Before i even start my letter ....
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!
I know it´s a little early, but I'm still trying to figure out if i should wish people happy birthday a little early or a little late ... BUT thanks for being amazing. just read your email and thank you for worrying for me. Trust me, there are a lot of things to worry about when it comes to health, but then again, there is only so much I can do. But thank you for your love :) I appreciate it and love you! thank you for being an amazing father for us kids and for always being there for us ... even through 3 hikes in one day. I appreciate it! And I miss say, sometimes I miss things in the mission (sorry, it's normal, but I'm trying to get better) and one of the things I miss is your hugs. Never thought such a small thing could be so big in my life, but thanks for your hugs. Continue to give them freely!!
So, since this week is your birthday, i'm gonna focus this email mainly on your questions for me. Ready?
So, this area is amazing! I love it! Yes, we walk a lot, but it's after we walk for like 20 minutes that you can really see the green that is here and the beauty. And it also gives you time to appreciate the beauty around you. Yes, there are mosquitos, and I still get bit even if i use my repellent. To say the least, yes, i'm praying every night for my health. but my body seems to be functioning normally up til now. The only pains I get can be fixed when i stretch every morning and night. Just the pains you would get if you ran a 6miles and forgot to stretch after, if even that. So yeah, it's not to bad :)
And yes, having an amazing latina companion really makes a difference in your spanish! It's only been 2 weeks and my spanish has improved a ton. She even said so herself! Yay! But i'm teaching her english too .... which is a little hard. I realize how hard english is for other people to learn. It's really difficult, even for me! But I tell her "You know, I don't know the specific grammatical stuff, but I know how to speak English and I can help you with that." She's amazing. Sometimes when I find out a person is a convert, I'm just blown away! The Lord works miracles through converts. And I think the Lord knew I needed some miracles, so He gave me a convert, a latina, a sister :) I'm pretty sure we are sisters though because we are sooo alike, it's kinda scary! like the same things, similar personalities .... all! Yups, so sorry to tell you this last minute, but you have another daughter here ... idk how she was born in Mexico, but yeah!! lol
As for the branch, they are really small, but strong. Our ward correlation consisted of the presidencia and this other guy I didn't know and us 4 missionaries. .... idk if that helps. But it was more like missionary council cause we talked about our investigators. Idk if we even have correlation ...
now, about the missionary efforts. I was told by one of the other hermanas that is about to go home that the missionaries that are coming in keep coming in stronger and stronger in their desires to serve. Honestly, the iPad thing, it would be nice to have. Trust me, a lot of us missionaries here envy those in the states. But with that comes a ton more problems. You know. But we can live without them. Mormon messages would be nice to share with people on iPads, but it's not necessary.
As for preparing missionaries, I think it's a process that needs to be done as early as possible. Starting with the Primary. Future missionaries need testimonies. And if they have that testimony, that light of Christ in them, they can go out. I know one elder who has been a member for 1 year ... basically the year that he had to wait to enter the temple. But he has a strong testimony and that is why he is here. My companion has 2 or 3 years in the church and she's here because she loves the BOM and has seen how it has blessed her life and the life of her family. They were just sealed a year ago. For me, personally, I have a testimony of the gospel and I have seen how it has blessed my life, our family's life, and the lives of other people. And for that, I'm here to share the happiness of the gospel with others, the Love of Christ and our Heavenly Father with others. Times get rough in the mission: learning the language, dates falling, other missionaries, stuff and I'm not gonna lie, it sucks sometimes. But then I remember why I'm here. 1Nephi 6:4. I also look in my journal to the day when I opened my call and review my thoughts of that moment and the moment I arrived in the MTC. I also look at the good moments that I've had in the mission, and there have been many, big and small. And I remember why I'm here. I'm not sharing this to brag or to make people think highly of me. that's not what I want. Honestly dad, the best way to prepare missionaries is to have THEM come unto Christ, to have a testimony. The missionary purpose is "To invite others to come unto Christ ... through the Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy ghost, and to endure to the end." The church IS a mission. I realize that now (sorry, a little late). We are all working on converting ourselves and each other. But honestly, do missionary work for the youth, the children, and the members. Prepare missionaries by inviting them to come unto Christ and being perfected in him. There's a saying that Hermana Fletcher's friend shared with her. It's this: if the church wasn't true, missionaries would've destroyed it a long time ago." lol, but seriously. Invite them to come unto Christ. you were and are a missionary :) You know how :D
So, with that being said, I hope that answers your question. If not, ask me again next week :) I hope that you have a great birthday! Thanks for being an example for me! Oh, examples are also good for missionaries. It's a way for them to learn and to watch how things are done. No ones perfect, but I'm pretty sure you and mom were pretty close to perfect parents:) thanks dad :) love you so much and hope you have a great birthday!!
the best oldest daughter,
most wonderful person ever
(who you are blessed to have lol ... maybe stressed to have, but count your blessings!!! hahaha :)