I can't believe that this past week I hit my year mark. I feel like it hasn't been that long at all. Looking back I can definitely say I have grown so much from who I was. I know that only through the power of Christ's atonement are we able to make those changes. It is an incredible miracle that our weak, mortal frames can be slowly molded into a beautiful, divine person. I certainly have so much farther to go and I am so grateful that I have one more year to give to our Father in Heaven.
As always, I want to thank those who show me so much charity by supporting me through gifts and letters. Thanks to Grandma Lorraine for the letter and gift card! That really goes along way in helping me not only be sustained through the hard work, but also gives me an opportunity to serve other missionaries that don't have as much. Also I wanted to send a shout out to my Aunt Bertha who is turning 91! You have been such blessing in our lives and I hope to see you continue on in good health and happiness. What a blessing to have that example of strength and optimism in my life. Love you so much!
This past week has been great. I have enjoyed doing a scavenger hunt with the zone this past P-day and building stronger relationships with the other Elders in my district through exchanges and meeting the people they serve and love dearly. I had a wonderful opportunity to speak with a recent convert of Elder Stanley and Dominguez's on one exchange who is struggling really bad with depression. It was very difficult for me to see, since I know how excruciatingly tough that can get. I was able to have a very spiritual conversation with her and testify in and through the strength of the atonement Jesus Christ. We then gave her a wonderfully powerful blessing of comfort. This made me so appreciative to have the power of the priesthood in our lives to see the light of hope in her eyes after.
It was then surreal this past Thursday burning a shirt for the year mark and thinking about how far I've come and how my difficulties in the past year now pale in comparison to the joys I am currently experiencing. I testify that our Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. Though we may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, it is there if we trust in the Lord and endure well. In the meantime we can do so much good in others lives during our struggles. The true power of good character is the ability to look outwards when it is so easy to focus inward. This is something that I have really learned to appreciate during my mission. Truly the antidote to a bad day is serving someone else. Lastly I want to share a quote with you from Elder Corbridge of the seventy who recently visited our mission. It is a very simple quote, but I have found so much truthfulness to it here in the mission field and know that it applies to all:
"Selflessness is in your greatest self interest."
The church is true. Love you all and hope you all have a spectacular week!