Seriously though, how are you doing? I hope you have all had a great 9 months, it feels like it's been so long since I've seen you, yet also like I just barely left on my mission. Go figure.
Well, I've been doing great! I absolutely love love love my mission! I feel so grateful for the experiences that I've had. I have felt the highest of highs, and also some of the lowest of lows. The mission has been dynamic and changing. Stretching and rewarding. Most of all though, it's been a blessing. What a joy it is to be out for a year and a half, serving those in the great nation of Texas. For those of you who thought it was a state, I'm sorry to inform you that it is actually its own country, hahaha seriously though, I am so grateful to be doing whatever little part I can to help these people change their lives, and help Heavenly Father in His work to bring souls to him. I love this gospel. I love the simple truths it teaches. There are so many different ideas we can be caught up in today, but if we stay rooted in the basics, you can't go wrong. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know God loves each of us as His children. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and not only that, but that it really will bring you closer to Christ than any other book. I know families are eternal, and I'm so grateful that you are my family!
You have each played such a significant role in my life, and I am grateful for it. I do have a request from you though. I am trying to collect a Family Testimony Book. The idea is, I would love to have a written testimony of every person in the family. From grandparents down to cute little Sam. Even if the children can't really write yet, I would love to have a drawing from them, or something like that. I don't care how long or short, eloquent or simple, strong or newly forming, they are each precious and I know the strength that comes from the bearing of testimonies. I'm going to collect all these in a binder to keep forever! So, I would absolutely love handwritten testimonies, but I know how hard that can be. So, even if you email them to me, I will print them out here. I am trying to have it done before the end of September, so if there's anyway I could get those testimonies by September 18th (a Monday) I would so appreciate it!
Thank you all again! I love you so much! I sent this email to as many as I could, but I know not everyone got it, so please spread the word. Thanks!
All my love,
(Your) Sister Erika Marks