Monday, March 24, 2014

24 March 2014

Dear Family,

Well, the fast on saturday was imposed, I got seriously ill for the first time in my mission. I was dying all week, I missed like three days of work. Just today I feel like I can walk normal distances. I was getting tired from standing up to go to the bathroom and stuff like that, it was pretty awful. Hopefully that never happens again. So I'm just recovering right now, I feel a little better today, hopefully I'll be fine by tomorrow morning. It was good to have a little bit of a mental break, even though our area suffered a little bit, I was thinking a lot. My comp and I had some good bonding time as well, so it was excellent. Definitely an inspired sickness, I think.

So my week was really boring. I laid in bed nearly the whole time. I hope you do well on your test, it sounds a little stressful, but you'll probably do good, I am confident that you know how to fly a plane after all these years. 

I heard that Elder Kempton went to halmoni's house, that's cool. It's always a fun time making dat mandoo, it made me really hungry when I heard. Thinking about food back home is one of the main things that makes me trunky, haha. I heard it described like this once. At the beginning of your mission, you get into a rowboat and start rowing furiously, at the beginning it's a little hard because if you look back you can see the land, but after a while you only see water and you're just rowing like a madman, then when you hit a year and a half, you start to see the destination. It's just hard by nature, not through any fault of the rower, it's just easier not to look back at the beginning of a mission than it is to not look forward towards the end. Especially when you're laying in bed for a week... Haha but I'm better now, time isn't going toooo fast. The point of that whole paragraph is... I want some korean food. And chipotle. And red chicken/everything that comes out of mom's oven.

I love you guys, have a fun week.

17 March 2014

Dear Family,

Well, sadly enough, elder phillips moved, but his new house is only a ten minute walk away, so we see him all the time.

I hadn't even realized it was march madness. I actually thought about the concept of the tournament the other day and said to myself, "That's sweet, I really love march madness" I didn't even realize it was starting this week. Que locura.

Good to hear that bekah is doing some work, it sounds like a load of fun. I think I will join in your family fast on saturday, I could use a good fast. I have grown to love fasting, and I actually feel a tangible increase in spiritual strength when I do it. It's interesting how I never noticed that before my mission.

I caught your sly hint about Rachel and Thomas. That's what I'm talking about.

We had a baptism yesterday, it was a little crazy, but in the end it happened. I'll send some pics next week. 

I'm doing good, just a little more tired every day. Keep praying for my legs, haha.

Love you guys

10 March 2014

Dear Dad,

This is just smashing. I'm really excited for you, dad, you're getting my dream calling.

That week was kind of nuts, I just got changes and I'm staying here in my area with another old friend that came into the mission with me. He's called Elder Do Santos. He's from Argentina, but somehow he speaks perfect english. Don't remember where he learned, but he comes tomorrow. We're gonna have a blast. Elder Phillips, incidentally our best mutual friend, is actually staying in our branch, opening up that village with his oro! This is going to be an exciting part of the mission for us. 

Our new mission president rocked my world this week. We met him at concilio and he is so cool. He greeted me by name without looking at my badge, so I know he really loves us. He is putting a lot of emphasis on becoming a real disciple of Christ, so we're trying to really live the gospel and find people to serve.

I love you guys, you're the best thing ever.

3 March 2014

It's good to hear about you guys.

I'm coming back on the original date again, I've been really excited about that decision. I'm just trying to work hard and be honorable. I'm sorry this is a short email, just know I'm fine, I'm just running out of time!!!

Love you guys!

24 Feb. 2014

Dear family,

Thanks for loving me and being proud of me, that means a lot. So, yeah, I'm not going back to school this semester. I learned what is eternally important in the temple this week, and that is you guys and the Lord's kingdom. It was so easy to get to the right conclusion in the temple, the only thing is I'm not coming home to be idle, I need to work in the ward and I need a job, and I need to spend time with my family. But I'm pretty sure I need to be home for a bit afterward. So, if you can keep your eyes out for a job which pays highly and lets me speak spanish, that would be awesome.

So the week was miraculous. We finally got some people to come to church from that little village where we're starting an area next change. My heart is really invested in that little place. They are very converted, it's really made my testimony of the book of mormon grow, because these investigators are some of the best ever, and we can barely go see them because of the distance. They are pretty far into the book of mormon and have basically taken their own conversion upon themselves. They all loved church. It was a total answer to my prayers.

We had two really good exchanges this week, one with the assistants, which really really helped me out, sometimes I forget that it's nice to work with another missionary with the same experience level. It helped my morale a lot, and then we did one with elder francis's companionship, and I was just really impressed with how far he's come since the CCM. He is a stud missionary, and there's a possibility he could be my companion next change, which would be so cool.

Thanks for the package, you guys are the bomb. I love you a ton, thanks for your emotional support and prayers, tell everyone I say hi.


17 Feb. 2014

Dear Dad,

Wow, you're out of the bishopric. That's some crazy talk. It's really weird to think about that. Things change.

Florida is going well, things are a little bit less smooth with all the changes of missionaries here, but we're solving problems. We're trying to get our baptismal goal of 10 for this month, and right now we have exactly the amount of investigators with a baptismal date to be able to do that. Every single one of them has to go to church and get baptized this week. But I feel really incredible lately, I've been leaving everything out on the field every day. 

So, here's my thoughts on what to do when I get back. I've got a couple options here. 1) I can hang around in oklahoma for a semester or 2)I can come home 2 weeks early and go back to school on time. After lots of prayer and pondering, I'm thinking about option number 2 as the best one. I will confess, that's gonna make money a little hard, but I've felt as I prayed that I need to get my education rolling again as fast as possible. I don't know, hopefully they give me a semester of mercy on my scholarship, and I'm obviously going to have to work as well. Probably student loans as well, I'll figure it out. But I definitely have felt that, get the education going and the lord will provide. So that means in the next couple weeks I'm gonna have to get registered and ready to go, I'll be able to get permission to do most of it from here on the computer, but I'll let you guys know what I need help with.

Ok, I love you guys a ton, thanks for your prayers, I've really felt their power.

10 Feb. 2014

Dear Family,

That really was some week.  I had one of the most impressive spiritual experiences that I've ever had this week. 

Tuesday we had the zone leader council, and I prayed really hard for God to send me something that he wanted me to hear. Our filler mission president taught about the story of Abraham and Isaac. It hit me really hard. God is a god of sacrifices. I covenanted to sacrifice, so I decided I would. I know God takes care of me. Every time God speaks to abraham in the story, abraham responds, heme aqui. Here I am. This is my new motto. When God wants something from me, Heme aqui.  Thursday I fasted, and felt really edified. Friday we taught a zone conference about sacrifice. We showed the old testament seminary video of Abraham and Isaac, and we admonished our missionaries to be willing to sacrifice for this cause. I shared with them the scripture in Abraham 3 when God asks who he should send to the earth to suffer and die for the sins of all mankind, and Christ says, Heme aqui. He was the first one to do it, I am a follower of Christ, a servant. I don't believe I am greater than he. So since that moment of acceptance, I've been fine. 

I love you guys, thanks for your prayers. Our area has been suffering for a bit because we're trying to open that new area in a little village, so we're having to divide our time between the two. It's kind of frustrating, but we get help from the Lord. We're looking for two miracle baptisms this month. Pray for us so we can do it!

Love, Andy