Family! Thanks for writing. I bet it's so weird for Michael being back home, especially since he's leaving for his mission so soon. Can't believe it.
Dad! Sounds like you've had your fair share of driving. How does it feel with almost a second son on the mission? I know you didn't want me to extend my mission, but I couldn't reject such an opportunity. There are people who need the gospel and that's two months more to help them. That's crazy about the fires! Thank goodness they got put out. It reminded me of President Monson's story at general conference. Love ya Dad, thanks for understanding the extension.
Mum! I know it'll be sad not being with the family for very long, but I still think it's the best decision. Hahaha when I told Michael it's rough going home I meant that it's rough adjusting back to normal life after being away from home so long. They're doing a grade 9 grad?? That's cool. Nice job being a missionary Mum and talking about the church with that other mum from Izaac's class. Anyway, thanks for understanding about the extension. It'll be worth it! Love ya Mum!
Michael! Another 4.0? Nicely done my friend. You are a champ. Sounds like you had fun camping haha. I remember what it's like saying bye to friends at school. It's sad cause then afterwards everyone kind of goes there ways, going on missions and then pursuing their lives, but you'll maintain contact with some of them. You're probably see some of your friends in the MTC! Being a missionary is the best. I love it! There has nothing that has ever made me so happy and brought so much out of me. It's gonna do the same for you. It's gonna be tough not being able to see you for 4 years, but you're gonna be a great missionary. I love you Mike.
Charly! I haven't heard from you, but I hope you enjoyed going to Utah! Good job with your dress-shopping stuff. You're awesome. Love ya!
Jake! Didn't hear from you either, I imagine it was a little tough being out of town. Hopefully everything's going well! Love ya!
Anyway, thanks for understanding about the extension. Thinking about it made me really sad in some ways knowing that I won't see Michael and knowing that I'll be with the family with so little time. Especially today realizing that Michael is leaving so soon and that the time with the family will be so short after the mission, I've felt sad about it. It's not an easy decision to be made, but I can't give up the opportunity to preach the gospel for 2 months more. It's gonna be a great experience, and people are still waiting to hear this message.
I received some miraculous news today. I got a letter from some converts from Chiguayante. The Torres family is doing great. Yarelee, the daughter, got set apart to be the second counselor in the Young Womens, and is preparing to be a missionary. They're preparing to go to the temple as well. Also, I got a letter from Francisco and Catherine, a couple that got baptized that went inactive. I felt so much sadness when they went inactive. Anyway, I found out they moved out of Chiguayante, so no longer have contact with the missionaries there. Here's the good news. They live in Talcahuano, which is where I'm probably going when I extend my mission. I hope by some miracle they'll be in my ward boundaries.
Anyway, today we had Mission Leader Counsel (no longer Zone Leader Counsel), with 6 of the leader sister missionaries. It was weird hahaha but it'll help the mission a lot. It was a really intense counsel. In Penco, all the people we had to get baptized in the month fell. We went all over the place visiting all the sectors trying to save those who we could, but no one got baptized at all. It was a complete failure in that aspect. Elder Carter and I felt horrible knowing how that responsibility was ours. I got there part-way through the month, but I still felt so bad knowing that we failed. Anyway, the mission did rough as a whole. President came down really hard on us, and it was pretty intense. I feel really repentant, and I'm glad he was so blunt with us. We needed a wake up call. As always though, he really lifted us up and animated us as we left. We felt the Spirit a lot. President Humphrey is really great. I'm way more motivated to be an example and to be completely dedicated to the work.
This week I've been studying in Mosiah in the chapters about king Noah, Abinadi, and King Limhi. As I've read, I've come to understand both the positive and negative effects a leader can have on his people. We can either guide or misguide our missionaries. Also, people will either rise or fall to our expectations and example. I love the Book of Mormon. I've been able to feel its power this week as I've read. I love the Restored Gospel.
Elder Carter and I have made some plans to really get things going in the zone. We're going to focus on our example as leaders. One of the things we're going to do that came to mind, was committing ourselves to doing the little things that will increase our dedication and spirituality, such as making sure our bed is always made and keeping our conversations dedicated to the work. We feel that if we can set the example in the small things, we'll be able to invite the missionaries to do the same, and we'll see increased spirituality, dedication, and success.
Anyway, I hope everyone is doing well. I love you all a lot and I want you to all be happy! The gospel is the greatest thing ever. Imagine where we would be without it. I'm so grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel. I know this is the truth.
I love you all so much!