Hello everyone! Hope everyone had a great week and a great Memorial day. It's crazy that I have been out here this long already. It feels like I have been here in La Joya forever, but barely left home yesterday. Kind of strange to explain.
First off, thank you so much to all of you who emailed me! Shout out to Grandma Jeri, Debbie Hermansen, Ali Peterson, and Grandma Lorraine for writing me! You are the best!! I know you all say to not worry about writing back, but I really do want to write as many of you back as I can. So it may take a bit just because of lack of time, but I will try my best to get back to you.
Overall this week has been a bit tough. Up and downs a lot for sure. They are just growing pains really of still getting used to mission life. I will say though that I have noticed from my short time out here that when things get the hardest, that usually means some amazing blessings or miracles are about to happen. So I am doing my best to keep up good spirits and maintain my focus on the big picture.
So last P-day I went on my first tie dig! It was great and we got quite a few really nice Italian ties for a dollar each! We are planning on going again later today so I will let you know how it goes. I will have to get some pictures one of these times to show what it's all about (left the camera back at the apartment today so I apologize for the lack of pictures again this week).
When up in Sullivan City (sketchiest place of our area), we heard some gun shots during a meal appointment outside of one of our members houses. Later that week we saw a truck with a bullet hole in it's windshield so that has been exciting, haha. Don't worry though Elder Berger and I are perfectly safe. Some of the thugs running around though... not so sure.
Thursday things started getting a bit better. We actually had the opportunity to teach a members boyfriend at a dinner appointment kind of unexpectedly. He is a very cool guy named Chris and we came to find out that he lived in Vernal, Utah for quite some time growing up. We got talking and learned that he had done a lot of bear hunting there in the book cliffs and played hockey in town (not sure if he was on Uintah's team or not, but I am fairly positive that I played against him at some point in the past). So small world right? Unfortunately, he has a bit of a bad view of the church from some punk member kids back in Vernal (so important that we are good examples of our faith at all times or it is extremely damaging to people's viewpoints of our church and their potential conversion in the future), but I am confident that he can overcome that as he is very open to the spirit.
We got poured on this week and actually got rained out one of the days because it was coming down so bad. Wow is the lightning amazing down here. I need to take some video on my camera because words don't describe how incredibly colorful and giant the bolts are here for whatever reason. We have seen many that strike across the entire sky and fill the sky with a purple ethereal glow. It's insanely cool.
We had the great opportunity to have a District lunch this week at one of the little taquerias here by the apartment. It's so great to just take a minute and get to know everyone a little better. It's strange, but sometimes I forget that the others had real lives before coming here, as the mission is really the only reality I know currently. Man, were those Barbacoa street tacos good. I wish I could send some of this food back home for everyone to try. It's heavy stuff that you wouldn't want to eat all the time, but some of it is so divine.
On Sunday Tim and Javier got confirmed! They are on their way to greatness if they use their agency wisely. I absolutely know it. I am so impressed at how far they have truly come along. I can truly see Javier serving a mission in a few years. He has such a powerful desire to do good and help others. Again, they were just beaming with happiness and you could see the holy ghost just testifying through them how wonderful a decision they made to follow Jesus Christ.
I would say something I have learned this week is to never fear men. I felt this was the week I found my voice and learned to have the faith that if i teach of truth to the best of my abilities (not perfect) the spirit will carry that into the hardest of hearts. Though they may not choose to except it, they will remember for a moment who they truly are and where they came from. I saw that last night as I testified with conviction and with all of my soul of things I know to be true to an investigator that is having a lot of doubts. Do not fear men and those who are wise to the understanding of the world. Satan would have us believe that we are incapable and incompetent. Though our words may whisper against the tide of opposition, the spirit will carry the truth and our voices will roar as lions. Never be afraid to open your mouth to stand for truth. You do not stand alone. There is no barrier too tall or heart to hardened that love of our brethren and the spirit cannot pierce.
I heard about L. Tom Perry's death. It was sad to hear, as I always loved his enthusiasm and constant warm and smiling countenance. He is going to have such a wonderful place in the kingdom of God though. He will be missed, but I know he is in an incredibly happy state right now and working hard with the other church greats who have passed on.
Hope all have a wonderful week. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as always. I hope that you are all continuing in your pursuits to attain more gospel knowledge. It is truly invaluable and you will never regret learning more of spiritual truth.
Love y'all so much!
("There is more to life than being really, really, excruciatingly good looking" Name the movie haha)