"So, who leads here in Marks, do you?" "Nah, I'm just his first counselor" "Kinda young, aren't you?"
July 16, 2012
Hey there! :)
Well, I'm back here in Marks with my new companion, Elder Strebe from Arizona. As it turns out he's spent the past two cycles serving with my MTC companion Elder Swartz, so that's pretty cool! He has tons of ideas on working with members that he learned from hsi former area in a town called Penza, so that'll be fun to implement. He's a hard worker and funny guy, so that's good. He's even set up a regiment for morning exercise, which is a two edged sword in the end. It's good to be running in the morning and sweating and all that...but gosh, I'm just so darn tired! But it's a good thing and it's helped me have more energy in the day. So yep, kudos to all you kiddos who work out in the morning!
As it turns out, I got your package, Mom and Dad, and I love it! We had planned meals out excpet for one, so last night we made delicious enchiladas from the mix you sent and on this upcoming week I'll make some delicious burritos and enchiladas methinks. Tasty stuff! The basketball hoop has provided lots of entertainment and the fruitsnacks are super tasty. The Star Wars transformer I think is going to become my motivator for the days when it's hard to go running in the morning and whatnot. Heck, if I run, I can look just like that a super sweet looking Obi Wan with dual lightsabers that turns into a startship! Yeah! One more lap!
Speaking of member work, it's been pretty cool this past week to work with the active members here in Marks. As it turns out, almost all of them are veterans of the first days of the Church here in Marks; most of them having been baptized about 11-14 years ago have stayed active ever since and seen the ebb and flo of the Church in Marks. We found out that at least a couple of them haven't gone to the temple yet, so we'll talk with our branch President about getting that all worked out (they just came out with that new Church fund didn't they? Hopefully that'll apply for some of our members here!). It's been cool to see just how much the members here have sacrificed and the trials they've all fought through to get to where they are today. It humbles me a lot to see people who have worked all of their lives, have had so many trials, yet still just smile and work with the simple knowledge that they know that God lives and that He loves them and that that means everything will work out in the end. So cool! :)
I've decicded that Mormon 9 is one of my favorite chapters. I think I'll try and apply that more to the people I talk to and teach. So often I think people wonder how they can really know that God lives without having seen some super miracle like raising people from the dead or instant sickness healing and so forth. Moroni reminds us in that chapter that really the greatest miracle that ever happened was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In the grand look of things the welfare of our souls is what is most precious to our Heavenly Father, with the rest of the little mercies like getting a priesthood blessing or seeing a miracle is based on the mercy and love that He has for us. Pretty cool stuff there.
Looks like it's time to wrap up this letter. Thanks so much! I love you all a ton, especially my family. You're so awesome :)
Have a good week now! Love you lots!