I can’t believe that William and Mariam are getting married in 2 weeks. That blows my mind, actually. I so so so wish I could be there, but I’m predominantly just so so so excited for them! Did Will and Mariam make wedding announcements? And if so, did they send me one? Because if they didn’t, will you please have them do so? I really want one
It’s kinda fun because on the 16th here, one of our recent converts is getting engaged. But you know how the Tongan people are, nothing, even an engagement, is small, so they are naturally throwing a huge eating just so he can formally get down in one knee. They are planning on going to the temple next November (her one year mark), and I’m sooo happy for them! While I’m at the party, I can act like I’m at William and Mariam’s reception! Speaking of eatings, yeah, Vaitai was there at the one a few weeks ago, but I didn’t get a picture or anything with him. He’s not LDS, but just related to half of Euless, lol. It was fun.
Jake is doing great! He got a job this week! And his family is officially coming home on March 16th. I’ve pretty much decided that March 16th is an amazing day. He has the tickets and everything, so this time it’s real!
I cannot believe how bad the weather has been up there! Doesn’t it know it needs to stop snowing, and warm up?! It’s in the 70s again today, and I am loving it! At this rate, it’ll be in the 90s by the time I come home though, and I’m gonna FREEZE up there! I really thought that it wouldn’t be too bad by May, but it’s looking like I’m wrong. Dang. But at least it’s kinda starting to act like it’ll warm up. I mean, a full 50 degrees! Don’t melt! Lol
I have a special request. Last week I challenged my zone to memorize The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The way we did it was each companionship memorized one paragraph and videoed it, then I was going to put them all together as a single video. However... I don’t actually have the tools (a Mac) needed.... so, I was wondering if I sent the videos and stuff to you, if you would mind putting them all together for me? And maybe adding some soft music in the background? (Maybe Families can Be Together Forever, and Love at Home, if you can find them as instrumentals?) Thank you soooo much! You’re a life saver! I’ll send the videos in a different email. And I can check my email during the week, so whenever you get it done, please send it. Thank you!!!
Life definitely has its ups and downs, and that doesn’t stop just because you’re serving God. How eternally grateful am I though that He trusted me enough to give me a year and half and so many of his children to help home. Something that I’m growing to love more and more as I draw closer to coming home (under two months now - officially #crazy!) is how that service will never end. I have friends now, and friends I will make, who God has trusted me with, someday I’ll have children and a family, and God doesn’t want me to go home, and just sit around. I’ve been thinking about my Patriarchal Blessing recently as part of a program called MyPlan that the church has for missionaries preparing to return home. Anyway, it continually stands out to me how much God wants me to do! Before my mission I focused a lot in the line that indicated God wanted me to serve a mission, but now, I realize my work in my life will be so much more than just these 18 months. I’m excited to see what the next chapter will hold, and what new things God will ask of me. All the while, savoring and loving every last word on the few pages I have left in this chapter of my life. Because I’m never going to get to come back and rewrite these sentences. My life, my service here, will move on, and then I keep writing. I just hope to make it a good one. ✍
Also, we finally got in touch with Jai! And then she came to church again!!! We set an appointment on Wednesday that I so pray doesn’t get canceled! Lol. She’s finally past her first trimester, so hopefully the nausea will stop. Because that’s a big reason she couldn’t meet with us.
We also have an investigator named Jeri we finally got in touch with again. She’s super awesome and open. Doesn’t really have a religious background, but as we teach her, just seems to absorb it. She’s Samoan, and hasn’t been to church yet, but is super sweet. We are hoping to set a baptismal date with her this week. Fingers crossed!
I tried to make this email bigger since last week was lame... so, I hope you like it! Lol. Sorry it’s still not much. I just feel like an email cannot begin to capture so much if what I am feeling and experiencing and want to share. But, I do my best! And I am so grateful for y’all emailing every week, it means the world. I love y’all so much. You are continually in my prayers. Keep up the good work in Idaho, and don’t have too much fun without me! I love you.
All my love,
Sister Erika Marks