Thanks so much for your email today! It was awesome to get, I really needed to hear from you. ... I think that the basic crux of my problem is that I'm having a heck of a time being content with where I am called to serve, and with whom. I need to be grateful for whom the Lord has given me to love and serve and teach, with the English work.
And my time is getting short. It's the classic question right? Have I done enough? Was it my best? Is it? It's very real though, and since the beginning of my mission, I knew it would come and so I've tried to avoid it by focusing on making sure I was consecrated a day at a time. But the questions still come. The other thing you know I'm sure, although I haven't told anyone directly because I don't want to hurt any feelings, but I don't want to leave my mission. Not at all. You should probably all start writing me the awesome things about home so I can remember and help me detach from Louisiana! I would be content to come to the airport, see everyone and then come back. After teaching Claudia this week, I just wondered, "how can I leave her?!" I don't really care how hard it is, because yeah, it's been really hard. There are lots of disappointments, and every time I leave an area, it flourishes!! It's partly frustrating. I mean, it's been just me and my comp, with my nose to the grind here in BR Spanish work for nine months, always working with the faith and hope that there are those prepared for us, but I never saw it. And the spanish sisters in my old area and apartment and old district family? With all those people I love, and I'm around nice and close to observe all of it btw, - they are flourishing. The people I taught and barely found, or tried to work with, are either now inviting the sisters to their house (whereas I just spent half my days standing on their doorstep) or they're returning, or getting baptized. Part of me says that it's ok, just be happy. I worked with faith, and the love I showed prepared those people to where they are now, and it's just different missionaries reaping and "harvesting," and I need to be more selfless. The other part of me wonders that if I would have somehow worked harder, or had more faith, worked smarter, taught better, whatever, if those people could have progressed then. But I just cringe when those thoughts creep into my mind because I know they shouldn't. It is just creeping by the way.
But really, despite any of that, I don't care because I feel like this is what I was made to do. I remember that since I was about 12, or really since I can remember, this is what I've wanted to do, be a full time missionary. Do you remember once driving with just you and me, from Moscow to Sandpoint. The topic came up, and I said that I knew I'd serve a mission. You asked why I wanted to. I said that part of it was for a selfless reason: I had to share the peace and joy I had, and part of it was selfish: that I felt like my testimony would need the strengthening that would come from a mission. I don't know if you remember, but it's one early memory I have. And what the heck kind of preteen (or early teen) says that?! I remember that you teasingly asked, "what if you meet your prince charming first?" I think I laughed and said," whatever dad, no I won't." Haha, well I thought it was close there for a bit with David, but it wasn't. I chose a mission. Heavenly Father's answer to my prayer was a mission. Over David, Jerusalem, school, work, etc., it's always been what I'd do. So who am I going to be after this? I mean, I know who I am, but do you know what I mean? I don't really have a desire to get married or have kids, which is contrary to everyone else, although I do trust that it will come. It almost breaks my own heart to write that, because I know that's what I'm supposed to do, but it's just not there right now. I don't know if I really am even up for school, although I know it's what I have to do. I'll just freeze in Rexburg this year! I don't know if I'm smart enough to go back to school and face all those science courses to pursue what it is that I want to do, which is the same by the way. I know I want to go to Jerusalem more than ever, and would love to have that be in Jan 2015, a year from when I get home. But then I really can’t think about any of that, can I? So here I am :) I got up today, was obedient to my schedule, loved my time in the Book of Mormon, and that's what keeps me grounded despite of it all. Is there such a thing as a "quarter life crisis?" :-)
So I look at the bagoblocks page from time to time, and am always kind of wondering how it's going. It's always in my prayers. It's probably been there awhile, but I only just discovered the "Our Location" link. That picture there taken from that side of the lake is awesome!!!
Haha, do I remember about the Jam?! YES! We just barely finished the raspberry y'all sent awhile ago. So Sis Paulson got to try some, and we were both wishing we had more! I told her we could write and ask for some, but then I told her how precious that jam is and that led to me telling her about our joke at home about when someone would ask for us to pass the jam :)
I didn't know about my travel itinerary! Did it tell you if it's a direct flight? Or maybe you just got my arrival time. Well, seeing as how I sent my one jacket home in that package... you're probably going to have to bring me a coat! I'm going to be freezing! If it's at all like last year, it won't really get cold here between now and when I leave. Look for that package by the way. I had some (probably kind of confusing) requests about some memory cards I sent home, so let me know if you have any questions :) Oh, and Mom's email about the camera switch didn't come in till after I'd left the library last week. But I'm going to hold onto this one. I think the problem is maybe that my memory card was too smart for that camera and so the pictures were just blurry on the camera (but will be fine on the computer?) That and the flash wasn't broken, you just have to be smarter than the camera :) haha. So anyway, you should be able to take that money back out of my account, as long as that memory card is fine. Thanks so much for doing that though!!
Mom, your email just came in! Oh, this email is for you too obviously (despite my subject line :). I signed that paper last night and it'll go in the mail today. Thanks for setting up that stuff, that's awesome! I'm so blessed, now I don't have to worry about it. Do you think you could set me up for a chiropractor or massage therapist appointment? I'll find a way to pay for it, I just know it has to be done! My hip/sacrum needs to be straightened back out (literally, haha) - yoga and stretching are only getting me so far these days. Thanks :)
Well, Claudia is doing great, and so is Marquetta's fam. They have kinda become my family!! They call me Sister Sister and say I'm just another one of their sisters haha :) The kids are awesome, the three oldest actually finished the kids Book of Mormon we got them. Robert was smoke free all week except one cigarette Saturday. He told us about it that night (when he picked Marquetta up from the RS broadcast). He was so bummed. But he's picking himself right up again. It was dark so we walked over with them to where they could see the temple all lit up (we're so lucky that it's right by the church!), and they were just so excited that that is their goal one day! Apparently, the previous bishop of this ward is a lawyer and will maybe be able to help with the divorce situation. We just need him to answer his phone! We are working on making a list of everything that needs to be done, including costs so that it's really clear. Then, maybe the ward council will also be able to help. They'll see that Robert and Marquetta are doing everything they can and that this isn't just another family that's going to need help. We're gonna plow through this tumbleweed one way or another! I might miss their baptisms, but do y'all wanna come back in a little over a year with me for their sealing? Sounds like every missionaries dream, right? It'd be pretty cool for you to meet them.
So you took my Book of Mormon challenge huh mom? What date are you going for? I can't remember what I wrote. I'm going for the 20th so I read about 15 pgs a day. It's awesome reading it through fast like this. It's not like it's hard reading, just a matter of doing it. It's cool because you really understand what groups of people went where, and where they were from. Reading it fast, I really get a clear picture. Although it's hard sometimes to not stop and study just one verse of set of verses! But it sure strengthens my testimony to get the big picture again!! No one, farm boy, or scholar, could have written about that many groups of people with all the times and dates and places lining up like that. No siree, that cannot be fiction.
We have a busy week. It's Mission Leader Coucil already again (1st Wed of every month) and then Zone Training Meeting is always that Friday, so lots to learn and plan for. Should be good.
Ok, I better go. Thanks for letting me write my rant. Thanks for waiting till I was ready to talk about it. I look forward to hearing from you next week. I hope it's a good one and that you are happy :)
Lots of Love,