Dear family and friends,
Do I always start my emails that way? ...how boring.
I'll start over.
¿Quiubo, mi querido familia y amigos? ¿Cómo están? Yo estoy bien. Muy bien. He estado muy animado a escribir a ustedes esta mañana
Better? Maybe. Btw's, "Quiubo" is a Colombian saying to mean like, what's up? That kind of thing. It's nice having two teachers that know all about Colombia, because they teach me everything to say. :) One of my teachers is actually in Colombia right now. He got back from my same mission last fall, and now he's back to go to the sealing of a family he baptized. Isn't this work just amazing? I love it. So much.
That's not to say it isn't hard at times. Missionary work wouldn't be missionary work if it wasn't hard. We watched a Devotional from several years ago by Elder Holland, and he was saying how important his mission was to him, and that if we come home from our missions in two years, and in just a day or two, we're staying up until 3 in the morning, and watching all the movies we missed, and hanging out with the same group of friends, or in other words, if we haven't changed, then we never became a missionary. The mission helps more than the investigators and converts. It helps the missionaries, perhaps more than anyone else. So, I hope I come home a different person. Honestly, if my mission were over tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I'm come back a changed person. So...let's just hope you recognize me when I get off the plane in two years. ;) I'm so excited for these next two years. Like, super-excited. :)
After I leave the MTC, it'll be 3 or 4 weeks for pouch mail or regular mail. I should've put the pouch address on my blog...hmm. I think I have it sonewhere. Also you can still use DearElder, it'll just take 3-4 weeks. I was thinking, it really wouldn't be a mission if I stayed in Provo the whole time. I think it'd be too distracting. I want to lose myself in the work, and not care about anything else. I mean, I'll always care about you all, but there's a time and a place for everything. P-Days exist in Colombia, and you'll still get my weekly email. I just want to get out there and servir con todo mi corazon, alma, mente y fuerza. :) Oh...but to finish that thought, if you want to email me after I'm in the field, I won't be offended at all. I might not be able to reply, I'm not really sure what the rules are down there...but I will if I can. :)
Have you all been reading the Book of Mormon lately? I don't know if the copy I bought at the bookstore here is just a different version, or if they just gave me a new set of eyes when I got here, but this book has come alive in these past few weeks. It's absolutely amazing! It seems like no matter what I read, it's exactly what I need to hear, and I can apply it directly to whatever it is I'm doing. This week, I was reading in Alma 60 (which you should totally read, btw) about cleansing the inward vessel before the outer vessel. I compared this to my relationship with my companion. If we're not working together, if our "inward vessel" isn't cleansed, and if we don't have the spirit, then there's no way we're going to be able to cleanse the "outer vessel" and convert or baptize anyone. Anyway, apply it to your family, or your job, or school or something. Just apply it, kay? It means about 7 bajillion times more to you when you apply it to your own life. :) Will you commit to apply this in your own life before our next visit on the 21st of July?
So...this week, on Tuesday night, we were at the residence hall (not "dorms" because they're dedicated buildings) and President Dennis, our Branch President came into our room, and was like, "can I meet with you four for a bit?" We were all a little confused, and a little scared, I think. He gets all of our clean-check reports, so I was worried it would be something about that. Then he was like, "I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to make a permanent companion exchange." "...wait...what?
It was...completely unexpected. I mean, I can see the reasons why it happened. Being district leader, it's my reponsibility to keep tabs on all the companionship relations, but I can honestly say I didn't expect anything like this. So now I'm companions with Elder Murphy from Reno, Nevada. He's a really neat guy. I think we'll work well together these next couple weeks.
Crazy, eh? What's also crazy is that I don't even have 2 weeks! It's like 12 days! Unless my visa doesn't come through...which might happen... I really hope I leave on time, but they had me come in to the travel office this week to sign a paper, and I asked the lady if she knew how close it was. She told me that the paper I was signing meant that some other thing didn't work, so now they're doing this, which will hopefully make it go faster, but...she basically said they'll get me out of here as soon as they can. :P Honestly, I wouldn't mind a few extra days here in the MTC. I really love it here, but at the same time, I do want to get out in the field. My teacher that just went down to Colombia said that he talked to my mission president, and he already has my trainer picked out and everything. Ah! I'm so stoked! :D
Well, I've got to go, but I hope you all have a wonderful week. I haven't been able to go to the temple, because the Provo temple has been closed for maintenance, so...maybe somebody could go for me? I've really missed the spirit of the temple, but like I've said before, I've been called to do the work of the living, not of the dead. I trust that I will be able to feel the same beautiful spirit doing missionary work that I do with temple work, and come to love it as much or more (if that's possible). ;)
I love you all. I hope your lives are wonderful, wherever you are in the world. I hope and pray that when I return, we will all still be bretheren and sisters in the Lord (that's from Alma 17...if you missed that). Keep on keepin' on. I'll talk at you again next week. :)
Onward, ever onward.
P.S. are you jumping in the trees? Are you jumping on the houses??
P.P.S. Helaman 5 is also amazing, if you're looking for some awesome stuff to read. Think about the repentance process, and what it takes to get the spirit of God. :)
P.P.P.S. We get our travel plans today!!! So, I guess I'll probably know today if I'm leaving soon or not. Or...they'll just tell me a bunch of mentiras (lies) and I'll leave late anyway. Hmm. Pray for me? Love y'all. :)