Thursday, 5 May 2016
Well Hello to the world!
The long awaited day has come and I can finally write to you. There is so much I want to say and I am not sure how to say it. To begin I would like say thanks to everyone who sent me letters. It is really nice to get them, though sometimes it takes me a few days to read them.
I am sorry to anything I forget but my mind is kinda freaking out right now just because there is so much to say and so little time to say it. And because for some reason the computer I am using doesn't want to read my SD card and so sorry I will send the pictures next week.
My companions (yes plural) are awesome. I am in a tri companionship with Elder Westover and Elder Billman. Elder Westover is from Washington State and is a runner. He is great. Elder Billman is from North Dakota and has trained with the Rangers and Marines and will be joining the Marines after his mission. He is really great at telling jokes. Both of them are teaching me a lot about love, patience, and trusting God. They are both going to the Florida Tallahassee mission. As for the rest of my district there is Elder Cook and Elder Parsons, both going to the Texas Fortworth mission(spelling???) We have two Sisters in our district Sister Cook and Sister Parsons [editor’s note: we’re not sure if this repeat in names is an error or not.] who do a very good job at leading and are also going to Tallahassee. We all love and respect each other and we Elders make sure that we show only that to the Sisters. Elder Cook and Elder Parsons have a temporary third companion Elder Hallam who is staying an extra week and is with us since his district has left. I was asked to be the District Leader which has brought both good and hard experiences.
Missionary work is so hard. I knew it would be, but I have found that I didn't really understand what this "hard" meant. It is so stressful and taxing and strenuous. You really can't do this yourself. Every day I am learning this and every day I have something significant to learn. What I really want to tell you all about this work though is that it is only possible if we turn to God. I do not have the capacity to do this, but when I look to Him and allow my faith in God to give me confidence and hope rather than my own abilities, good things start to happen. I'll share an experience from this last Friday. I had been feeling so inadequate that day that it was really getting to me. I was having such a hard time keeping tears out of my eyes and being happy because I just felt that I couldn't do this. That I would fail. At our 1:00 class I began to just break. I let the feelings just come and my sadness to fill me. What happened next was truly inspired. The day before we had in class a point of breaking that kind of started with me but most of us were feeling it and our teachers stepped in and helped. Friday was different. No one seemed to pay attention to the fact that I was crying and going through a rough time. Not the teachers or the other missionaries in the District. I was left to myself and the class went on. As I continued to have my doubts and difficulties circulate in my mind I had a great feeling come inside me that just filled me. It was the Spirit, and what He come to tell me was something opposite to what I had been feeling. The knowledge that this feeling brought was of a convincing message that God loves me and wants me to succeed. I had not come here to fail rather to come and see the success that the gospel has. Missionary work will not be stopped. It will happen and go forth even with our mistakes. These feelings of being overwhelmed and discouraged were not of God. Since that experience I have really been learning what it means to forget myself, to love, to be patient, and to accept that what God has in store me for me to learn is much different than what I thought. His ways are not my ways nor are His thoughts my thoughts. Thankfully, God knows best and will provide for me what is right. He has continuously taken care of me as I have learned to care for others. I could share so many experiences, but know that I go to bed happy and hopeful no matter what hard times I face in the day. I love the gospel and am learning to love in ways I have not before. Trust in Heavenly Father, have faith in Him and Jesus Christ, and listen to the Holy Ghost. He is with me always though never as that feeling from day 3. I love you Mom, Dad, and Anna and the rest of you my family and friends. Press forward in faith and thank you for your prayers. They are being answered.
Time is now up so good bye for now.
Love you so much,