Well, another week has come and gone. It's the last week of the move-call with Elder Haag and this time next week, I'll likely have a new companion. I'm not too excited about that prospect because Elder Haag is incredible. He's extremely diligent and hard working. He'll likely be an Assistant to the President by the end of the mission. He may not. Strictly speaking, I don't want him to be, because I think he's such a good trainer. He really has done a TON to set me up for the rest of my mission. I'm both excited and nervous to see who comes next and what they'll want to do. I'll miss him a lot, but separation foster fond feelings. It will be fun to see him at things like mission conferences and after the mission.
So this week it rained like you would not believe. I imagine you will hear about Elder Taylor's experience shortly because supposedly in Pingdong (about where Elder Taylor is), the flooding was up to their knees. I suppose you can't expect much else when a Typhoon hits. This was a small one too. Over here in Shalu, we just had winds. These were unbelievable winds though. When a gust came, you blew FAR away on your bike. We luckily were teaching English that night so we didn't have much of a problem, but we biked for miles in the rain the day before. It's really a lose lose though. You wear the rain clothes not to get wet, but then it gets so hot inside that you sweat buckets...so you end up wet anyway. Either way you're soaked by the end of the day. After the rain stopped, it got really hot again. I'm kind of used to sweating like that. Just imagine when we were in Florida X3. Three times as humid, three times as hot. I have tan lines now and my companion still says summer hasn't come yet (then again he was in the south before which is supposedly much hotter and wetter). Utah still sounds crazy hot though. I bet I would burn more in Utah because of the atmosphere and lack of humidity.
We had miracle after miracle this week. During the typhoon we had a lesson at the church. When we showed up, President Bishop was there for some reason! Luckily for us we taught our investigator the last of the things he needed to know and got him into a baptismal interview with President Bishop. He passed! The cool thing is that he would have needed a second interview (after one with the District Leader) from a mission presidency member (you can ask Eric why someone would need one) but we did two for one right there. It was a miracle for sure. There truly are no coincidences in this life. Even Thomas S. Monson doesn't believe in coincidences. There were others that would be difficult to describe right now.
When you send that package, I would love some pictures of you all! I would also (if it's not a burden) love The Essential Missionary Collection CD (it has songs like 2. Redeemer 4.Savior, Redeemer of Mankind 14. A Poor Wayfaring man of Grief (by John Schmidt) 15. I Believe in Christ (by Eclipse)). That should be enough information to locate it. It's crazy good. I would also invite you to listen to Savior, Redeemer of Mankind (that name may be slightly wrong). It is incredibly good. That poem would also be much appreciated! I love you!!
I can't believe all of the changes. I'm going to get home and everything is going to look and feel and sound and taste so different. I'm scared! You say nothing is happening, but from my perspective everything is different! It sounds fun though!
I'm so happy that Eric is having a good birthday week. I have a package to send him, but I need to take out some money to do it and it's not quite prepared yet. Birthdays are a lot of fun. I hope everything is going well with everyone there.
It's sad to hear about grandpa. I felt beaten-up after I heard about Grandpa Wilkes. I don't know why the Lord decided to wait until now to have all of this happen, but I know it's for a divine purpose. I hope you're all doing well considering. I'll pray on his behalf, but I remember a talk about prayers having so much power that they can slow down the death of a loved one...which may not be the Lord's will. I'm going to pray for the Lord's will, even if it's not what I think I want. I would love a copy of that picture of me and grandpa actually.
I'm glad that Tyler is excited. By the time he leaves Elder Taylor and I will have been out for over six months and Elder Jensen for about a year. That's crazy. In mission life, that's huge. It's hard to explain, but it's huge. I hope he's doing well.
Just remember to read your scriptures (alone and as a family) just as diligently. I promise that as you do so, the windows of heaven really will poor out upon you and you will feel the love of the Savior more in your lives. Succumb to the will of the Lord and allow yourself to be an instrument in His hands. The purpose of the Atonement is to become more than we could ever be in every facet of life. You will bike faster, work harder, everything. As you make and hit goals, the same will occur. I also invite you all to help out the missionaries at least once in the coming month. Give them a referral. Feed them. Compliment their efforts. Offer to drive them around. Be a peike (member assisted lesson-person). There are loads of ways to help further this work. Please choose one and go and do! I'll probably follow up with this in the not-too-distant future.
URGENT: I NEED SOMEONE TO FIND OUT ELDER JOEY WILSON'S MAILING ADDRESS (he wrote me and I can't write back to him or he won't get it in time). I ALSO NEED TO KNOW WHERE ELDER JORDAN MONTANO IS SERVING HIS MISSION BECAUSE APPARENTLY HE IS AND I HAVEN'T HEARD ANYTHING. PLEASE FIND OUT!
The basketball results make me sad. That's really disappointing.
Thanks again, Mom. You somehow discovered exactly what to say...again. It was perfect. Elder Haag and I yesterday started talking about post mission life (which carried over into today a bit). Somehow, you keep answering prayers and keep me focused. Although the words were simple and clear, they were eloquent and kind. Thank you. I'm really working hard, but I need to keep pushing myself. I cannot let myself be satisfied with anything.
This work is true. It literally does not make sense how it couldn't be anymore. I can't even describe it fully. It's wonderful. I wish you all could feel this way. Please ask questions if there's ever anything you would like to know. Keep it up. Thank you for the support.