Letter from May 19, 2014
I so sorry for not emailing last week. I didn't forget, but I couldn't get a computer available to me long enough to write you because the Family History Center was closed off and no one could get on. We just got permission to go to the libraries and email you all if we don't get the chance to on P-Day. So, if it ever happens again, you will hear from me later.
First off, I loved talking with you and the rest of the family. I can tell you are all very happy and are really enjoying your friends and home right now. I am happy that Benjamin is getting a lot of opportunity to be able to do soccer, martial arts, etc. and that you and Dad are also doing alright. Now, I can't help it if I am learning TOO many things on the mission. It's like my mouth is open and they are spraying me with a fire hose. It's just too much. I appreciate the compliments on my teaching. That is something that I have always taken pride in. My motto for teaching is if the Spirit is there and we testify of it, then we did our part.
Missionary work is becoming more like a schedule to me now. I have felt complacent as I work from time to time. It's something that I'm really trying hard to work on because, when you become complacent, you lose your sense of urgency, and if you lose your sense of urgency, then you're going to miss a lot of spiritual promptings. And you don't want that on your conscience. That, and Elder Mata is almost done with his mission and the poor guy is really trying his hardest to go out knowing he has done his best and he is stressing himself out in more ways than one (which in turn stresses me out). So yea, it's been a challenge, but we have been working hard and we have been seeing the results. Fernando, jr. and Aranza (the son and daughter in the Delgado Family) want to be baptized now. The parents mentioned that church is going to be hard to attend because of their work schedule, so they are going to let the kids go on and get baptized and they will go get baptized later. They are really trying hard to get their schedules changed to try and make it to sacrament. Their desire is so sweet and sincere. Mata continues to nag me saying, "You better continue to serve them in any way possible when I leave." I'm all like, no pressure, right?
We also witnessed a baptism in the ward last Saturday and I was able to see my favorite companion, Elder Russel. I have missed that guy so much. We were going down memory lane and just talking about old investigators. Man, Mom, I will tell you what. I have gained so many brothers on the mission. The bonds you make with them here are just above and beyond explanation. You sweat with them, you teach with them, you starve with them (haha), you share EVERYTHING with them, you shed tears with them when everything goes rock bottom, you become their family. It's not just my companions (all of which are my brothers), but others that you serve with. You have always got each other's back. We encourage each other, motivate each other to be better, we press forward, and in our darkest hours (I have shared many of those with my brothers) we are all we have. I can't even mention the members that we serve with such passion without choking back tears. The mission so VERY HARD. It is exhausting, it is gut wrenching, it is easy to lose hope and give up, you are always tired, the work is non-stop, you have to continue to go the extra mile, and usually, you are always sick with something. However, it is rewarding.....but we get no reward out of it. We see lives change, people grow stronger in faith, their self-confidence rises, a light sparks in their eyes, their hearts are warmer, their families closer, and our spirits and our drive feed off of that. I love the mission so much. It is so hard though, but it is so worth it. Frustration comes all the time, but so do the small miracles we see. I can't imagine how much meaning my life would have if I did not serve a mission. I testify that this is the place where I need to be. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. The Atonement of Christ will cleanse us, strengthen us, and we will feel His healing touch. Know that we are NEVER alone. His Love is unfailing, I so testify in the Name of Jesus Christ Amen.