Before I forget, here is my new address:
6706 Camden Bay Dr #103
Tampa, FL 33635
Send mail and packages to this for the next 3 months, because if you send it to the mission home it takes FOREVER to get here or doesn't get here at all!
This week has been pretty crazy. If you think of a typical missionary in a typical mission, that is not this one. There is not tracting allowed, and only a little bit of street contacting. The missionaries work through the members only. Since I have been here, I have only taught or visited with members. It's fun to get close to members but its also hard because the reason I am here is to share the gospel and bring people unto Christ and baptize. It's hard when members are too scared to share the message. Families can be together forever! I left my family for a year and a half without phone calls, without recreational time, without sleeping in, without TV or phones or facebook or naps. I did this so I can tell people that their families can be together forever, even after death because God loves them and he loves families. And through Christ and his atonement we are able to be together forever and all we have to do is have faith. Repent. Be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. And endure to the end- continue to believe in Him. That's it. I want peace in this life and I think most everybody else does too. This is where you find it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true! I know because I have prayed to find out. I got an answer in my heart and now I am dedicating 18 months to sharing it. I have been in the actual field for less than a week and it's already been hard. But I can do hard things for God everyday for 18 months.
Florida is awesome! I love the weather- everyone thinks its cold but I think its a tropical heat wave! (cue Dad's singing). Its rainy today, but its been low 70s and just perfect. I am trying out my sandals today! :)
Okay, to answer some questions and such- I got 3 dear elders the day before I left so I haven't had time to respond from you (mom), Brad, and Kayalauna. I will try to find time to respond but I don't have Kayalauna's email or address so I can't to her. I am glad that the move (Gma Tanner) went well, you are trying to do what's best for her! If you are still in Utah, tell her I am in Florida now and that I love her and that I know families can be together forever!
I don't want you to send anything else, I have way too much stuff! I am most likely going to send home a big box of things after I get unpacked and settled. I am going to Walmart today to get groceries and hangers. I will be in this area for 3 months while I am training. I am in the Tampa 4 ward, Tampa stake. I am north of the peninsula, farthest north I have ever been in in Florida. My companion is Sister Vanderhoff (I cannot remember any of the names you told me to look for but you should tell me because I have met a lot of missionaries now! haha). She is from Highland, UT and is the oldest of five. She actually grew up in Oregon- different areas like Eugene and Bend and Albany and such. She is 3 months older than me, but has been out for 10 months. She is nice, pretty quiet and exactly obedient but that's good because my mission president is HUGE on being exactly obedient. Very strict. We get up at 6 and do hard exercise till 7. My heart rate should be 80% of max heart rate. I hate it and love it at the same time.
My greatest difficulties so far have been staying awake during personal study- today is the first day I haven't fallen asleep while reading Preach My Gospel and scriptures during personal study. That's an accomplishment. But the rest of the day I have been fine. Our investigators don't like to show up to appointments sometimes and it is hard to find when we can only walk around neighborhoods and hope someone comes outside. But the hardest thing is this: patience. Before I decided to go on a mission, I prayed to learn how to be patient because it doesn't run strong in the family. When I decided to go, I prayed for patience. And since I've been here, I have prayed for patience. Basically, I brought it upon myself. haha. My companion is not a super big go-getter, like she is good with just sitting and waiting. I am not. I always have to be doing something, like all the time. And its hard for me to just stand there in silence after talking with someone and whatnot. So the Lord is teaching me early on to be patient. Another difficulty is prayer. We have prayed more this week than I have in my whole life. Its crazy. I just want to have the spirit with me though when I visit people so I am trying really hard to put myself in a good position. The mission president promised that if we are exactly obedient, we will have success so I am trying.
I am glad you are figuring out facebook, mom. Good job! Tell Allison I would love it if she posted my new address on my page. :) Sorry about the wii thing, atleast you got to meet Jared and Chris! They are awesome!
Tell Afton that Aunt Kimmy said Happy Birthday and that I miss her! I was thinking of her! I miss Ruby so much too!
Mom- don't panic, I'll answer your questions in another email. Hope everything is going well, I love you all!