Yes Mom, I am indeed still alive. There are quite a few missionaries that are freaking out about all of the blood moon stuff. Honestly, I find it pretty strange as well. It really doesn't matter in the end, because the Lord is going to take care of us no matter what. I think the Church did well to warn people about just jumping on board with every Tom, Dick and Harry that claim they know a prophecy. It is pretty irritating on the mission because a bunch of missionaries think that they are pretty expert in their knowledge of that stuff. Obnoxious! Anyway.
My first full week was a whirlwind. Because I was re-assigned on a transfer week, I had to do a bunch of stuff for transfers and didn't even have a clue what I was doing most of the time. Luckily I got some pretty good training, so things went decently well. I'm also reaping the benefits of never getting nervous in front of a crowd. That really helps. Thank Robinne! Taking the departing missionaries to the airport was really cool. As I was driving them there, one of them asked me how it made me feel to do something like that. I told them that it just made me more ticked that 13 months of my mission were already gone!!! I am going to love coming home and seeing all of you, but holy cow. I am going to miss this mission. I'm glad that you also mentioned the arriving missionaries. Mom, picking up those missionaries from the airport was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The new missionaries arrive with such a zeal and optimism that re-kindled my own. It was awesome. I'm really loving the experiences that I am having. It is definitely hard. Holy cow.... There were a couple nights there where I went to bed feeling like I was drowning. But everything always gets better! That's a miracle of the Atonement! God makes us stronger to conquer the challenges ahead of us. I will definitely not be spending the remainder of my mission as an assistant. I had an interview with President and he says that he wants to keep leadership cycling through fairly often. So no:) I'll be back to proselyting eventually! And yes, I'd definitely rather go back to proselyting in the end. I enjoy serving the mission, but I also love having a little part of the vineyard to tend;)
Congrats to Seth Manesee on being such a stud! He's going to tear it up on his mission, I just know it!
Thank you so much for the birthday box! I'm going to love it. President and Sister Miles actually had me over to the mission home last night for a birthday dinner! Sister Miles made ribs, funeral potatoes, and some awesome garlic rolls! It was so good. It was really touching because I didn't even tell Sister Miles about my birthday. She even made me a pie, haha. I can't wait for General Conference either. I can't wait to just soak it in. The motto of my mission has been "just make it to Conference." I always leave Conference feeling refreshed and ready to work again! Especially since we get 3 new apostles!!! We were talking about it, and I've got it all lined up with a sports metaphor. President Monson is Head Coach. President Eyring and President Uchtdorf are Offensive and Defensive coaches. The quorum of the Twelve are your first stringers. President Nelson is the new Starting Quarterback. The Seventies are the college teams that they will draft out of;D And then the Presiding Bishopric and the other Auxiliaries are Special Teams;) Ask Grandpa what he thinks about that, hahaha.
So here is what I've learned this week. This morning we were in the car listening to the talk "Beware of Pride" by President Benson. It was read over the pulpit by President Hinckley when the address was given. We play talks in the truck when we're driving - which is a lot. As we were listening to it, one of the lines that really hit me hard was this:
"'What will men think of me?' weighs heavier than 'What will God think of me?'"
As you know, I've been trying to refine my leadership skills to be able to communicate love and genuine interest in people. But I've also had a rough time trying to discover how to deal with contentious situations. Honestly, I think that line right there is the key to thinking quickly in tough situations. We need to ask ourselves what God will think of us and our actions, and be less concerned about what others think or say. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father was able to teach me that, and I am looking for ways to have the Savior help me to apply it. He is seriously helping me every day. I've never felt closer to him than I have on my mission.
Well, this week we begin the chaos. This transfer is a 5 week transfer, so we have to get all of our exchanges with the Zone Leaders done pronto. We'll be driving down to Lethbridge tonight, and then we'll drive back up to Calgary again on Wednesday night. Then on October 11th we'll be heading to the South for the week to do an exchange a day in the south zones. We'll be going all the way from Medicine Hat to B.C. and then back up to Calgary through Banff. It's going to be super busy.
I'm loving life, loving my mission, and Loving the Lord. He is everything to me!
Love you so much!!!