 people. 500 is nuts. I'm so jealous you get to teach the Plan of Salvation. I LOVE teaching that. This week I've really come to have a great appreciation for it and I feel like my eyes have been opened a bit about it. It's really the greatest knowledge we have through the Restored Gospel. No one else understands that like we do, even though they may have some small idea of different parts. I hope you have a good experience teaching it. Keep in touch with Scott if you can. If you could look into Liberty Square which is where he's living that would be great. I would love rooming with him. I'm jealous of your cruise!! By the way, if you could send a couple packs of EAGLE scripture markers, (big packs with like 12 colors from Deseret Book I think) that would be great. I'm running low. Love ya!
Michael! I'm so stoked about your mission call. I'll pray so you come to Chile. It really is the Lord's time. Are you reading Preach My Gospel? I hope you do well with your grades! I'm sure you'll do a great job. Is the tutoring a job or a service thing? Are you in American Heritage? Do you have to do 10 service hours? Are you doing TOPS (I think that's what it's called)? Way to go with the leg-shaving bud. Sold you're dignity for a nickel. I think the biggest difficulty that missionaries have is pride. When we refuse to receive counsel, be directed, or to be obedient, our progress is limited. Also, taking initiative and wanted to improve is important. I think learning to apply faith is also incredibly important. I'm studying faith, the atonement, the Spirit, and the Priesthood right now. They are all intertwined and through those things we can work miracles in the lives of others. As we gain a deeper understanding of those doctrines, our behaviour changes and we become more like Christ. Just always keep your head up and try to do your best. Give my congrats to Tanner. Love you bro!
Charly! That's so cool you're going on a cruise. I'm so jealous!! You're gonna have a blast. That is pretty crazy that Joseph is old enough to get baptized. How was the dance? How were the boys at the dance? Got your eye on any of them? I'm glad you're liking Sunday School. Seriously Char, studying the gospel is the greatest thing ever. I wish I could spend more time reading the scriptures every day. 1 hour isn't cutting it!! Love you Char!
Jake! That kendama thing sounds pretty cool. What made you wanna buy that? Nice job with soccer!! Sounds like you're tearing it up! I'm jealous about going to Moroni's Quest. I didn't get to go!! They had us convinced they were gonna re-do it a few years later but I missed it. Oh well... A mission's way better anyway. How goes you're scripture reading? What have you learned this week? Love ya!
Kenna! That's so awesome about all your goals. In the mission I've learned that it's really important to set goals. Sometimes it's difficult though when we don't look at our goals after. I think it's important to always review our goals so we can remember what we have to do and make plans to do it. I hope you do a great job! I saw the picture too!! You're so awesome. Love you Kenna!
Izaac! What is alligater day? Or thumb day? Thanks for writing me!! I am not excited to come home. I'm excited to see you guys but I never want my mission to end!!! Good job skiing and playing basketball. Love you!
This week was great in some aspects and very stressful in others. Sebastián got baptized my his uncle Rodrigo. It was incredible. Rodrigo, by himself, decided to fast the day before to prepare for the baptism he was going to perform. He's really progressing a lot. We're trying to help his wife Stanka progress at the same rate but she's more stubborn and in some ways holds him back. She goes to church, but doesn't stay for the 3 hours. Also, she never likes praying in front of others. We want to help her get as into it as her husband is. Sebastián was really happy. He's gonna be a great missionary.
We also had an awesome activity this week. We organized a dessert and karaoke night on Friday, and a bunch of people came. It was quite a hit. A bunch of investigators came too and it seems like they all enjoyed themselves. It was a great way to socially strengthen our converts and investigators, and it helped us gain the confidence of the leaders and the members. I love our branch, it rocks. It's been my favourite branch/ward to work with. There's tons of energy with missionarywork, and the leaders are supportive. We feel like we're all working on the same team, whereas in other sectors it sometimes feels like the local leaders don't show as much enthusiasm about new converts being baptized and about the task of retaining them.
Today we had Leadership Counsel which was pretty intense. Most of the zones in the mission did not have good months. Almost no one reached their monthly goals including us. President came down pretty hard on all of us, but we needed it. We've had some serious problems in our zone with the missionaries, but we've been drowning ourselves in the problems more than having the positive attitude and the faith to make solutions. We got some new monthly focuses like focusing on dilligence and reaching the standards of excellence with our key indicators. It's always cool to see how the President receives the same inspiration we do. Always, some of our problems our addressed in conferences and counsels. It's a testimony to me that this is the Lord's work and that the Spirit is really there. I personally felt pretty bad, cause for this upcoming month we aren't looking to great either. In our sector we have a bunch of people, but they all have big challenges with the word of wisdom or they aren't married yet or something. We need to have the faith that the Lord will work miracles with them. Pray for us!!
This week I've had a renewed desire to learn more about the gospel. I wish so bad I could just stop time and study the scriptures more. I wish I could read them for 10 hours a day, but there's never enough time. I really wanna make a dedicated effort to studying the gospel intensely for my whole life. I just love doing it. It's the greatest thing ever. I remember reading the scriptures before the mission just to read them. Sometimes I would only take 5 or 10 minutes a day doing it. I can't believe that!! I feel like if I only did that though I would die! That's one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given me on my mission - a greater thirst for knowledge. I've got a lot to learn. It's so cool how the Lord molds us and shapes us. I feel grateful for the humbling experiences I've had out here and for the opportunities to learn and grow. I think about what the Lord has in mind for each of us and it makes me so excited. I realize how much I need to improve the more I learn, but I know that through the atonement of Christ, we can all change.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It's so great. I think these last couple days have been some of the most stressful in my mission, but through stress we grow. I'm grateful that the Lord puts the limits on these trials so they don't overcome us, and I'm grateful that he lets them be strong enough to let us grow. The District President here said something interesting. In school, we learn the lesson and then take the test, but God does the opposite. He gives us the test and then we learn the lesson. It's so true.
I love you all. I know this is the Lord's work!! He's in it with us. Thanks for all you do. Keep praying for our investigators and our missionaries, and keep sharing the gospel!!