Friends and family; Seasons Greetings! (I hope I used correct punctuation)
I got the packages, both for the birthday and Christmas. Thank you so much for those, I really appreciate it. I will be honest, when I opened them up and saw them filled with presents, I was so overjoyed, but at the same time, I felt so unworthy for such blessings. I have been loving them tho, they are awesome, thank you so much!!! Terra's letters are awesome!
We are still not sure what we are doing for Christmas yet, things are still up in the air for that, but like I keep saying, I will let you know when I find out. It will be interesting to call everyone, but a very exciting time too! I still remember when I called on Mother's day and at the end of the conversation, I said "see you in 7 months!" (I think that is the right number) and now it is here, crazy thought.
We are having more and more success in our area, things are picking up and we are getting busier. We have a lesson scheduled every night this week, which for our mission standards, is pretty good. Doing a lot of less active work and working with the members of the ward as well. Tracting is always a blast too, one of my favorite things to do as a missionary. You have nothing to lose, the worst that can happen is a person sayind "no", and you get great stories out of it. We were knocking doors the other day and this Vietnamese (I think) lady peeked out the window next to the door and just stared at us. Merrill was really taken off guard; literally for 3 mintues, she just stared at us. I pulled out a Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and showed it to her, but she just kept up the stare. Finally she gestured she was not interested, but great experience none the less :)
We were eating dinner at a members house the other night, having a great conversation, enjoying each others company and such. At one point, the dad shared a really thought-provoking quote. There was a man by the sea of Galilee, who was fishing, I believe, and saw Christ walking by along the shore. "Walk with me". The man joined Christ and started talking with Him. At one point in the conversation, the man asked "will it always be this hard?"-he had suffered much trial and affliction due to trying to follow Christ. Jesus replied "and what if it is?" meaning: if it is always this hard, will you still follow me? In the time of real trial and real affliction, will you still remain faithful and follow me? I loved that quote, gets the gears in your head working for sure!
Again, everybody, thank you so much for the packages and support. It was such a great birthday, it really was. Although it was not a formal celebration, it was such a great day. I do not know how all of you do it, when you are thousands of miles away, and yet you still manage to send presents and bless me immensley. Thank you so much, everybody, it really means a lot. Ok, that is enough tenderness :) it is easier for me to say that over email then in person unfortunately hahaha :) I love you! Thank you again!