My dear lovelies in CALI,
I seriously loved your email this week. It made me miss being with you all, a whole lot, and with the fourth of July this week and all, but of course I know this is where I'm supposed to be. The Lord isn't done molding me as a missionary yet.
Wow, mama! I can't believe all your injuries! I'm so sorry you are so banged up. But at least you can relax a little bit in a very lovely place with all your family around. I'm sending you hugs and kisses though, so that you feel a little bit better. I want you to send me pictures of the new carpet and the house all fixed up nice. And of course, pictures with the Adlers when they arrive. I'm glad you are keeping track of the world cup a little bit. It's literally on in every house and as we walk through the streets we can hear people yelling and banging pots and pans whenever someone scores a goal. (Go Deutschland!) I feel bad for the Latino elders who are missing it (if they are being obedient... hahaha). It's kind of a big deal in this part of the world.
I got the package with Cactus Juice three weeks ago at the changes and so far it has helped but not eliminated the mosquito bites. In this rainy season, they are just horrible. We get bitten in every house we're in and when we're sitting there teaching a lesson they just feast on our poor legs. I'm still waiting for the other package to arrive.
Everyone in the office has been a little crazy these weeks with the mission presidente swap so we've felt a little neglected. We still don't have a desk or chairs or a cell phone so we continue to study on the floor or on our beds and the poor district leader and his companion have to stop by our house every night to get the numbers. And we still haven't even met the new president yet. Someone said we'll meet him this week though. We'll see about that.
So Erlin and Sofia didn't come to church yesterday and seem to be progressing really slowly and Dennis we haven't seen all week because he's been working a ton. We had a movie night at the Medina house this week and got some new families to teach which seem to be positive but they didn't come to church either. I was pretty disappointed on Sunday because when you don't have investigators in church, you don't baptize. We had one show up on his own who the elders actually contacted so we'll work with him. His name is Erwin. Also Miguel and Sandra are an older couple but really liked the Testaments movie and we taught them a great lesson about the Book of Mormon. And María Auxiliadora and her husband José Geronimo seem fairly positive as well. Hopelly we can get them to church.
Thanks for your spiritual thoughts and insights. I really love to hear about what you are studying about and thinking about in regards to the gospel. I liked Dad's thought about happiness or joy being directly proportional to our capacity to feel the spirit. I have been thinking about true happiness this week and I think Dad hit a key point. I made a big list of things I consider to be true happiness and what it all boiled down to was faith in Jesus Christ. True happiness is having faith in Jesus Christ and how do we obtain testimonies and grow our faith in Christ? Through the Holy Ghost testifying to our own spirits that He is the Christ. I think that the more we can cultivate spiritual experiences in our lives each day and as we get better and better at recognizing and following the spirit, our joy and happiness will grow. I love Ether 12:4 that talks about faith being an anchor to our souls. That sure foundation, the security in the face of anything that Satan can throw at you, for me, is real happiness. It doesn't depend on anyone or anything. And of course, cultivating the spirit comes through keeping the commandments and following each prompting received.
Being a missionary is the best thing in the world - happiness is in doing what's right and reaping the spiritual rewards.
I love you all more than my fan... which is a lot a lot.
P.S. Will, we sure had some good times just the three of us livin' it up in Newport huh? Love your guts.