Buenos días, familia y amigos (here I go, shaking up the salutation a little… :))-
- So last week Granny told me about Aunt Jenny…she´s been in my prayers constantly this week. I hope she´s doing alright…what I can say for all of you that know and love her is to keep praying, keep your faith strong, and trust in God. He´ll take care of her, and take care of all of us, really.
- Something I forgot to include in my email last week…I finally received a real dog bite. But no worries…it didn´t penetrate the skin at all. It was just a tiny little scratch. (“It´s just a flesh wound!” “´Tis but a scratch!” :D) The dog tore through my pants a little bit and also made a hole in my sock. It lives next door and it just might be of the devil. Seriously, it was an angry little thing. It and its dog friends bark angrily at us from the roof every time we pass them by. I´m definitely being a bit more careful with the little dogs. The big ones bark and usually don´t do anything, but the little ones…they can be rather nasty.
- We had a multi-zone conference this week with President Fernandez. (It wasn´t very big…we only had one other zone, which is I believe the smallest zone in the mission, with us at the conference.) President was, as usual, rather direct with us, but it was also a morning of very good counsel. It was a lot of information, but President spoke to us with love, as always, and that´s what counts.
- I had a weird dream involving Spencer W. Kimball last night. It was a good dream…but it was still strange. So very strange. I´m also dreaming a lot more about teaching investigators (not any ones that I recognize yet). Sometimes I wake up and I´m sad that it wasn´t real, because we´re able to teach them very well. And a week or two ago, I woke up from a dream about teaching people, and was frustrated that we hadn´t challenged them to be baptized…and then recognized it was a dream, and was relieved. 🙂
- I am incredibly tired of the rain. Beyond tired. Yesterday, we went up to Tres Balcones and didn´t bring our umbrellas. It was clear outside, mostly, and the clouds looked like they weren´t going to try anything. We were wrong, and got caught in a bit of a rainfall. And it drove me crazy. Basically, the rain needs to die, or go to Arizona and give you guys all the rain you need. I love the rain…but not when I have to be a missionary. And walk around. In the rain. So much rain. I´m sure I´ll be tired of the sun when it gets to the more sunny season here, but for now, when the sun comes, I embrace it with a smile.
- Mom, I mentioned this to you, but do you guys have any way to check on my package? We haven´t seen hide nor hair of it yet, and it´s been a bit more than a month. (The other ones arrived in about 3 or 4 weeks.) The zone leaders called the office to check if they´ve seen it yet, and they haven´t, but we´re on the lookout.
- We had mac n´cheese this week again. It was even better…the last time, it was microwaved, and this time, it was just finished, so yeah…delicious. I am quite happy whenever our pensionista makes it. And haha, Elder Montenegro isn´t quite a fan…I gladly finished his last night. 🙂
- We had exchanges this week with the area of our district leader, and I was with the temporary missionary that´s accompanying him for now. (His previous companion was sent home.) Here, they have a lot of temporary missionaries…I don´t think it´s too common in the U.S. They take people that live in the mission…usually people that are preparing for a mission…and they serve a missionaries for usually, as long as a transfer, when there´s a missionary that needs a companion. Usually, it´s only a one-time thing, but there are some temporary missionaries that serve frequently. Anyways, the member that is accompanying our district leader is only 17, and got baptized 3 months ago. I have a lot of respect and admiration for him…I certainly wasn´t anywhere near ready to be a missionary at 17, much less if I had only been baptized a tiny bit earlier. He´s pretty quiet, but we had a really good exchanges…he was able to teach really well when he stepped up to say something, and he has a really nice, humble personality that I appreciate a lot. He´ll be a great missionary in a year or two.
- So in case you didn´t know, something I forgot to mention last week… I now have 10 months in the mission. I´m beginning to feel older and older. But it´s OK. I´m enjoying my mission immensely, I´m doing better with my companion, and I´m trying not to think about the fact that I´m now in double-digits. Or that in May I´ll have a year. We don´t speak of these things. Weird fact…the baby daughter of our pensionista is only 6 days or so older than my mission. So when she turns one, I´ll turn one too. Craziness.
So a little scriptural insight I found this morning…also something that coincidentally I believe was mentioned in a conference talk I was reading the other day. In Alma 34:28, Amulek states that if we turn away those that need our help…our faith doesn´t mean much. It reminds me of the story of Brigham Young, when he urged the people of the Church to go immediately and help the stranded handcart companies, during a General Conference (I may be paraphrasing this quote a bit): “Your faith, your religion, and your profession of religion will all amount to nothing, if you do not go out and help those people on the plains as I am now teaching you.” Something along those lines. Reading this scripture and thinking of that story with Brigham Young, it made me feel a greater desire to be more service-minded. Obviously, I´m serving as a missionary, and it´s pretty easy to serve others…it´s part of my calling. But I can still do more. I don´t want my faith to amount to nothing…so I need to match it with righteous actions. Something we all can do, really.