We taught 23 lessons this week. That is the most I've taught in a week my whole mission. You said that I must be working hard; I hope that is true. But sometimes it is hard to feel like I'm working hard. It isn't at all like track or any sport. It is easy to feel your body working hard. It is much harder to work hard on a mission. you have to work hard in prayer and in attitude. I was told by several people that the mission would be the hardest thing I've ever done. I dont feel like it is any more exhausting than anything else I might be doing (college for example). I was always warn out after a week of school. The mission is literally a full time job and unrelenting. There is no weekend. But I am also less tired than I was at school. I think as a cause of having no week end. The weekends are what really exhausted me. I'm tired on the mission alot too but there aren't deadlines or anything to stress me. It is all subject to other people’s dictation, which can be much more abnoxious than deadlines because I have no control over it.
Okay a few questions: Did you ever recieve the cd I sent? Did you ever look up that talk I mentioned? Just curious. I haven't heard any update on Vila Pueblo. I haven't heard any word on homemade christmas presents. Did Matt of Rachel or Brian or David or Ali dress up as anything for Halloween? (I didn't forget cubby he was a lumber jack) Did you follow the tradition and watch Ghost and Mr. Chicken? Is the family still in contact with Ali? Oh and if you do send socks, it would be nice if they were really warm socks.
Okay so it hasn't snowed much yet. The warmest it's been since I came to Brainerd was 50 degrees and that was just the other day. Most of the time it’s been below freezing or right around it. There are some of the nicest people in this ward. Have I told you about Brother Lund? He is the greatest guy. But this ward has some real struggles. So many people of the ward are less active because of some events that have happened in the last few years. One of which was the divorce of the former bishop and his wife. Both of whom are some of the nicest and most liked people in the ward. The Bishop now attends another ward becase of a court order and his former wife no longer attends. I think the recent conflict is magnified by the fact that most of the members have to drive thirty minuets to an hour, some even three hours, to come to church. So it is really easy to decide to not go to church. We are hoping for two baptisms this up comming month. We have a lesson with Danielle Higgins tonight who is our most promising progressing investigator.
Rachel you wrote me twice in a week... that’s got to be a PR for you. Ha ha Well thank you for your letters. I will change a little but no worries I'll still be as obnoxious as I was before I left. But you better change. You’ll have alot of expirences in the next two years that will be really growing experiences. So when is you big competitio? I thought there was some competitions coming up. I remember you had that latin group competition but how about the competition that you got the dress for? And how in the world did you earn $1000 dollars (I think I remember that that was the amount you earned for it). That’s alot of money.
Dad, I was jealous hearing about the yard projects I was missing out on. But the lord allowed me to be able to find some people this last week to be able to help--most people wont let us help. One person we were able to help started crying because her dad had always helped her before but he was now in a nursing home and she was struggling to do it by herself. It is such a privilage to be able to help someone when they need it. The real problem is finding people who will acept help even when they need it.
Mom and dad, I have thought several times this last week about how greatful I am for my parents who have taught me so much about the gospel. My dad was at every service project and my mom held no guile with anyone. They were both eager to serve and slow to be offended. They loved all the members of the ward. Perhaps this is what most impressed me. They did not simply show face honor to all but truly loved and became friends with both poor, rich and humble and they both loved going to church and had passion for its tenants and principles. I loved hearing about Brother Comstcock. I think I've decided that I have no chance of being a good parent so if I ever have kids I'll send them to you guys to raise. Sound good?
Alittle more about Brother Comstock. It's been interesting to me that recent converts and less active members have been far more sucessful at obtaining referals for the missionaries. Some might say that is because they have friends who aren't members but I doesn’t appear to be the case. I think it is because in these cases they are in the process of repenting. They are actively using the atonement in their lives. They are anxiously engaged in a good cause. I love the line in D&C 121 that says how long can rushing water remain impure. We must remian as rushing water in the gospel. If we are staggnent we become filthy. The atonement is the way that we can improve every aspect of out life, from relationships to school work to dancing. It is the way we move beyound ourselves and into the eternal. We can improve because of the hope we have that is in Christ our lord. If every member were to actively using the atonement in their lives they would, I have no doubt, as if led by an invisible hand, find people who need to hear the gospel.
I love you all,
PS Before I run out of time I want to tell David to talk to Brian about girls. Beause Brian and I discovered a little someting about them last year. Girls will be girls and they do have a hard time becoming "just friends". They thrive on being close, being needed and wanted. I'm sure Rachel and maybe mom will argue about some of this and they probably will have a valid point but I'm still right. I'm just saying that I think She'll have a hard time even if she says it's a good idea. Just ask Brian.
PPS The Vikings beat Green Bay--It's kind of a big deal.
ppps I've heard alot of interesting things from people about Obama here... I'm courious what Bruce and Margret have to say...