Hey Family!! Happy Thanksgiving!!
How are all of you?? Thanks for all of your great emails that I got. I always feel so uplifted and supported when I read all of your emails and your testimonies and insights strengthen me so much. So thank you. I want you to know that I am thankful for all of you. Every day I thank my Heavenly Father for you and for the love and support that I feel from you and for all of the happiness that you all have given me. I really can't express very well over an email how much I am truly thankful for you, but just know that the thing that gives me the most happiness is thinking about living with all of you forever with our Heavenly Father. I know that we are going to be together forever if we just stay on the path that we're already on. You all have such strong testimonies of this gospel and I know that as a family we will all be able to make it through this life and move on to eternal happiness and blessings in the next. I want you all to know that I know this church is true. It is the only completely true and living church on the face of the earth and I am so thankful that we are a part of it. I know with all the feelings of my heart that this church is the church of Jesus Christ. I'm thankful for the innumerable blessings that we have received from our Heavenly Father and for all of His tender mercies that He has given us. Just thinking about things like our car accident and all of the miracles that happened in that moment and all of the tender mercies that we have had since then, I can't thank the Lord enough for his mercy, protection and love. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ. I have come to know more now than I ever have before His love for me and for all of us. I know that he has already paid the price for us to be able to repent. I know that he has suffered every thing that we have suffered or felt or will suffer or feel. He is truly our kind, loving, and perfect friend. I know that he has mighty power to heal and to forgive, and I have personally felt that power in my life.
It sounds like all of you are doing really great which makes me really happy. I want you to know that I'm doing really great too. Things are hard at times of course, but the hardest times are the times when you know the Savior best a lot of the times I think. As I was walking one day in the heat, I was suffering pretty badly. I was thinking about how the sun is supposed to represent the Savior and I thought "That metaphor doesn't fit in this case. I can see the sun right now, but I'm suffering a lot and so it doesn't fit." But the Lord taught me something that I needed to learn. Many times, the times when we see the "sun" are the times when it's hottest. Our trials and afflictions and temptations are what help us look to the Son more, and we are cleansed and made pure through the "furnace of afflictions."
That's awesome about Kinzie's patriarchal blessing! I really wish I could have been there! For sure send me a copy of her blessing so I can read it. I just want to tell you Kinzie how proud I feel of you. Thank you for your email that you sent me, it really meant a lot to me. As your older brother, I want you to know that I love you and I am proud of the decisions you have made to follow the Lord and I'm so proud of your strong testimony that I could feel in your letter to me. Keep doing what you're doing. You sound like you are doing absolutely great with seminary and with school and with the church. I know that the promises you recieved in your blessing are real and that like you said, they are based on your righteousness. Just like the Liahona in the Book of Mormon, the things in your patriarchal blessing only work according to your faith and your dilligence. Always strive to be righteous and to keep improving yourself to become more like the Savior. I'm so glad that I've been able to do something right and that I've been able to have somewhat of a good influence on you. Always try to think of what the Savior would do. =) I love you Kinzie.
Jack- hey buddy I just wanted to write you really quickly and let you know I love you. I hope you're doing well and that you are having fun in school and everything still. As you prepare to receive the priesthood in a couple of months try your best to think about how big of a responsibility it is to hold such a powerful and sacred gift. The priesthood is power from God that he gives to us to do things in his name, and to do things that he wants us to do. John the baptist had this same power when he baptized Jesus. So just remember how important this will be in your life and try to make decisions so that you'll always be worthy to hold this gift. Try now to follow the Spirit. Follow what you feel is right in your heart. Kind of like your conscience. Never do anything that you don't feel in your heart is right, even if your friends do or if you want to. Keep up your good work hermanito :) Love you.
Mom- you are the best! I am really excited for my 2 packages that you sent. I was at a district conference yesterday and talked to Sister Torres who told me that you had written her to ask her about sedning me things. She told me that she could tell that I had an awesome mom who really cared about me and supported me. I told her she was right :) You are really the best and you are so thoughtful. I'm thankful for your guidance and love that you have given me all of my life and for your choices to follow the Lord and his example. Hopefully I'll get my packages in a couple of weeks at our Christmas conference. If not I don't know when I'll get them. Be sure to make some especially delicious pies for me this year. And don't worry, I think Matt will be able to cover my share of the pies pretty easily. Love you mom! :)
Dad- Thanks for your advice about companions. I have a feeling that I'm going to need that advice soon. I am so thankful for the best example and Dad I could ever have. You're the best dad. I love you so much!
Well sorry but I'm out of time and I have to go, but I love you so much!!! Happy Thanksgiving! I'll talk to you all soon!!