2 January 2010
So how was your Christmas and New years? Did everyone take turns blowing the horn? I must say that I did miss blowing the horn this year! Elder Conley and I went out though and bought a bottle of sparkling apple cider each. That was nice to have a whole bottle to my self!
Man...people went crazy here in little ol' LaJunta. Twelve a.m. hit and people started yelling and screaming, fireworks were going off and guns were being shot...(Don't worry, no one was injured!)...But, yeah, I've never seen LaJunta so alive!
So I mentioned in my last e-mail that Elder Conley (the other Oregonian) and I are now companions but I didn't tell you that it's just the two of us in the house now. I guess they're not doing four Elders in Lahunta this transfer. We've done a lot of re-arranging! We did a pretty deep cleaning after the other two Elders left and got rid of a ton of junk. Oh, I was going to ask you if you've heard anything about the picture card. I doubt it will ever show up but I still really hope it does.
Well, I have exciting news! Elder Conley and I had a baptism today! We baptized a girl in her early 20's who we've been teaching. She was originally going to get baptized on the 13th of December, and then it got pushed to the 24th of December, and then it got moved to January 2nd...and as we all know, the third time is the charm! It went really well. She looked so happy and excited. It was so neat to see because there have been huge changes in this girls life. Huge changes! She is not the same person. I love watching people accept the gospel into their lives because I get to get a glimpse of the divine potential that each one of us have as children of our Heavenly Father.
3 January 2010
Today in church we confirmed K_____. She looked so happy. She is going to do so well in the church. She already understands so much and has a sweet, simple testimony. We're so excited for her.
Well today we are going to head out to Rockyford and try to talk to some potential investigators that we have out there. We have a few that we haven't been able to get a hold of lately so we're going to keep trying.
So Sam, has the new term started? Do you know what classes you're going to take? Tell me how it goes!
So how was that "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" book? It sounded pretty good. I like it when people take classics like that and come at it from a different angle. And it sounds like it has to be good because dad fell asleep...again! And he only does that if it's a really good read!
Thanks for my "after Christmas" letter mom! It was a nice treat. I love that Joseph Smith quote:
"I can take my bible, and go into the woods, and learn more in two hours than you can learn at meeting in two years."
It really is true. There is far more than a lifetime of learning and knowledge hidden within the pages of the scriptures. We don't spend nearly enough time pondering them. It's something I can still do better.
I also loved that scripture in Romans 8:18 "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." I don't think we'd complain or slack like we all do at times if we could comprehend the prize waiting for us in the end. We have to act a lot on faith and put our full trust in Christ and His words. As we do that we really are blessed both now and in the eternities.
It reminds me of a scripture I read the other day in Ether 12:18 (The Book of Mormon)
"And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God." Our belief and trust in Jesus Christ is first and foremost if we are living a righteous life. There is so much to learn!
So, it sounds like you guys have some cool missionaries in the ward. That's neat. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I'm one of those missionaries! It's crazy...What is the church thinking, sending 19 year old boys out to teach people?! No, it's an awesome experience. There really is nothing to compare.
Actually...as I was teaching Gospel Principles today in church something hit me that I wanted to share with you. We were talking about Heavenly Father and how He loves us so much and we were discussing how he is always there for us and we still mess up so much. And all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks how much my love for each one of you has grown since I've been away. I don't fully understand why, but it has. It's like that line, "You don't know what you've got til it's gone." That's what it feels like to me. Don't get me wrong...We've had great times together and built wonderful memories that I wouldn't trade for anything but I feel like I never took full advantage of the time we had before I left, and like I didn't express my love for you nearly enough. I hope you all know how much I love each one of you! Our family is awesome. A little crazy, but awesome!
Thank you mom and dad for all you've done for me. It's been alot! Thank you for the countless late nights and prayers for me. Thank you for spending so much one on one time with me.
Sam, thank you for always being there for me...someone I could talk to who would listen to me ramble on and on (usually about nothing!) And thank you for all your help on my school papers!
And Emma, thank you for always being so fun. It seems like your almost always happy (except when your rudely awakened in the early morning!) Thank you for being such a good example of doing what's right. You have such a strong testimony...keep it up.
Anyway, I love you all. Don't forget it!
Well, Elder Conley and I went out to Rockyford today...(yes, the writing of this letter has spanned across the entire day!)...and we were able to talk with E______,
who we haven't seen in about a month because he was never home. When Elder Downs and I saw him last we gave him a copy of the movie "The Testaments" to watch and when Elder Conley and I went tonight he turned off the football game he was watching and put it in, without us even asking, and said he had a bunch of questions he wanted us to answer! It was so cool. He said he had watched it a ton of times (which I believe because he quoted about half of the movie!)
So we watched it and answered all his questions and he was so happy to understand. We asked him if he wanted to work towards baptism and he said he would because he knew it was the right thing to do. So he's got a date for the 23rd of January. That was really exciting! Pray for him please!
So we have Stake Conference coming up on the 16th and 17th of this month and guess what? Russell M. Nelson is going to be there! (A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apsotles) I'm really looking forward to that.
Well, I'll let you go now. Have a great week! Love you tons. Stay healthy and happy O.K.
Speaking of healthy, is everyone feeling better now? I hope so....
I'm really going now!