You keep getting Elder. Hope Brazil is good. Hope you all are doing well too ~ Thanks for the awesome drawings and pictures Brooks and Braxton! Love to hear how the work is going in Fayetteville. That's exciting about Brother Deweese. That would be cool if he knew the Vincents! I guess Indiana is a kind of big state though.
Good luck Blake in basketball! That's awesome you are starting varsity as a sophomore. You may use basketball quite a bit on your mission if you go to Las Vegas. :) We play basketball a lot with people here and then invite them to watch a Mormon message about sports - stay between the lines https://www.lds.org/youth/video/stay-within-the-lines?lang=eng
This transfer with Elder Phipps is going to be awesome. It's been a lot of fun - I can't believe it's already been a week! The work's going well. It's amazing that two weeks ago we couldn't find anyone to teach and now we have more than we can teach by ourselves. One of our ward missionaries, Burnie Hill, goes with his wife and teaches some families while we teach others in the same complex. He is amazing. God is good.
This week's verse is 2 Nephi 10:23-25
"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves - to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God...and remember that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved. Wherefore, may God raise you from death by the power of the resurrection, and also from everlasting death by the power of the Atonement, that ye may be received into the eternal kingdom of God, that ye may praise him through grace divine. Amen."
I've studied a lot about agency this week. We have the ability to choose - we can be happy and work to accomplish our goals, or we can not be happy. It's our choice.
One hard thing about agency though, is that we can't make anyone accept the joy of the Gospel. All we can do is invite. The experiences where they do choose to accept though, make missionary work so much fun. Last night we taught a mom and her daughter, Hannah. We found out that they set as a new year's resolution to develop a deeper relationship with Christ than they'd ever known before. I'm excited to help them with that goal. I love each and every person we teach.
Have a good week! and hope you had a happy birthday Elder Young. O~ O~ O~
& hope you had a good birthday Daddio. That's fun you guys got to go to the Evans! I love that family. Brother Evans would always wear the best bow ties. :) We had a party for you too at a members house. Sister Dahl made some really good popcorn balls, that smelled really sweet, for us to take home. Our pantry is full of delicious dessert from the holidays.
I can hardly believe it's already 2014! I feel like graduation was yesterday. Life changes as fast as the Crossover/Old Wire light stays green. :) I'm grateful for a journal to write everything down. Missionary life is hard, but it brings so much joy that time flies.
This weeks verse:
"Call upon the Lord daily, stand steadfastly in the faith and behold, ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God." Mosiah 4:11-12 (paraphrased)
I remember in the blessing you gave me Dad, before my mission, that I would feel a depth of love for those I serve that I have never felt before in my life. That is so true - the members and investigators here are amazing! I will be staying here for six more weeks and Elder Payne will be transferred to Warm Springs. I'm definitely going to miss Elder Payne. I know he'll do well there though.
My new companion, though, is Elder Phipps! He got his call the same day to the same place, got the same reassignment, we are the same age, and served in the MTC district. We've been good friends since the MTC. He loves to sing too and is a really good tenor. I'm grateful to have him while serving as a district leader because he's a really hard worker. It'll be super helpful to practice Portuguese with him.
Seeing Terra was neat this week at sacrament meeting. Thank you also, Sister Allen, for the care package!
I hope to get a chance sometime to share stories I have written in my journal of miracles that have happened recently in our area. I will try to put them in story form so that I can have time to email them next P-day.
Thanks for the prayers! I know that God answers them. I pray for you often too.