My Family, So Dear and Far Away,
Some thoughts at six months? I like this quote from President McKay, "True happiness only comes from making others happy." That's my line of work, no pun intended. But is true. You can think like I might have briefly Sunday morning at 6:30 walking to the chapel in my suit when it began to rain and we didn't have umbrellas, that it wasn't worth it, or that the investigator who needs a helping hand to get to church today could get there on their own. Or, you can remember the inexpressable joy that comes from living the gospel and go and give this gift to them, even if it means, and it usually does, uncomfortable circumstances, heat, rain without umbrellas, sore knees and backs. And somehow with all of this you feel happy and content and glad to do what you´re doing. That's what a mission is all about.
And wouldn't you know it? We left our jackets, more or less dry, in the chapel to head out in the rain to search for our lost sheep and the one place that I put my jacket also happened to be the one place where the roof leaked, copiously, and so despite my best attempts it was soaked too. But it was okay because later in the day we got wet again this time in the baptismal font, extra full because of the rain that had fallen all morning.
This week is my companion's birthday. I expect I´ll throw a little celebration for him. . .Any excuse to have cake or BBQ is a good one. No packages or letters but they should come this week with transfers, I'll be staying. Shoot me the mission address of Naomi. French bread and bologna-- staple of Brasil. Nothing amazing but it's good. I prefer the bread with straight olive oil, in the spirit of Mom Mom.
I've gained back some of the weight donated while in Tupã. As Grampy says, "This is Good." The other night while taking a refreshing shower before bedtime, I had the displeasing surprise of a stream of cockroaches running out of the drain in my direction. I wielded the only available weapon, a shampoo bottle, and valiantly defended our home. In case you don´t know, these bad boys bite and sting here. Not your run of the mill cockroaches, no. But all was well, and their bodies lay, as the scriptures say, "In a mouldering heap."
Which leads me to my thought for the week, from one of my favorite passages of the Book of Mormon:
"And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are a moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo. While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness. And thus we see how great the inequality of man is because of sin and transgression, and the power of the devil, which comes by the cunning plans which he hath devised to ensnare the hearts of men. And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life."
Oh! it just rings with truth and beauty. Share the gospel, for there are those waiting, many in sorrow, others in darkness, but we have joy to give to them through the light of our Savior, even Jesus Christ. I testify that He lives and waits for us in the house of our Father. The plan we have to follow is perfect and it brings only joy. I am so thankful to be a missionary for my Lord and so thankful that I have you as my family.