Well family, friends, companions, AND FELLOW TEXICANS!!!
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENNY!! I CAN NOT WAIT TO WISH YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHEN I SEE YOU! WE'LL HAVE TO HAVE CUPCAKES BECAUSE I LOVE THEM AND WE CAN HAVE SOME CARROT STICKS FOR YOU...because I don't know what you love but you are a healthy person so I figured carrot sticks might work? Whatevs. We'll sort it all out when I get back! I LOVE Y'ALL SOOOOO VERY MUCH! Y'ALL ROCK! Happy birthday Uncle!!! hope it is just a lovely one! I will give y'all a big BIRTHDAY HUG!!! YAHHHHOOOOOOO HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!
WE ARE ALL ENLISTED TILL THE CONFLICT IS OVER. HAPPY ARE WE. HAPPY ARE WE! Yes I want to sing this...and then I want to cry because its so true. Conflict is never over so I have nothing but happiness. I am right now in a public Library surrounded by several companionships of missionaries in my Zone. I can not believe how young we are. We are so young.....except for me. All the missionaries remind me that I'm old. :P But I don't care. I love being young. I love being able to explore and joke around and yet have perspective. I have realized the importance of perspective. Oh how the Lord makes personal adventures.
I know I must go on and on I shall go but not without a tantrum or two! On my mission, I have become a firm believer in tantrums. Sometimes in life, we need to give ourselves a break and just throw ourselves on our beds or floors or on our friends and just cry and be frustrated. The act of tantruming is not bad, it's the wallowing in the tantrum that gets sticky. Everyone can have a good tantrum BUT they must be expected to pick themselves back up and move on. It gets too lonely and boring sitting on the ground after a while watching life pass you by. You need to allow the Lord to help you get back up on your feet. Man, I wish I took my own advice sometimes :) Just kidding. I am working on it.
It's amazing the Perspective the Lord has allowed me to see while being on my mission. I literally see his hand doing what my Patriarchal Blessing says of "guiding me and directing" me. He knows how I work. He knows I'm going to throw a tantrum but he has promised us that he will not leave us comfortless. He will support us even in the loneliest of times. He is the master captain of our immortal souls. He will lead us to calmer waters...usually meaning that we may have to go through some storms and sketchy seas to get there.
I wish y'all could have been in Texas with me through the last year and a half but there is grand design in this missionary work. We are all young pups when we go out and we think we know a thing or two and then WHACK!!! you get hit upside the head real quick. Usually it's not God that does the hitting upside the head but our own stupidity that leads us straight on into a pole. Silly us. :) hahaha OH man, one of my current companions, Sister Humphries has a saying that has really struck me. She told me about how she was asking God to not allow herself to get in her own way. Well that is an elementary thought but I guess I've just been seeing it more and more as I've been thinking about it. God allows us to trip over ourselves several times but he is always there picking us back up.
This past week was another blessing. Some sisters called us from Encino Park and asked if we could do exchanges with them. I got to go along with one of my other companions, Sister Mattson to Encino Park and see Mama Billie and connect with some of the people that I haven't seen in a while. I was in shock because I could see the hand of the Lord in this work once again. There were several people that we were working with (less active and potential people). Though I did not baptize or bring back these people to activity, I saw the effect of my visits on their lives. One man was baptized because of these efforts. Another Less active family has come back into full activity. The father was a meth addict and the wife, a return missionary. They had a son that was never blessed. The husband and I immediately hit it off and we worked with them and the bishop. He is completely clean now and has the priesthood and next month, he is planning on blessing their son. God is so good.
My heart is so sad but it has been made light. I know it is because of y'all's prayers. I truly can't wait to see y'all. I AM GOING TO BE WEIRD OK! I AM ONE WEIRD DUCK BUT I LOVE MYSELF SO BE PLEASE PATIENT WITH ME. I am an awkward sister missionary. I only love the Gospel. I am working on loving things of a secular nature.....yeah right lets be honest I CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR MUSIC AGAIN!!!! My violin playing is terrible so please don't ask me to play a concert in the next week or so unless you want to hear a squeaky hymn. I am not perfect. I have learned a lot but please know that I love you even when I am weird....and maybe a little tubby. but just more of me to love. :) Don't worry, I have talked to God about it and he is going to help me.
Life is so good. I love y'all. oh so very much. I love y'all. God is a God of miracles. He will help us. Daddy, I love you. Don't go toward any bright lights till after I see you on Wednesday...OK? :) ....keep Bailey away from them too. Life after the mission....ready or not...HERE I COME!!!
Because this is my final e-mail as a missionary, I am going to go crazy with my personal insights and rants and whatever comes to my mind. Y'all enjoy it.