Well Family, this week has been particularly rough. Probably one of the hardest weeks of my mission. You can decide whether or not you want to send this to the rest of the people you normally do or not. I truly have felt down and kind of how Alma feels in chapter 36, in the gall of bitterness. I've had an interesting week. I don't know if I told you this or if it was this week that it happened, but Todd Hufford committed to baptism on the 22nd. This week we had another great lesson with him. We went in thinking and planning that we were going to teach the plan of salvation and when we would talk about earth life we would talk about bodies and the word of wisdom. Well we got in there, and the first thing he asked us was, "Well, what do I need to like give up for this?" It was a kind of a pat on the back saying go ahead, teach the word of wisdom. Which we did. We talked about the 5 things we don't do: tobacco, coffee, tea, alcohol, illegal drugs. He said he had problems with 2: tea and alcohol. He said he goes through like two huge packs of green tea every week, and he usually makes a beer run like once a week. Well, after some encouragement and promised blessings, he agreed to commit to live the Word of Wisdom. It was awesome.
We didn't get a chance to meet with Fred, we're meeting with him tonight. We met with Brian Thomas and Jess. We took Bro. Hall (High Priest's Group Leader) with us. We taught lesson 1, and before we began they made sure to tell us that Brian said he wants his daughter to be raised LDS, and he wants Jess to know what she will be taught. He said maybe baptism was an option somewhere down the line, but now they weren't ready to jump in with both feet because they both like social drinking. Ok, cool. Anyway, so that was interesting, and we taught lesson 1 and Jess said she likes going to church and feeling refreshed and feeling the Spirit. So we testified of the Book of Mormon and she was very excited to read it. We hope they come around and realize there is no better time to change than now. I hope she actually does read the Book of Mormon because if she does it sincerely expecting an answer, she'll get it. No way around it.
We watched Conference at the Cantrell's on Saturday (awesome family in the ward) and at the Bingham's yesterday. Jake has been kind of different lately--I hope he's keeping his commitments because we can't hardly ever see him now that he's working out of town during the week. But I started explaining who some of the people were in conference, and Kelly said she knew because she watched the RS sesh. And she said she loves President Monson. Kelly is so great, and I hope Jake will see that he needs to be too.
Well, Satan has been working overtime on me this week. He threw about everything at me, and it got me really down. Especially on Saturday and Sunday. I think looking back on it, and coming out of the hole that I've been in, Satan knew how much I love Conference, and he wanted to ruin it for me, and to make me question my power as a missionary. And he worked on Elder Washburn too. He said he felt the same thing. Yesterday, virtually everything that could've gone wrong did. Every appointment cancelled, nobody was home, we saw one of the people we were supposed to have an appointment with (who was supposedly sick) walking down the street with her boyfriend perfectly fine. Yup it was awesome. I just kind of felt like it couldn't have gotten much worse. Plus I was already down. It was kind of a sucker punch from Satan. That piece. I love getting your emails though, they pick me up and I love them very much.
Well I loved getting my Ukulele this week, even though I can only play it on P-day. So now pdays will be better. Thank you so much for the packages. Tell Jill Gibson thanks a bunch for her email, it was awesome. And Luke Sanford. Can you guys get me Uncle Jorge's address so I can write him a letter. I got an email from him this week and I loved it so much. I need to write him. I also very much appreciate Odie's and Papa's letters-they mean a lot to me and I love and miss them so much.
Well, hopefully this week will be awesome. I just gotta keep working and doing what I'm supposed to, and things will go well. When Satan sends for his mighty whirlwinds, remember it is upon the rock of our Redeemer-the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the World-that we are built on. We cannot fall. Like Jacob, I am continually working so that I can say without faltering, "I could not be shaken". I love you all so much. I pray for you. I love the Prophet and the apostles. They are men of God. This church is true, no question. Feel it, believe it. "Believe in God, believe that He is". Why? Because life is better that way. Because He is real and He loves us more than anyone. I've felt his love, mercy, and grace. I've seen people's lives with and without the gospel, and what a world of difference there is. If you need to change, do it now. Turn to Christ, come unto Him. "His arms are outstretched still".
Elder Logan Bryan