|Sister Spackman's copy of her father's book|
|The inscription on the inside of the book. Written by N. Eldon Tanner|
Yes, I successfully survived all of the driving! It was a very very long trip.... We put something like 1500 km's on the truck last week.... It was ridiculous. The roads are really only bad when you drive from Lethbridge to Cardston on the main highway. Sometimes you run in to black ice and all that jazz, but I've never been driving and something super sketchy happens. We were very safe.
I haven't gotten the package yet, but Sister Peppinger in the mission office got a call from the lady you gave it to. Apparently she's trying to find someone to get the package up here to Calgary. So it should be up here within the week. I'm glad that everyone liked the pictures. Brother Ockey is a total stud. If you google him, he's all over the internet. He's the world champion ferrari racer in his class. Check this out:
I definitely did not look that up on the internet..... ;)
He's a very humble man. When you talk to him about his races or his cars, he's super proud of what he's done, but at the same time, he just regards it all as "just a race" or "just a car". He's fantastic. And that inscription on the inside of that book is written by the hand of President N. Eldon Tanner. That still blows my mind. It was a miracle to be able to meet her. Unfortunately, Facebook is completely shut down for the mission, so it wouldn't really be a possibility for me to see any of the content that you've put on Facebook.... I know, sad day... But you're right! There will be plenty of time for me to see everything when I get home.
I'm glad that things finally seem to start speeding up for you. I'm telling you. We're going to blink and I'll be home. It's really beginning to move that fast for me. It's insane. I can't believe how fast January is going by. I'll be 18 months by the end of February. What a gong show.
I am definitely keeping a journal. I'm actually keeping several, but that's beside the point, haha. Trying to fill pages and pages of things that I've done/am doing out here. You're right. I'm gaining so much wisdom from President Miles and from so many other sources that I really need to be writing it down. I really have a strong belief that these notes could save me later on in life. I'm sorry that my emails have been short, Gramps! I promise I'll repent. It's just always so darn hard on that week where we have to go down south. We're actually in the process of reorganizing the way we do the exchanges, so hopefully we'll be able to fix that problem. But I really miss my talks with Grandpa as well. I seriously can't stress enough how many times in a day I think of him and try to figure out what he would do in the situation I'm in. He's been an example of wisdom and kindness to me my entire life and I really try to adopt the positive parts of his character into my own character. I look up to him so much. And I miss my Grandmother as well! She has been absolutely STOIC in sending me letters! I really enjoy hearing from Grandma. She is always so positive. I read about Lehi in the Book of Mormon and I'm always so baffled by how often he thanks the Lord and looks to him in everything. Grandma's letters are like a reflection of those scriptures to me. They are amazing. She's always considering the Lord and telling me about how grateful she is for everything He does for her and our family. She's an inspiration to me.
Thanks for the photographs of the Foreigner. I really miss theater, but that is the positive part about my coming home plans! If all I am doing is working, then I should be in pretty good shape to do a show when I get home ;) (Hint hint, Robinne! Hint hint!)
Alright here's a quick update on me:
This week we're going to be doing exchanges with all the zone leaders in the north. Because of the stake realignments in Calgary, we have a whole new zone, so now we have 7 sets of Zone Leaders to exchange with.... Yeesh. But hey! It's all good stuff. I really love the missionaries in this mission. It's a really humbling experience to be with them and try and help them as best I can. Granted, I don't think I really do much for them, but if I can help them feel better than they did when I got there, that's a success. My experience with the Book of Mormon is just getting more and more precious with every word. President and Sister Miles' Christmas gift could not have been more inspired. It is exactly what I needed. It is amazing to see just how much the Savior speaks in the Book of Mormon, as well as how much He is spoken about by His prophets. My testimony is strengthened every time I read. I've also never gained such an immense appreciation for Isaiah. I never really realized just how much the Lord speaks through him. Even sometimes to the point where one can't tell who is actually speaking. As I reflect on my mission, I'm more grateful that ever for the experiences that have been given to me by Jesus Christ. He saved my life through this mission. I have never had such a life-altering experience before, and I have forged a relationship with Christ that is so near and dear to me. I really know now that He knows me and that He knows everyone. I know Him. I know the Man who lived and loved all of God's children. Even those who beat, spit upon, betrayed, and crucified Him. He is the Messiah. He loves us UNCONDITIONALLY. This is a huge one that I have come to discover. He is with us ALWAYS. He is with us even when we make mistakes. It has been enlightening for me to understand that when I make a mistake and beat myself up, Christ is with me watching me do it. He's there with me, watching me try to take my own pains and weaknesses on by myself. I've really been learning to honor Christ's sacrifice by giving my pain and grief to Him, and moving on. I love Him, and I'm so grateful for the love that He gives to me.
Thanks to all who are supporting me and keeping me out here. To all those who have sacrificed to see me succeed. Your sacrifices have lead a guy like me to know the Savior of the World.
I love you!