Hello my wonderful family!
I have very little time today; we spent some extra time cleaning up the apartment more than usual and getting me a haircut, so I am unfortunately rather low on time. However, I wanted to tell you one quick thing:
Earlier this week, we took a priest named Logan out with us and met a very nice man named Mario. Mario's dad, Victor, texted us recently telling us he missed us and our visits. Logan got really excited about missionary work after that, and asked if he could come with us to the return appointment. He even made cookies! (Both for us and for Mario/Victor, of course). The lesson sadly fell through, but we were able to meet Victor and talk to him a bit. He's a very nice man, and very involved in the Catholic Church with his wife (they basically do the Catholic equivalent of LDS Family Services). However, we had time enough to read the heading to 1 Nephi with him.
However, he made 1 small (yet hilarious) mistake. Instead of saying that Nephi and his brothers "tomaron las hijas de Ismael por esposas" he said "tomaron las hijas de Ismael por sorpresa". That means instead of saying "they took the daughters of Ishmael for wives", he said "they took the daughters of Ishmael by surprise". Surprise! You're our wives now!
I hope you enjoyed that little story.
Love you all! Have a great time!
--- Questions from Editor Mom:
How are things? Tell us about Elder West. What does he like? Do you have any common interests? Does he enjoy your sense of humor? - Elder West is such an awesome companion! He's from Dallas, TX, and is trying to decide between being an electrical engineer (you know, to build robots) or a genetic engineer. If I like something, you can be relatively sure he will as well (I'm pretty serious about that. Strategy games, XKCD, Rome Total War, Star Wars, Star Trek the Next Generation, you name it). We just finished playing a game of Go after he taught (maybe reminded?) me how. He won. I'm not sure he enjoys my sense of humor, but he does tolerate it pretty well... ;-)
How are things in The Dalles? Any interesting dinner appointments? Do you have dinner appointments most evenings? - The Dalles is great! This area has a lot of potential. We have dinner appointments almost every night, and we switch off every other month between the 1st and 2nd wards.
How's your morale? - It's doing awesome, thanks!
I'm sending you a package with some black footwear and some treats from Disney. If the boots don't fit, maybe you can find someone to give them to. They look a little narrow, but sometimes things that look narrow fit you fine. I guess it's just a matter of where they are narrow. - Sweet! I guess they'll keep me on the straight and narrow.
Tell us about enduring to the end. I think it has some positive connotations in the scriptures, because that's how the scriptures are, but sometimes when I think of "enduring", I think of a painful situation. I don't know why the word has that sort of meaning attached to it. - Actually, from what I have been told, the original Hebrew word is a little more like "Sanctification" and not so much "white-knuckling". I really prefer the Spanish version of "perseverar", or persevere. It's sometimes hard, but it is the act of allowing the spirit to be the refiner's fire, purifying and sanctifying us. Of course, it includes the painful experiences we go through, but it's more like striving for and accepting the long-term, constant, process of progression and sanctification by the Holy Ghost.
What was the bitter and what was the sweet of the last transfer? - It was bitter because my patience was bitterly tried with the situation we were in, the lack of clear progression from the people we were working with, but most of all, myself. It was a "trial of faith" (Ether 12:6), for sure. However, it was sweet because I had an amazing companion, some wonderful members, some great experiences, and I have learned a lot by passing through the bitter. It ended far sweeter than it was bitter.
Do you remember when you were set apart as a stripling warrior? Yep. That's your calling in life--to face difficult, seemingly impossible situations with faith and courage that you will come out on top. I am honored to be your mom. - I do remember being called, although I don't recall being set apart. I do, however, know that so far as our faith and courage is in Christ, that Christ always wins. If we're on His side, of course we'll come out on top! That doesn't mean we don't have to fight; it just means that His side will always win. That "perfect brightness of hope" is what must fuel us day to day if we hope to make it.
One of the members sent a picture of Ben's district singing in church: