How are you all doing? I know it's been a hard time but I hope you are all doing well. You all show so much faith and I feel closer to all of you during this hard time. Don't you worry about me :) I'm doing just fine! ;) I have never had a stronger testimony of our Savior, the atonement or the power of the priesthood. The thursday before you told me, I had been really sick all week. I caught a flu bug and couldn't keep anything down, combined with that and the heat, I got pretty dehydrated. It had been going on too long, so we went to district meeting and my District Leader Elder Pearson gave me a blessing. I know it is in large a part of why I'm still here... and helped me to keep moving forward. The blessing stated that this time for me being sick was a time to prepare for the things to come. That there was a trial ahead that would be harder than any I've ever had to face, and that only through prayer would I recieve the strength to overcome it. It went on and talked about the work God needs me to do here, now. That I need to be strong. When the blessing finished we all felt kind of confused. Ha. I mean, the work is hard, rejection is hard, spanish is hard, but I couldn't imagine any of that being so hard I couldn't feel that puedo press forward. But I felt the spirit so strong and knew Heavenly Father had a purpose. I went home and wrote down everything and we tried to get better and go to our appointments. The next morning, we were in the middle of our studies when President Miller called. All he said is that he wanted me to call home, that there was important news Dad wanted to share with me and though it would be hard, they were there for me and loved me. I have to admit, it took me five full minutes before I could dial that familiar number. I couldn't even guess what was going on, my hands just shook. That was the hardest moment of my life. But I know it will be okay. I tried to just be strong and keep working, which is what I know I need to do and am doing. :) Some time later though, when it finally sunk in. I was going through my own Gethsemane. It was so hard being away, not being able to help, go through all of this with you, or even just call or hug you. It truly tested my faith. I remember flipping open my journal and seeing the entry again, the words of the blessing. I have never prayed like that before in my life!
And I am here to tell you that I KNOW God lives! I KNOW he hears and answers our prayers. I KNOW my Savior suffered for ME. And when absolutely no one else in the world could be there or understand, He did. He was with me. Just as surely as though I could feel the prints in His hands and feel His embrace I KNOW He lives!!! I KNOW there is nothing to fear. For HE guides our lives. :) And death is nothing scary. He is waiting with outstretched arms for all of us to one day call us home. And He is guiding us know. I love you so much my dear family. I know I cannot understand what it is like for you at home. What trials and fears you are facing. But I KNOW you are not alone. PRAY. Please stay close to your Heavenly Father and feel His nearness. There IS a purpose for all of this. ALL of this. I challenge you and myself to continue to see the blessings. I love you all so very much. And thank you to all those showing such love and support to our family. I feel showered with blessings. I am in awe at the gratitude and testimony I feel. I love you all so much!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!!!! :) I am so happy for you!!! I am also so very proud of you. I've said it before and I will say it again. One of the things I admire the both of you for the most is your relationship. In all my life I can never remember ONCE where you cut each other down or spoke disrespectfully to one another. There have been disagreements and hard times, but your respect for each other has been an incredible example for me. I love and admire you both so much. I am honored to call you my parents. They say children pick their parents, and whether it's true or not, I want you to know if I could, I would have picked you. I love you both so much! Thank you for all you do!
And happy birthday coming up Mom!!!!!! :) If you could name one thing for your birthday what would you want? Don't worry too much about mine. Honestly, the only thing I can think of is the Reflections of Christ: Another Testament DVD & music cd (ask Hna Good's mom). I LOVE that and it helps so much with teaching!!! Other than that, more spanish church CD's would be awesome.... thats all I can think of. Thank you so much for all you do. I love you and hope you have a great day today!! Take some time for just the two of you, okay?? :)
Well, I have seen so many miracles this week! But I want to share one.
The first is Luis. Parker Jeppesen could tell the first part of this story better than I could. :) But Luis lives down here (a stones throw from the border) in a town in our ward boundaries called San Elizario. He drives semi's for a living as many do around here. And apparently, a few weeks ago one of his loads was to be dropped off at none other than Andersen Seed & Feed. :) Which is where Luis met Parker. Luis was interested in finding out more about the LDS church and spent some time in the Logan Tabernacle where he talked with some missionaries and recieved a book of mormon. While in the store, he got talking with Parker and found out he lives in my mission boundaries (little did you know my WARD boundaries) and Parker took down his information and gave it to me. I have never been so shocked at a letter! Ha. I about fell off my bed!!!
Well, the continuation.... We gave good old Luis a call and WOW! He is awesome!!! He's been back and forth with work for the past few weeks so we didn't have the chance to meet him but got to call him every few days and really get to know him. Man, that guy has been through so many trials!!! Even just in the past few weeks!! He finally texted us to let us know he was on his way home and then was faced with trial after trial, including a wallet lost, a blown tire, getting pulled over a few times, places to drop loads being closed and so on. MAN! But we prayed for him and he was so grateful to make it back!!! Man I wish I could tell you or even I could understand all he's been through. He's confided in us so much and we've become good friends. He really admired Parker's small act of service, a free coke on the house. It really showed him there are good people in the world and the past week he's had so much faith!!! Well he FINALLY got home Saturday night and we talked to him about plans for this week. We invited him to church but he said he might not make it because of other things he had to do. Anyway, yesterday morning, being fast sunday, I chose to fast that He would come to church. Like in my email last week, I know I need to hope more for good things, for the best in people, situations and in myself. Well, miraculously, I was listening in testimony meeting when Elder Pearson got my attention and pointed to a man who had just snuck in the back. Luis. How's THAT for a miracle?! The first time we MET was at church! :) What an incredible guy! We're teaching his family tonight and are having a birthday party for his birthday thursday! :) What an incredible guy. Thanks for the referral Park ;)
Anyway... there is so much more I want to share, so many more miracles but I'm out of time. I want you all to know I love you so much. You are in my prayers and I will write soon. Keep being strong and working hard.