Thanks! My birthday was awesome! Bishop made me dinner and an ice cream cake for dessert. So delicious! Elder Leatherow, my mission dad, gave me a tie too! It was perfect because the assistants passed through his area a few days before my birthday and he gave it to them. Elder Leatherow is so awesome! Sadly, I haven´t gotten your package yet. Hopefully on Monday! One of the elders in the mission just got a Halloween package, so it might take a while. ;) I guess it all depends.
That is way cool that you all were able to go to the Capitol State Building!
Poor Grandpa. He has definitely lived a good life and I am so thankful for his example for me. Grandma must be really stressed right now. I will definitely keep praying for them both.
Katie and Lizzy are so good at reciting poems! That is awesome that Katie got to compete! I think it is a really good idea to memorize poems and scriptures. Katie told me that she has been memorizing all of the seminary scriptures for D&C. She would definitely take 1st place if they had a scripture mastery competition in Beaver.
What! Lexi got to see Tessa? I didn't even know you could do that! I guess this was just a small exception. Tessa is inspiring me a lot every week, she has already learned so much at the MTC! She is memorizing tons of words in What-Cha-Ma-Call-It. I´m really curious how she will like the culture in the Philippines. And I´m dying to hear her talk to me in her mission language! She sent me a few example sentences and it looks so strange to me. Spanish is so much easier to understand. :D Hiligaynon just doesn´t make sense to me!
I have been thinking a lot about the Atonement lately. On Tuesday I had an interview with President Vasquez and he told me that if we learn and truly understand the Atonement we will want to share the Gospel with other, naturally. This week I was reading in Alma about his conversion story. It was so powerful the change that came over him after he felt a little of the pain Jesus Christ felt as he atoned for our sins. He said that after he repented he felt as much joy as pain. It is so true what he said! Every time we repent there is a weight taken off our shoulders, and we feel so much peace and joy. It is just natural that we will want to share the gospel message with others!
A couple weeks ago we began teaching our first Jew! He is literally a descendant of Judah. He can also read and talk Hebrew. It is really, really cool to be able to teach him, but at the same time kind of sad. 99% of the people I have taught here believe in God and Jesus Christ, but he only believes he was a prophet. I was so confused for a while. I asked him, ¨Wait, so you believe he was a great prophet of God but that everything he said about Him being the Son of God and the Savior of the world were lies?¨ In essence, he affirmed this. He said he believed in the Old Testament, just not the New Testament. Sooo...apparently he believes in Isaiah too? How does that make sense? Anyways. All we could do was testify of Jesus Christ and His purpose as Savior of the world. Over and over again. I am so thankful to be a member of the Church, and this time I have to dedicate myself even more in the Work of the Lord. There is nothing more I could ask for.
You wouldn't believe how busy us Office Elders are right now! We have changes on Wednesday and it is crazy around here! There is so much we have to do before change meetings. On Tuesday I will give my first presentation for the new Elders. Pretty sure it will be in Spanish too. Pretty cool! In just a week I will be flying solo without Elder L. Crazy how fast time flies by.
This week I have been trying really hard to be more grateful for all of the blessings I have. President Vasquez told us that we should try not to have up and down moments. In every moment, no matter what is happening, we should be happy and be thankful. He told me that ¨gratitud es felicidad.¨ That is so true! When we are thankful, we are happy. We can say the same about charity. When we serve and love others, we will be happy about ourselves. Like President Hinckley's dad said, ¨Forget yourself, and go to work!¨ That´s what every missionary should put in practice. ;)
I love my mission, and I´m so thankful for your example for me! I couldn't have done it without you and Pop. :D