Querida mamá mía,
Sabe que? Creo que poco a poco su español está mejorando! Le felecito! Siga practicando y va a ser super seca (that's a Chilenismo for awesome or the best at something). Todo está de maravilla en la misión - estoy aprendiendo bastante todos los días acerca de ayudar a los demás, y también de ayudarme a mi mismo. Esa experiencia ha sido una de las bendiciones más grandes de toda mi vida. Estoy animado para el día en que podré compartir consigo historias de la misión cara a cara.
I totally spaced it - I didn't realize that I was going to have another niece this week! There's another face I'll have to get to know when I get back. Looking forward to the pictures! I took a look at those blogs - I'm liking Justin and Mandi's house and I'm sure Jasmine is excited to be deflated. Might want to try some gas-x, Wass (two snare pops and a cymbal crash) Haha, I kill myself sometimes. ... :)
It's good that you teach Kelton the financial laws - I remember the rush of having money as a young teenager, going on buying sprees and then regretting it aftwerwards when there was no money left to get what I really needed haha. That's when I studied a little bit about budgeting - do it Kelton! You'll have money! President Swenson said that if you save 2 dolars every day for 60 years with a total inversion, you'll have $1,100,000. I want to try that, haha. Starting the day that I start to earn money again.
Cami - stay away from returned missionaries as more than just friends. Even though they may be fantastic guys, and worthy priesthood holders, they are very much looking for WIVES.
Ian - study the scriptures and pray regularly. The desire to go to church will come. It did for me.
I finally got the box! Thank you for everything! The sister missionaries from the Los Angeles North zone are pretty excited for a joint zone activity to watch the Other Side of Heaven, haha. And I'm very much enjoying the peanut butter and Reeses. It's been awhile since I've had some of those things :) I ended up leaving the other jar of peanut butter you sent with the Millahual family in Temuco.
Cool experience I had from this week:
We were walking down the street one evening, and there was a lady walking with a young girl. We started to talk to them, I almost fell on my face (part of the sidewalk was missing, haha), and then we got on the subject of being happy in life. We asked them if they considered themselves happy people, to which they responded no. Then they asked us the same question - first time that somene has asked me that in my mission! At least that I remember. I told her yes, that I'd never been so happy in my whole life. They asked why, and we did exactly what one of the apostles from conference did - we pulled out a Book of Mormon, told them how it had changed our lives and invited them to read it. They left with smiles on their faces and are excited to have us come over to visit them. Read the Book of Mormon. Gain a testimony of it, and then share it with anyone you can. It can change lives, I testify of its power.
I'm working on putting a christmas box together for you - any special requests? I know you all don't know everything about Chile, but is there anything you would like me to send? I might need some financial help to send the box...but that just depends on what is in it. So talk it over with the family and then let me know.
Family - I love you. I miss you all, and I pray for you constantly. I want to encourage you to do three things that will enrich your lives. If you do these three things I promise you will find more peace and happiness in each of your lives:
1. STUDY the scriptures - this means more than just reading. Use the footnotes, ponder what you have read in your hearts. Look for deeper meaning. Apply the scriptures directly to your lives. Do all that and do it regularly.
2. Pray fervently and constantly. I remember my favorite quote from the book Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage: ''Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul...'' (p.238). Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to hear from us. Be humble and meek enough to actually CONVERSE with Him.
3. Attend regularly Sunday meetings. As it says in Moroni 6, we can recieve great spiritual strength by talking about our souls and partaking of the sacrament (in spanish -santa cena, which is holy dinner :) ).
I have been doing and will continue doing these things in my life and they have enriched my life in ways I didn't know possible. Spiritual strength requires constant and hard work, and will continue to grow when shared. Share your testimonies and you will be happier - God promises us that.
Well, that should be just about it for this week. I didn't take a whole lot of pictures this week, but I'll send some for you all. I love and miss you very much, but know that I am happy and am doing very well. I'll look forward to the letter next week!