Emma, you STILL play Viva Piñata? You haven't beaten that thing yet? XD
Jessica: yes, I was reading in my patriarchal blessing this week, and it provided a lot of comfort for me. One of the most interesting things was looking at my lineage, and the responsibilities that stem therefrom. Really a great missionary motivator. Thank you so much for the suggestion, and I'll keep it up!
Elijah: What a delinquent! Skipping school? In 6th grade? (Elijah opted out of going to the last day of school. It was a half day and they had an assembly so the classes were 20 mins long. He probably could have opted out of the last week. He was watching movies in 4 of his 6 classes.) Ha! Make sure to keep busy this summer--7th grade is gonna show up sooner than you think!
Firstly, HUGE thanks to Uncle Rick, and to you, Mom and Dad. I really appreciate all the counsel, and those conclusions were the ones I was getting to this week. (Here is a little of what we shared with him... If you feel an impression to do something that is good, it is from the spirit. Anything that inspires us to do good is from the spirit! I remember this principle is something that was solidified for me in the mission field. However this is something that gets lost a little as you jump back into life post-mission. I still sometimes doubt when a thought comes in my mind if it is from the spirit. Reminding myself of this counsel has helped. That doesn't necessarily mean that just because someone's name comes into your mind that you need to go visit right away, but that you can pray to get more guidance. I love uncle Rick's counsel of writing down the impression so you can act on it as soon as you are able. The other aspect of this is that we don't always see or hear how following the Spirit helps others. However, acting upon the Spirit means we will be blessed for being obedient and it helps us be more aware of the whisperings the next time. You have always been very analytical. The gospel makes sense to you so you can see proof of it's truthfulness. The truthfulness of something can be argued or explained away, but when you know it is true because of how you feel that is not as easy to explain away. One of the things a mission can do for you is to help you rely more on how the gospel and the Spirit make youfeel.) I am improving slowly, but I am beginning to think less and feel more. I am super grateful that the Lord is giving me a greater portion of His Spirit--it's something I haven't felt strongly this consistently in my entire life this far.
Second, WE HAD 3 BAPTISMS THIS WEEK! W**** and J**** M**** were married Friday (with our Mission President as one of the witnesses--W**** works at the tower where President Corbitt lives) and baptized Saturday. They also brought W****'s less active brother, wife, and kids, as well as a niece of W****'s. They are desirous to come back to church frequently, and may be some of the next reactivations here in Villa Esfuerzo. Also, a 15-year-old named Y*** was baptized...she didn't get confirmed, though. She showed up over half an hour late to Sacrament Meeting, because she was waiting on a less-active best friend. Unfortunately, the best friend is more the leader and example than Y*** is, so...we're going to have to fight to keep her active. Y*** won't be confirmed for another two weeks, since this coming week is Stake Conference.
We also have a lot of progress showing in W******, a tall, lanky old man who is in the reactivation process. He has two Sundays already, is MASSIVELY happier than he was when we first met him, and is working to introduce us to his daughter, another less-active, who lives with him. We had a really spiritual lesson about the temple and its importance. Thus, I have a question for you guys: Now that summer is opening wide before you, are you going to take advantage of all the opportunities to go to the temple? Try an experiment--go weekly for a month, just to see what happens. You will be surprised. It's what keeps a lot of people active out here. I know I was a terrible example of this principle, but better that I learn late than never, verdad?
Love you guys! I miss you. Have a great week, and don't let the mosquitos bite and give you ZIKA. ('cause that's happening to a TON of missionaries out here). (I have heard of a couple missionaries in his mission getting ZIKA. they have flu like symptoms for a few days and a nasty rash.)