As missionaries we really shouldn't complain but I make a small exception for this keyboard. It's horrific! Like typing on "Don't Break the Ice," and I keep losing letters with every word! Bear with me. . .
This week was I think one of the best on my mission. We worked. That's what brings happiness day in and day out. We talked, taught and walked, finally falling into what seems a good rhythm of who, where, and what we're going to do. We even had a family home evening, which have been rare here. It went well, even though it was very simple.
We put in order our area book, began to really make lots of contacts in the street, inviting people to be baptized in the street.
We baptized a young man's younger brother who has been attending seminary even though he's not old enough yet. They rode their bicycles one hour to get to church, then back home, and back again for the stake fireside. That is the strength of testimony and conversion. The older brother passed the sacrament and has taught with us, bearing a powerful testimony throughout the week.
I think the highlight however, was our Sunday morning attack plan. It was intricate and involved five different cars, waking up at 5 a.m. to get the bus, and traversing the city more than once. And the best thing was that it all worked out! We brought eleven investigators and around twenty people total to the church. Booyah! I know that the hand of the Lord was over us helping our helplessly grand plan turn out alright. It had so many hard corners where one little thing could have gone wrong. But it didn't. That's the marvelous thing about this being the Lord's work. It's His! He does with it what He wants and when we let him He works through us to do it. This week we put our own will and agency in His hands, and He has done a mighty miracle.
Sadly, the members here don't seem to be catching the flame, and we badly need them to help us teach the families and adults that we are teaching. We have invited and invited and invited, and will invite again, this time trying a massive delivery of discourse power to all member's mailboxes - "A voice of Warning" by Pres. Eyring. He lays out so beautifully the responsibility of members in missionary work. I invite you to read and study this message.
One of my favorite lines is, "The Lord would not say a voice of warning if there wasn't danger." There is of course very real danger for us and for those who need to hear the gospel. We must listen to this warning voice and share what we know in love and by our example, so that those who do not yet know may hear it and climb to the higher ground of the gospel.
Well, I know it's still short, but I do love you. I love your every word and feel your prayers day to day. I need them and you.
p.s. Need to renew my drivers license soon. . .
p.p.s. Yesterday's lunch was worth mentioning, a superb BBQ. . .but that was it. Just meat and soda and rice. We were like uhhhh, alright. So we shared a message and just called it a man's day ; )
Hello! We are all praying that you have a good day, every day. That you can feel of our love for you, and know how much we talk of you, rejoice in you, and are so blessed because of you and your choices. What a week! We're excited to hear about yours. Do I dare ask if you received the long lost package? _______ In regards to your last letter, there were varied opinions. Uncle Zach said, "Best. Letter. Ever. These pictures are each worth at least a thousand words." And he is right about those pictures. You can tell the missionaries were having a great time working together through your challenges. Was this two districts? Seems like there are more than the eight you mentioned as being in your district. But Grampy and your family are also of the opinion that you need to use a little more of your thirty minutes of computer time writing your family! Even if you have to send in reports, etc. we should benefit from most of your computer time. Just sayin'! Can you tell we want more?
For the news of the week? Spencer arrived home from his mission this week. I think he was in Denver? Your roommate Jeremy was made a zone leader. Your mission president's wife posted pictures on your Facebook page, and I found a tiny one of you.
Tell her she needs to get on the Londrina missionary mom's Facebook page...I sent her a friend request but she hasn't answered. Do you know Elder Halpin? He has a missionary brother serving in Argentina, whose girlfriend is serving in our ward. She knew all about Halpin, whose age she is, and ended up falling in love with his younger brother. (Dad said I should feel good that I don't look any older than her in the picture. Isn't that so sweet?)
Also, Dad's first missionary companion, Elder Shumway, has a daughter sent out on a mission to Charleston, WV! And she's currently in our stake. We have yet to meet her, but can hardly wait. What a fun picture to send to her father, who does not know yet.
Your cousin Greg arrived in Chile. He's SO psyched! and Naomi lamented, "First of all, I was sick. Yes, I've been taking my vitamins. Yes, I've been washing my hands. Yes, I've eaten enough fiber. But for whatever reason, one day I got sick. I had a fever and then hot and cold flashes and I felt like I was going to throw up. Sorry if that's too graphic. Luckily, we had planned some really slow-paced days where we could take our time and relax. Just kidding. We're missionaries. So I just struggled along. Its funny, because Soeur S. and I actually walked at the same pace! Normally, I have to look back every ten yards and wait for her to catch up. Oh Tahitians. Slowly but surely, I will get her to increase her walking speed. As Oregon Trailers know: Grueling Pace, Meager Rations gets you to the end." She's SO funny!
Hunter had one golf meet. We'll move right onto cross country. Hah! Cooper's first meet! You'll see the pictures eventually, but it is such a lovely course, and the weather's always so nice this time of the year. He is so laid back, and runs just like his personality. He's not in it to race, just to finish. He has to be one of the bigger boys in his grade, and is always surrounded by the girls! Porter has been making great strides in improving his time. Amazing what not having asthma or knee pain can do to help you improve!
Cooper has a new pet. A guinea pig. He's really cute, looks like a beagle, and is still in hiding. We're a BIG family with a BIG dog, a lot different than the one child home from which he came. He thought about calling him Beagle, but wanted a name that ended in an "er." Imagine that.
Cooper bequeathed his fish tank to Miller, who has been taking care of your fish very faithfully. Did you have more than one? Somebody did, but it's gone. The angel fish is ginormous, and occasionally snacks on the little fish when it needs an extra helping.
Seminary has begun! I am definitely just a little tired. Got to get into bed earlier, and sleep better. This week I've woken a few times itching from poison ivy. But I digress. I only have seven this year. One day I invited the missionaries to come to teach the annual plan of salvation lesson. I thought it would be good practice for them, and better for these kids to see as they prepare to go.
Breyer and I survived our first full week together. She's a girl! Meaning she doesn't just sit and play. She wants a companion, some company, a friend: Me. We do everything together. We have been asked to help a St. Bernard puppy go outside mid-day for a bathroom break. It's one of her favorite parts of the day. She loves to visit her, wake her up, and be chased by the dog. Sometimes the little puppy nibbles are more than she likes, but she always comes back for more. I'm glad we have this fun service to do together.
Cub scouts began this week as well. We began the year with our third annual conservation project: Picking up trash around the property of the church that hosts the pack. This year Sawyer is Webelos, and instead of following their two year Webelos program, I'm trying to scale back, and only do a year and a half. Then they'll have half a year as 11 year olds, and will feel comfortable going to scout camp. I sold the parents on just one year of Webelos, but half the boys will be too young to move on, and I didn't want to leave them behind. Serving in the community has been such a blessing to our family, I just love meeting new parents and getting new boys. We have a BANG of a year planned, beginning in two weeks with car and bicycle repairs.
Yesterday was the opening day of soccer season for Miller and Sawyer. Those two are fun to watch! They both scored two goals, and both of their teams won. They also played the entire game, being moved to defense when they needed to rest, and then back to striker when rested. Sawyer's done a great job coaching Miller in sport fundamentals, but Miller is just a gifted athlete. He's got quick, tricky feet, and knows all the moves. Saturday was also the annual favorite from Marshall, RecFest. Your father actually set up a table for sport management this year, to recruit students, and had a few of the brothers going around to collect the free food coupons, the pens, bags, blankets, cups, balls, etc. that are handed out. He worked really hard to get a table for the missionaries but was contacted at the last minute and told there were no more tables. We'll try again next year!
These funny pictures are fresh off the press - Miss B, which we call her quite frequently over here, did NOT want to smile for you this morning! After church, walking in my shoes, she was quite happy to oblige.
Today in church your brother Hunter gave a last minute talk on the Godhead. Dad asked him last night at 9 p.m. He's always so willing to help out. Cooper was asked first, but declined as he was working on a talk for tomorrow night's Priesthood Preview, speaking on the Aaronic priesthood. Then Porter said no, as he was working on a Priesthood lesson. He spoke about how Heavenly Father wants us to pray to him, always, and spoke of how he could understand this more since you've been away. We know where you are, and when you'll be home, but those weekly emails are what we look forward to the most, as Heavenly Father must look forward to our "talking" with him. He also mentioned the Holy Ghost, and how grateful he is for this gift. He was golfing last week, and waiting for another golfer. He talked about golf etiquette, and how there's no talking or moving when someone is golfing. But he was standing still, waiting for someone to hit and heard someone yell, "Fore!" which means an incoming ball. He said he's stopped moving when that is yelled unless he sees the ball, because you don't know where it is going to land, and one spot is as good as the rest, but that day he was warned to move and he did, taking a large step forward. He then heard a ball go by. If he hadn't moved he would have been hit in the head.
I shared this quote with you two weeks ago, but never finished my thoughts: "None of us come to this earth to gain our worth; we brought it with us."
To finish off this epistle, here's the rest of the thought...Elder Scott said, "In the premortal life you proved to be valiant, obedient, and pure. There you worked hard to develop talents and capacities to prepare yourselves to face mortality with courage, dignity, honor, and success. Not long ago you came to mortality with all of those magnificent capacities and endless possibilities. Yet there is real danger in the environment surrounding you. Your great potential and ability could be limited or destroyed if you yield to the devil-inspired contamination around you. However, Satan is no match for the Savior. Satan’s fate is decided. He knows he has lost, but he wants to take as many with him as he can. He will try to ruin your goodness and abilities by exploiting your weaknesses. Stay on the Lord’s side, and you will win every time." We know you're on the Lord's side. We know you are valiant and obedient and pure. We can ask for nothing more. Have a wonderful week!
"We are created as much from the dust of eternity as we are from the dust of the earth. Every one of us has potential we can scarcely imagine." Joseph B. Wirthlin
“We write to taste life twice once in the moment and retrospect.” Anias Nin
Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery
When we are filled with Love, we can make a profound difference. It's what we came to do. Ardeth G. Kapp
Men are what their mothers made them. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1860
In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair; let us feel the silent prayers of others around us, and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers. Dieter F. Utchdorf
I want to be the kind of Mom that would remember to get the broken Wheezy off of the shelf, fix his squeaker, and put him back in the toy box, having hope that my boys will still want to play.
11 out of 12 original astronaut corps (89%) who have walked on the moon have been an Eagle Scout