It is raining a lot today. Which is good because I like rain when I get to stay inside and today is P-day so I don't have to be walking around in the rain very much. Hopefully (and probably) it will dry up a bit before we hit the streets again.
Oh man, the Portuguese are really influencing me--I am genuinely talking about the weather. when I only have about 15 more minutes to email my family. People here are good at talking, which definitely has its ups and downs. Ups in that you can get to know someone really quickly and downs in that ... mostly ups I guess. :)
I like the phrase that Dad used at the end of his email this week: fight the good fight.
If we are really living the gospel to its fullest, if we have a sincere testimony that this life has a purpose and one of the most grand purposes is to become better, to be happier, by learning through our challenges and by constantly striving to be more like the Savior, a lot of this life will be a fight, a struggle, and one full of the peace and rest that only comes from giving our hearts and souls over to the Savior.
That phrase at the end of dad's email made me think of this quote from a talk called "a consecrated missionary":
"Parley P. Pratt was such a consecrated missionary. He had served as a missionary for more than 25 years of almost constant labors. He had just returned from his latest mission in Chile. He was hopeful that he could now remain home and enjoy his family, but such expectations were short-lived. President Brigham Young called him to serve yet another mission—this time in the eastern states. One can imagine the feelings that must have swelled up in Parley´s heart. Perhaps he thought, “Haven´t I given all that a mortal could be expected to give? Don´t I deserve to spend some time with my family and friends? Can´t I just relax for a while?” But Parley P. Pratt was a consecrated missionary. On September 7, 1856, shortly after learning of his call by Brigham Young, he offered the following tender reflections and prophetic insights: “I have desired, after travelling twenty-five or twenty-six years, mostly abroad, to stay at home and minister among the people of God, and take care of my family; but God´s will be done, and not mine. If it is the will of God that I should spend my days in proclaiming this Gospel and bearing testimony of these things, I shall think myself highly privileged and honoured. And when the Spirit of God is upon me, I think it matters but very little what I suffer, what I sacrificed—whether I secure the honor or dishonor of men, or where I die, if it so be that I can keep the faith, fight the good fight, and finish my course with joy. I have all eternity before me, in which to enjoy myself.” (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. xxv.)"
He doesn't really talk about, or try to explain the reward in the moment, the blesing of feeling the approval of your Father in Heaven, the rest and peace that comes to your soul as a witness that you are doing your best and that you are forgiven for the things that you can't do or don't do quite right and that its ok. I can´t really imagine what it would be like to serve for so long so far away from every normal comfort of life. The daily challenge for me is to remember on a daily in-the-midst-of-your-daily-
routine level what the source of our joy should and can be--the Savior and His Atonement.
On a lighter note, happy almost birthday to mom (next week) and to dad later this month. I sent you guys some cards last week so they should show up in the mail in a few days.
I realized once again that I never include details of what is actually going on with the work here... I'm kind of terrible sometimes...
so I will just include the little\big miracle of the week that I sent to Pres. Fluckiger.
Miracle of the week: One of our investigators who was progressing the most disappeared for about a week. Then on Thursday he finally answered the phone and told us that he had stayed home all week with out leaving the house or really talking to anyone to quit smoking and he decided to do this after we had a lesson where we invited him to batism and prayed with him about the date. He didn't accept baptism with a date, but he started taking the steps necessary to be baptized on that date. So even if we didn't know what the results of our efforts were, the Spirit worked on him and helped him see what he needed to be doing.
I love you all so very much!!!
Have a great week. Fight the good fight. I let the Lord fill your heart and life with His love. Its worth it :)