Email received August 31, 2012
So this week I did it, I busted outta here! I had to go to Smith's grocery store with Elder Mull to pick up some stuff for his Diabetis and holy smokes was it weird being around non missionaries (I can only imagine how weird the feild is going to be). So this week has been quite the week. But first off I have seen Elder Mortenson, he's doing quite well, his companion seems really nice and excited. I have not seen Elder Rivers though, but I am sure I will soon. I think that''s awesome that you guys might go to the canyon for FHE, I love doing that so much. I have such a nice view of Provo Canyon here, I wish I could go there so bad, but it''s cool. Also You asked me if I wrote Emma''s letter on a non P-day, the answer is of course not. Do you really think I would break a rule?! I got her letter last friday night so I quickly wrote her one back before I wen to bed, I just sent it a little late. So Mom as for your questions, I love Sundays so much. We get to sing hymns and relax, it''s super nice. I haven''t had to speak yet but I''ve always got my talks prepared so I''m not worried about it. Our branch president (or one of his counselors) normally tries to make a visit to the residence halls once a week and talk with us briefly. Last night the one I talked to is a retired radiologist. That seems like a cool profession, maybe I''ll look into it someday. So the reason I go to the temple so early is because the MTC schedules your temple time, I personally would prefer to go later but it''s also cool in the mornings. We get to eat delicious breakfast in the temple cafeteria so it''s all good.
Alright so now why this week was so amazing. So we had to get a new District Leader and this time around, the branch presidency decided to pick the best looking Elder in the district to be the leader, so I was the obviouse choice ;). But in reality they called me as district leader and I was super nervous. I''ve never really thought of myself as a good leader, but I know whom the Lord calls He qualifies so I was really banking on that. Well the first couple of days did not go very well at all. Everything I tried to do kinda backfired. I was struggling with that so I was grumpy. On top of that I got a really bad cold this week where I just felt clammy and tired and like I could barely move. My motivation was kinda gone (but I never wanted to quit, I just wanted something to change). I wasn''t really geting along with anyone and then I realized a few things. 1. I hadnt been reading the Book of Mormon as much as I had. I had been pretty busy studying other things. I know for a fact now that there is special power that comes only through reading the Book of Mormon and that it can make us happy and strong. I was reading in 1 and 2 Nephi about Nephi being a leader over his brothers and it was so easy for me to apply that to my life. I really felt like Nephi so I was reading about what he did and it helped a lot. Whenever you're in a funk, read the Book of Mormon. 2. I really learned the power of studying the simple truths of the Gospel. I am a firm believer that if you just study the simple truths: Faith, repentance, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End, then you will know and learn all that you have to in order to be able to make it back to live with our Heavenly Father and be happy in this life and the next. 3. The last thing that I really want to say is that I gained a very strong testimony of the power of conciously deciding to have a positive attitude. On Tuesady when I was super sick and not geting along with anybody, we taught an inverstigator named Nicolas and it went awfully. I was not getting along with anyone and I was having an awful time. so that night I decided that I would just always have a positive attitude while I'm serving my mission. I'm a missionary for crying out loud! I'm bringing people the happiest message so I should be happy. So I prayed that night that no matter what happened I could just be happy. It was amazing because I fell asleep that night with a smile on my face, and the next day everything was just so good. I was so easily able to forget about the bad stuff about people and see them for the good qualities that they have, and it was so much easier to get along with them. We taught Nicolas again and this time was a million times better. he was interested and we taught him about nothing that we had prepared for, but that he just had questions about. the spirit gave me so many words and phrases and scriptures to use, it ws awesome (same thing happened with Ronaldo this week too. I think we'll be able to commit Ronaldo to baptism tommorrow!). A concious effort to have a positive attitude goes such a long way, I can't even describe how great it is. Also one other random thing is during the Tuesday devotional, all of the missionaries sang How Firm A Foundation. Holy Cow was that powerful! I started crying in my seat because when all of the missionaries were singing, the spirit came so strong. I'm getting a little teary eyed right now just remembering how amazing it was. I can't wait to sing more hymns. Also there's this way cool hymn found only in the Spanish hymn book, I don't remember what it's called but it's number 88 in the Spanish book, you should try to find it, it's awesome.
Well my time is up. I love you guys so much. I love the MTC so much. Being a missionary is awesome and I've grown and learned a lot. Keep praying for me and I'll keep praying for you. I love praying for my cousins on their missions because when I do that, it reminds me why I'm here and how we're all trying to further the Lord's work. It's awesome, keep being amazing.
P.S. Dad have a wonderful birthday on Sunday, have a big piece of carrot cake for me (I know that's the cake you're going to request).
P.S.S. Remember big Charlie from my dorm? He came in this week, he lives on the floor right below me, it's pretty fun. We're going to take a big picture by the map with everyone that we were friends with at Snow on Monday, I'm pretty excited.