Muy buenas tardes, espero que se encuentren bien!
Well, time just keeps flyin by, but these past couple weeks have been really good.
First off, Mom, thanks for sharing that poem with me, and I appreciate your thoughts that you shared with me about how in life it never goes exactly according to plan, and that you have had to make some hard decisions and experience some hardship in your life, but all these things are for our benefit and learning so that we can push our potential and become better. I wish you good luck with everything, and I hope you can get into that nursing program!
Dad, it’s good to hear that everything is going well with work and everything is getting better in your financial situation. What new car did you end up getting?
Holly, First of all, I think it’s absolutely hilarious that you are drugging your kids to get them to go to sleep hahahaha, but seriously, it’s kind of funny. But I completely understand how awesome it is for them to fall asleep on time after having babysat many times… The boys look so different from how I remember them. They look so much bigger especially Calvin. I don’t even hardly recognize him he’s so big now.
Curt, I hope the lesson and everything you are working on ends up turning out like you want. It would be pretty awesome to get some royalty pay almost off of all your work. Thanks for your thoughts on the mission as well because I have been thinking a lot about why we have the problems we do in the mission as missionaries, and what you said really made some good sense to me.
Collin, my main man, thanks for the pictures. That’s super sick man that you have been getting good at some skating. President Ruiz was impressed by the pictures you sent me, and he said you are super crazy haha. No but that’s awesome man, I didn’t get your main email though, I don’t know if it just didn’t get through, but if you could re send it that would be awesome.
General Conference was absolutely awesome like always! In the mission, general conference is like our super bowl or national championship because its just so dang awesome. I always learn a ton and really grow spiritually. This general conference I went in with a very heavy thought/doubt on my mind. The prophets and apostles always tell us that if we go to watch conference with a question in our mind and a prayer in our heart we will always receive the guidance and answers that we need. I have to say that I do feel like I received some inspiration and guidance from a couple talks. I really enjoyed President Uchtdortf´s talk about why people join our church, and I also really loved his talk in the priesthood session. I always enjoy Elder Holland´s talks, and his talk this conference was no different. I feel like from a combination of talks I really learned a lot and I feel like I have resolved my own personal doubt and I feel a lot better. I didn’t get to see the morning session because I had to accompany a poor elder who had to go get his wisdom teeth out. He had to do it , because the doctor that could actually do the operation was only available L kind of sad, but somebody had to be there. But overall I just loved conference! Especially the fact that there are no more than 15 million members and more than 80,000 missionaries! We live in some amazing times.
As far as nickson goes, I have some bad news. So these past couple weeks after I sent you all my letter we tried to continue teaching him, and at first we went to our appointment, and he didn’t show up, and we called him and he said he was just super busy but that he could meet with us another time. After that we continually tried to contact him to see when we could teach him some more, and he just kept putting up excuses that things were going on and he didn’t have time to meet with us, until he just stop answering his phone when I tried to call him. Then Elder Sanchez tried to call him, and he stopped answering him as well. So we don’t really know what happened because when we taught him he was so positive and wanting to learn and read more, but all of a sudden he didn’t want anything to do with us, really sad. So we of course didn’t baptize him yesterday, and we haven’t been able to contact him for some time, so he’s pretty much dropped off the face of the earth. It’s really sad and disappointing, but it’s not the first time something like that has happened to me on the mission. Everyone has their agency, and at times due to outside pressures or internal doubts or just plain laziness people chose not to take the path that will bless their lives, and it’s really hard to watch, but as a missionary I can still feel good because I did my part in sharing the gospel.
As far as other possibilities, we did actually baptize someone yesterday as an office. We baptized a 16 year old girl named Rosemary that Elder Yergensen, Perez and I found a couple months ago while contacting. We had kind of dropped her though a while back because she didn’t want to go to church and she just didn’t seem that interested, but a few weeks ago the assistants went and visited her again, and I don’t know what happened, but she was more prepared and willing to receive the message, and has been coming to church these past couple weeks and got baptized yesterday. Even though I didn’t really have a whole lot to do with her getting baptized, we are counting it as a baptism for the office which is really cool, because it’s been quite awhile since the office baptized someone, so we are pretty happy about that, and Ill try to send a picture of it next week or something.
As far as other work in the office and everything, it’s been kind of crazy because a lot of things have been happening. Ever since the mission nurses have started working in the office, it seems like the whole mission is getting sick, o I have been keeping quite busy with the nurses telling me to go buy medicine or go pay hospital bills every 5 minutes. We have also been working on replacing all the old furniture in the houses of the missionaries. I think some of the stuff the missionaries have been using in their houses is from like the 80´s or something because some of the stuff is ooooooollllllllddddddd. So we have been unloading new stuff like desks, beds, closets off of trucks, and then loading stuff back up in other trucks and sending them to different parts of the mission to once again unload them and move them into the houses of the missionaries. I feel like all those times I helped move people back in priests quorum are really coming in hand, and I could definitely get a job as a mover after the mission for how much stuff I have been moving around haha.
These past couple of weeks, I have found myself dwelling on the experiences I have had here in the mission and in my life. I have been dwelling a lot on who I want to be after the mission. In the time I have been down here in Guatemala, I have experienced things I never thought I would experience in my life. I have had some amazing things happen, and I have learned so much, but I have also experienced the hardest times in my life I think. I have had some really low lows here on the mission and found myself thinking really negatively on all of my faults, failures, or my lack of ability to be exactly who I want to be. In President Uchtdorf´s talk in the priesthood session, there was something he said that really struck me;
I have watched men filled with potential and grace disengage from the challenging work of building the kingdom of God because they had failed a time or two. These were men of promise who could have been exceptional priesthood holders and servants of God. But because they stumbled and became discouraged, they withdrew from their priesthood commitments and pursued other but less worthy endeavors.
And thus, they go on, living only a shadow of the life they could have led, never rising to the potential that is their birthright. As the poet lamented, these are among those unfortunate souls who “die with [most of] their music [still] in them.”
I was thinking about how at times, I can get really down on myself when I fail or I don’t do something correctly. And what he said really hit me, that if I let my failures and weaknesses and faults really get to me, I could go living a shadow of the life I could have. President Uchtdorf goes on to say;
Brethren, our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.
I feel like that is one of the biggest lessons I am learning on the mission. It doesn’t matter how many times I fail, but what I do when I fail that makes the difference. All I know is that I don’t want to end my mission or finish this life with all my music still inside me. I know that with the help of the lord and according my faith, I can learn to overcome my weakness and really keep moving forward, living up to my potential.
I was reading one of Elder Chamber´s emails, and he was talking about how at times, we can feel lonely or sad because we seem different from everyone else. But he said that we shouldn’t feel sad or lonely because we are different, but we should never be afraid to be different, but we should love ourselves with all of our faults and differences, and move forward blessing the world in our own unique and special way. That’s what I want to share with all of you, is not worry about what other people think or what the world thinks, just do the best that you can being the best YOU that you can, and you will live up to your divine potential. That’s the purpose of the gospel, to help us on our own personal journey to become what our heavenly father wants us to become and live up to the potential we have as his children.
I love you all tons, and I hope that life is good. I pray for you always, and I'm thankful for all your prayers and support. Have an extra super awesome week!