Dear Mom, Dad, Eric, Belle, and Coffee,
I love my mission so much. Elder Croft and I are working as hard as we can right now. We're really trying to push ourselves harder than we ever have before. We're trying to do our best to accomplish the purposes that the Lord has put before us. We want to fulfill His vision for us. It has been a great month with a lot of successes, and now we have a new month before us that looks better than the previous months combined. We are so excited. Elder Croft goes home in three weeks and he wants to go out swinging, so I'm doing what I can to help him do just that. He's a wonderful missionary. It's getting hot, blisteringly so, but it's better than freezing rain. It gets up to about 40+ degrees Celsius with whatever the humidity level is here. By the end of the day, I have sweat marks in my pants. Sometimes I sweat so much that it's difficult to get my tie off of my neck. That's missionary work. I love that feeling of returning home exhausted. The work is rolling forth like a stone cut without hands. Taiwan is incredibly prepared to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So amazing.
It's exciting that you are going on such a fun trip to Italy. I imagine that you'll have very memorable experiences that I definitely want to see pictures of. I'm always up for an adventure! It would be fun to do something like that as a family...or even to come back to Taiwan. You wouldn't understand the language, but you could meet all of the wonderful people we got to help on my mission. I have had such a wonderful experience. I would love for all of you to meet these wonderful people and experience just a taste of what it was like for me. I'm so happy that they're putting more missionaries here. I've heard that over forty missionaries are coming on in a move call or two.
Devotion, obedience, and hard-work. They are key aren't they? Don't worry about me, I don't get trunky. I will not get trunky. I just want to amplify those three things and work as hard as I can until the bitter end. I never want to feel as though I did less than I could have. I plan on giving 100% for as long as the Lord needs me to which I suppose is the rest of my life and on into eternity. I'm OK with that. I have every intention of pushing myself past anything I thought I was capable. My mission president has said that he hopes that five years after you return home, you no longer say that your mission was the "best two years" of your life, but rather that the most recent years have been. The mission is supposed to prepare you for bigger, better, and more spiritual experiences. He wants us to have fulfilling lives full of years and years of pure joy. That really changed my perspective on things. This is just a beginning. Regardless, I feel like I need to have attained perfection by the end. I'm trying.
I'm almost tempted to say that you should just go ahead and reserve my spot of the Winter Semester. That being said, I don't want you to do that and I change my mind. When I went to the temple, my trainer told me that in the time I left to go to school on time, I could help more people to receive the gospel and change forever, but my mission president told me of how my mission needs to end at some point. It's difficult for me to decide. It seriously tears me up. I want to be realistic about it all, but I don't know how to choose most efficiently. I would love continued opinions on this. It's still mostly likely that January 3rd will be the official date. As of right now 95% certain.
I can't imagine returning home and suddenly doing all of those things, but if that's what it takes to dive head first into the rest of my life, I think that would be fine. I just want to be effective and efficient with my life and I feel like that would be the best to maximize my mission as much as possible while still using the momentum from my mission to have a really busy, difficult semester at BYU. I want to do things the right way.
Time has past too fast. I can't even comprehend it. I can't wrap my mind around it. I still feel like a young missionary. I've never taken on that "I'm the old missionary and I'm going to teach you" feeling. I feel like everyone has so many amazing talents that I can't quite wrap my mind around yet. I have a long way to go.
This week has been amazing. I love you all so much. We're working super hard. Never worry about me. I love you.
- Elder Woolsey
P.S. We baptized this last week.