My father has changed so very much. Honestly it´s incredible to me. I cannot wait to see him and talk to him. The change is so unbelievably drastic. I don´t know if it was his calling or what, but I am really grateful for the person that he is. Just really...wise and spiritually minded. Not that he wasn´t before, but much much more so now. I have a great deal of respect for him, and that amount of respect increases every week. But I love my Dad for who he is no matter what. I just hope he hasn´t changed too much. I hope he still makes lame jokes and I hope he still thinks that he is ridiculously funny. I hope he still has days where he never says anything serious at all, and where he just messes with you for no apparent reason. Because I miss that so so so so so much. The goofy guy who jokes around all the time, but who also parents like a drill sergeant and maintains order and makes us work and tries to teach us. And I can´t wait to be around him again.
Yes parenting parenting. I think about that a lot. Not because I am trying to live in the future or anything. But I do enjoy thinking about the kind of parent that I wish to become and I keep a notebook of parenting ideas and guidance that I have received over the past ten months. Really it is all stuff that could be found in the liahonas and conference talks. And the scriptures. It´s so amazing that all we need to do is follow the prophets, old and current, and everything will be just fine.
The professor said that she would accept me into her class when I return home, but no she never said where her daughter would be serving. I don´t think she puts her papers in until this summer. But I can´t really remember.
About coming home two weeks early. Yeah I don´t think there is anything I can do about it. I was just reading a Holland talk in which he pleads to all of the missionaries not to serve ANYTHING but a 24 month mission. Not 23 or 19 or anything besides 24. And he of course gives the same counsel to the hermanas about a full 18 month mission. So yeah. There´s that, but God understands. The most important thing is that He accepts my service and my sacrifice. Basically I am just going to stay until Pres. Deere asks me to leave. Which is most likely going to beMarch 4th 2015. Thankfully there is no need to even think about that right now. I´ve still got time :)
In the mission, companions almost always discuss the past mistakes they have made. I don´t know why. But it just happens. And I just ask over and over what my companions think that their parents could have done to help them, to prevent what happened from happening. And from what I have learned, almost all of it is a result of the parents failing to teach their children from the beginning. Obviously agency is a huge part, but it is surprising to me just how many families do not read together, have FHE, or even pray together. It shocks me to hear my companions tell me that the gospel wasn´t a huge priority in their homes. Like I said, almost all of my companions have said that to me. I just can´t imagine it. The gospel was everything in our lives. I really really took my home for granted. All of those ¨family talks¨ after church and the late night conversations about what really matters in life. It WAS good for something. You were always just...talking to us. I often wonder where a lot of my time went during high school. And I forget just how much time we spent talking as a family about the important things. Time most definitely well spent. I really think all of that saved us. Haha. I remember my mother LITERALLY sobbing after I kissed a girl for the first time. I remember sitting on your bed with you just so frustrated. You wouldn´t even look at me. And Dad was there and I don´t think he really knew what to do. So he sent me out and I was just bothered. I didn´t understand why you cared so much. Kissing isn´t bad. The high standards that you had for us really frustrated me sometimes. But it was so totally worth it. Kissing isn´t a sin, but it definitely creates the opportunity to sin. Elders (sisters have usually already figured out this stuff) get out on their missions and it just hits them like a semi truck: ¨Wow...my parents wereactually right...the prophets actually know what they are talking about...the rules areactually there to help us. I REALLY should have listened to them.¨ My brothers are far from perfect, and I am even further, but we made it RELATIVELY unscathed. Thank the Lord. And my parents. And Herriman, Utah.
And that´s about it. So many people drop us. We have found some investigators this week, but I don´t know how it will go. Basically all of my money is on F. It´s hard for me because all the ZLs care about are baptisms and high numbers. I know they are important, but I have had lots of personal triumphs this week and the numbers don´t really show that. I have finally begun to stop people in the streets and contact them. It´s such a huge part of missionary work to talk with everyone, and I just have a really hard time with that. But last night we got 10 futures just from knocking doors and stopping people in the streets. So basically that is a success for me. Plus we have had a ton of personal issues in this companionship that we are working through. I am working hard though. Unfortunately we taught only 10 lessons, which is my personal worst. We did lose two entire days in Malaga for that meeting, but the ZLs didn´t really care. I had my hardest day on the mission this week!!! It was just a really discouraging day. And if I am not super pumped and motivated, my companion loses all hope. This has week has been really hard for him.
This week has been good. Numbers wise not so much. But I have worked really hard this week, and I feel good about it. I am not a huge fan of taking caña (cane..basically like punishment. It´s a spanglish phrase we use often) from the ZLs every Sunday, but I do the best I can :) This week was just hard for us. We keep having tons of investigators drop us. A the 10 year old Dominican still hasn´t progressed. We have tried everything. He has received multiple answers from God that all of this is true and that he should be baptized, and he loves church and being with the members. He reads the BoM and prays, but he refuses to be baptized. Why? Because he likes coffee and knows that he will like alcohol when he is 18 years old. In 8 years. Yeah. It´s frustrating. So we dropped him. It was hard for me because I am really close to this kid. But he often isn´t home when we have appts and we have spent too much time on someone who refuses to progress. Kind of sad. But that´s life right now. When it comes to progressing investigators, I have zero. One investigator that I think may get baptized within the next month. F. But she still hasn´t come to church because of work. I am praying that she can this week. She is very difficult to meet with, but she really does have a testimony. So we will see. I have been working with her for about three months now. But it´s hard to meet with her. Her work should end this week though. I really hope she comes to church.
Dear loved ones,My hands are cold. I say that for multiple reasons. 1) I have been thinking a lot about Pride and Prejudice lately. I really love that story. And I can´t wait to see the movie again. 2) My hands are seriously freezing cold right now, and it is causing me to type rather slowly (ha...Darcy writes ¨uncommonly fast¨ and I type ¨rather slowly¨). All of the internet cafes here are tiny little holes in the wall and they become super hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter. But I don´t complain about the weather. I am enjoying this while it lasts, because I know exactly what the summer will bring.
I laughed when I read that you guys are now wasting time watching Psyche. HAHAha. Seriously that´s hysterical. I like that show, but I know that I can never ever start watching tv series or netflix or anything besides two hour movies, otherwise I will get hooked and then waste tons of time. And yes I don´t think it needs to be mentioned that you are quite pathetic for feeling like those characters are your friends ;)
Tell Brigham to use his brain. I am super proud of him for making chamber, but he really needs to be careful with this girl. I don´t really know what to say. He´ll understand when he´s older.
Clayton. ? The things Dad said in his email about your conversation with Clayton about what he really wants in life sounds EXACTLY like a lot of the lessons I am having here. It´s amazing how lost some people are. If I have learned ANYTHING in my mission, it´s this: (well...first that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer but SECOND) WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS!!!!!!!! Alma was a smart dude. He really gave his sons the right counsel. Fun isn´t happiness. Doing whatever you want is NOT happiness. Keeping the commandments is happiness. Much better to learn the lesson as a 14 year old kid, instead of figuring it out when the consequences are much much worse.
I love you so much. I love you so much Dad. And all of my brothers. Spencer I hope your mission is going well. I think about you every day. Take care family
Love elder sharp