Mi familia! Happy fourth of july!!! Yesterday the libraries/post offices were closed so we are writing today! :) Well.... I was going to send you pictures but for some reason they aren't loading.... so I will try again and if not print some off and mail them.
What a crazy week. We will have a LOT more work to do now. Transfers changed everyone in our zone but us. And because more missionaries went home then came in, a few areas were dissolved into others. Originally Elder Grow and Elder Soto covered half the stake and we covered the other half, both serving in the same Spanish branch. They were both transferred and now our area covers the entire stake. It already took half an hour to drive from one end of our area to the other. Now it will take quite a bit longer! ja. But we will work hard.
I really miss our brothers! The Elders here are some great examples to me and have become incredible friends and family. I can't wait to see them all again soon. I don't know where I would be without them.
Sister Eteaki is serving here!!! :) She is english again and serves in our area covering the high range english ward. (we cover the same boundaries as 6 english wards). She is sitting next to me. :) Man I love her. I am so grateful she is here. She has become one of my truest friends.
I am finally feeling adjusted. These people and brothers and sisters have helped so much. I have felt happier than ever before in life. So content and at peace. I love them and know I will see all of them again.
This has been such an incredible growing time. I feel closer to my Savior than ever before. I have had trouble sleeping lately, but one of my leaders counseled me to try something different. Instead of going over the day in my head, figuring things out and mulling things over. He asked me to pray. Not on my knees with a beginning and end. (not to cut that out...but in addition to it...) But from my heart. As if my Heavenly Father were laying beside me and could talk to me. To talk to him. Listen to him. Feel and follow his counsel.
I will say it has changed my life and my mission.
I have never felt closer to him.
I love My Savior so much. I will always be grateful for this time I have had to gain my closest friend.
Where would I be without my mission?
I will eternally be grateful for whoever stepped forward to pay for it. I cannot wait to pay that great deed forward someday.
I love you all so much.
So a few weeks ago we gave talks in church... I wanted to share it with you. So here is the english version.
"When I began my mission, I heard this story. I don't know its source but I know it touched my heart. It gave me the desire to share the gospel. It opened my eyes to the big picture. It helped change they way I view the world and those around me, and so I'd like to share it with you today.
It goes as follows:
A young boy once had this dream:
We were all in a spirit world before this one. Our Heavenly Father had just created a plan where we would all have the opportunity to come to earth. To prove ourselves and gain the great blessings in store. We were all so excited and couldn't wait to come!
This young boy awaited his call surrounded by his family and friends. He wondered where he would go? What special circumstances he would be born into? What Heavenly Father's call was for HIM.
One by one his loved ones recieved their calls and began their journeys. He sat alongside his friend, both anxiously awaiting their news. Finally, his came. He was summoned and solemnly listened,
'My son, you will be born in the last dispensation. You will be born in the united states of america in a time of freedom and peace. You will be raised in my gospel, the fullness of the truth, alongside many who love you. Your life will not be easy nor perfect. But you will be blessed and I ask you to share those blessings with the world.'
As he left, this boy sat, astonished, excited. How great was his calling! He could not wait to begin! He ran to tell those whom he loved.
He and his friend rejoiced together. What blessings!
finally, his friends call came.
'My dear son.
you are strong. Your life will be far from easy but I know that you can do it. You will not be raised in a strong family, but remember I love them, and that I love you. You will be raised in poverty, in a land of violence. The people will not follow my teachings, and it will be dark. But you will rise above it.
I know you.
You must search for the truth. You will find it. Remember I love you.'
As their Heavenly Father departed, this young man looked at his old friend with eyes full of new respect.
Their eyes filled with tears as they embraced to begin their new journey. His friend looked at him strongly and pleaded, 'Please, come find me. Bring me the truth that we may be reunited again.'
"I will" the boy stated.'I promise'.
The boy's dream ended and reality awakened. Years passed and the memory was almost forgotten. Life passed, so did school, graduation, and mission papers. The two years of hard work began, and came near to an end.
One day, his mother recieved a letter that brought her to tears.
"Mom.... I found my friend."
I know that these experiences are real. I know that the plan of salvation truly does exist. I know that missionary work is the most important work. I am so grateful for the opportuniy I have had to find my friends. For the opportunity we all have to strengthen one another and help each other home. May we have more patience with those around us and truly seek to see them for who they are. Our spirit brothers and sisters, trying to find their way home.
I love all of you so much.
I am so grateful for the incredible family and friends I have and KNOW that I knew all of you before this life.
I know I have gained many friends during this period of time in my mission that I knew before this life and will have them forever.
But I know I have many yet to find. That don't have the blessings of the gospel.
I will give my soul to that duty for the next 18 weeks and can't wait to see you all so soon.