January 4, 2016
Hey Mom and Dad! HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I would like to thank EVERYONE in the ward for all of your prayers and letters and support. I got quite a few letters this week that I really appreciate. I will TRY to reply to most of them within a timely manner. We shall see. So, transfers this time will be tomorrow, and unfortunately they don’t tell us ANYTHING before the night before. I still don’t know who my next companion will be, but I’m pretty certain that Elder T is leaving.
Your Christmas break sounds simply wonderful, with so many goodies and lounging around the house (two of my favorite things ;). I’m so glad I was able to see nearly everyone on Skype. I have such a wonderful family. I love you all sooooo much!!!!
I’m super excited for Zach’s organ contest. He must have worked really hard to be accepted as one of the 9 finalists. Make sure to keep me updated. It’ll be so cool to have Amy & Zach do a musical number at my homecoming!!!
In response to your letter, Yes! We LOVE doing service! It’s actually a lot harder than I would have thought to find opportunities to serve, though. A lot of people don’t accept our help. Actually, a lot of people in the world just don’t accept help. I feel that even if we don’t need the help, maybe someone else needs the chance to serve. So LET THEM HELP! Are we so prideful that we can’t let someone help who offers to carry our groceries or sweep the floor or clean the dishes? I feel the Savior is the perfect example of this. Just think of the woman who washed His feet with her hair and tears. He could have told her he had just washed his feet the night before or that she didn’t need to do it with her hair, there was probably a rag nearby, but He let her do it to show her humility before Him and God. Another example: Mary anointing Jesus. Even one of the Apostles questioned if the oil Mary used to anoint Jesus’ feet was necessary, when it was very expensive and could have been sold and the money given to the poor:
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
But Jesus let her serve Him.
Even as missionaries, we need to remember that the Lord has said, “I am able to do mine own work,” (2 Nephi 27:20) but He lets us serve Him and as we thrust in our sickle with our might, we may lay ” up in store that [we] perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to [our] soul[s]” (D&C 4:4). If you learn nothing else from this letter, LET OTHERS HELP YOU! 🙂
Wanna know something crazy? We got kidnapped the other night!!! Here in Portugal we need to be back at the house at 10:00pm. It’s a really firm rule that never changes. So, there was this kind of random guy and his girlfriend that invited us over for dinner on New Year’s Eve and we told him we could only stay till 10:00. He kind of laughed and shrugged it off. We got to his house, ate a TON of food and played some cards until almost 10 and told him we had to leave. He said “You’re not leaving.” We said “Yes we are!” He went to the door, double locked it and hid the key. We tried to get him to let us leave, telling him we had rules and it was kind of rude to keep us in against our will and all, but the more shots of whisky he took, the more futile our pleas became. I was really upset!!! Then he kept force-feeding us until I thought I was going to explode, (because I thought he’d get mad if we stopped eating), and FINALLY, at 2:30am he let us leave!!! I was pretty exhausted the next morning, being that I normally go to bed at 11:00pm, haha! Anyway, have a good week. Don’t get kidnapped!
Aaaaand we caught a SALAMANDER!!!