Last Saturday I hit 21 months of being in my mission. It's hard sometimes because I can see the end coming. Sometimes I get discrouaged because I feel like I haven't changed as much as I need to and I don't have very much time left to be able to do it. But I know that the mission is just the beginning of a lifetime's worth of changes. The mission in the MTC of life, right? So I've still got a long ways to go. But at the same time I feel sometimes like my weaknesses are still pretty weak. I was hoping that my weaknesses would become strength, but right now it pretty much feels the same. Change is hard! But I'm not giving up. That's what the gospel is all about. Everyone has to change and be born again. For some of us it takes a lot of falling down and getting back up and falling down again to make the change. But the point of the Gospel is that you can get back up and you can keep going. The difference between those who make it to heaven and those who don't is that the ones that make it to heaven get back up when they fall and keep going. The ones who don't make it are the ones that fall down, accept the fall as their destiny and then allow themselves to keep falling without trying to stop. Like when I fell in the river. I took a bad step that led me to fall and be sucked into a tube and shot out the other side. When I came to and realized what had happened I knew that I had fallen and felt the pain of falling, but I didn't say "Well, I guess I might as well keep going down the river since I've already fallen." I held on and sat still waiting for the help I needed and calling out to be rescued. If I had just let myselft keep going I would have fallen down a waterfall to my death. What I'm getting at is that that is the miracle of the Gospel and of Christ's love. No matter how many times we fall into the river, if we hold on and call out for help, Jesus Christ always comes to pull us out. That's why He's the Savior. So I'm not giving up even when I've fallen so many times in the same river. At the same time, you can't just jump in the river and say "Well, I know He'll save me". That's like driving your car off a cliff saying "Well, I know there's a hospital and doctors that can save my life if I do this!" It's just life. It's hard but we just have to not give up, seek the help we need from those that can help us, and keep moving on. The hardest part is that there are times in life where we have to cross the river and we do take a bad step and get sucked in. But I love the words from the hymn "How Firm a Foundation" in Spanish. I'm not sure if they are the same in English. They say:
Y cuando torrentes tengáis que pasar, (and when you have to pass over the rapids)
los ríos del mal no os pueden turbar, (the rivers of evil cannot disturb you)
pues yo las tormentas podré aplacar, (because I will be able to calm the storms)
salvando mis santos, salvando mis santos, (saving my saints, saving my saints)
salvando mis santos de todo pesar (saving my saints from all sorrow)
Well, I guess I kind of poured out my soul a little bit there but that's what I felt to write. Hopefully it can help some of you as much as it helps me.
Alright well my times almost up. Here's some quick shoutouts
Kinzie- GREAT JOB!! On your ACT score! Wow that's awesome! Looks like you will break the family record!! Really good job sissy I am proud of you :) Now that we all know you are intelligent you have to keep up on your studies and homework. Being intelligent doesn't mean you don't need to study or do your homework. Intelligent people are SMART when they do their studies and their work. Work hard and you'll be at BYU soon enough with me! :) Love you!
Jack- GREAT JOB!! too with your ACT score! That's a great score for only being in 7th grade! Wow. You have to work really hard and you'll be a star athelete at BYU! Keep it up buddy. See you in a few months! :)
Dad- hey dad sorry about the money shortage again...I'm trying to be more financially responsable but because of some activities that I ended up having to pay for and stuff and because I still haven't been reimbursed for some things here in the mission I'm completely out of money. Thanks a lot though dad. I promise that after my mission I won't be such a money sucker. I'm going to work and work HARD for myself and my family. I promise. To answer your question they are going to tell us changes this Sunday. So next week I'll let you guys know if I have a change or not. I'll also know by next Monday if I am going to train or anything like that. Thanks for the bball update. Too bad about Derek Rose. I kind of wanted them to win. Anyways, thanks for your prayers dad. Please keep praying for me. I am going through a rough patch as I come close to finishing the mission. It's a hard thing to do! Well, Love you tons dad. You're awesome. Talk to you soon!
Mom- thanks for the pictures! :) What a beautiful temple. Can't wait to go there with you guys!!! Thanks for the package :) I should be getting it maybe this week since the zone leaders just went down to the capital this week for concilio. Don't worry I'm not looking for anything too special, I'm just excited to talk to you guys on the phone. I'll let you all know next Monday exactly when and what time but it will be NEXT WEEK!! It will most likely be either Thursday or it will be Sunday. So I'll let you know next Monday the deets. I'm so Happy! (King Cuzco) haha wow that IS baggy mom. That makes ME really baggy! WEIRD! Alright love you!
Alright folks well, oxib' po chik (three months more.) (if you are like me you are probably singing the song "One Day More" from Les Miserables in your head with the words "Three months more!" haha :) ) Love you all tons and I'll talk to you all next week!