Hello people who I love a lot!
I really don't have a ton of time to write this week, so more details will come next week, but all is going fantastic! Thank you for your pictures of Halloween comtumes, letters, and family specifically, thanks for the Halloween/Birthday package! I started to open it when it arrived and saw "Happy Birthday" on a card so I closed it and taped it shut again super fast and told Elder Scalise, "Phew! That was a close one!" Finally I got talked into opening it just in case there was candy there we could use for Halloween and sure enough, there was a bunch of Halloween stuff in there, too! Yay! Everyone in the district LOVED the little Ghost suckers! We had to be in by 6pm Halloween night so Jose Torres came over for dinner with his grill and we had a Mexican Barbeque with us, the English Elders, and Him! It was SO much fun and he is SO funny! We were laughing and chatting and I was translating the whole time so I got to hear every joke twice and tell every single one of them! Hahaha it was a blast! I also bought a box of Churro mix that I saw in one of the tiendas (Spanish stores) here because when I saw it I just imagined me making my own churros and decided that was a wonderful idea. I was right. Neither Elder Scalise nor I had ever fried anything before and so it was a super fun adventure figuring it out and every single churro was edible...although it was about half-way through them that they really started being GOOD. So much fun! We're having loads of success in getting the work rolling again since Elder Black left. Now that we're on top of making appointments, we are getting new investigators each week (one of which is Manuel Yanez, Jazmin's husband! Wahoo! What's up uniting the family!) and we had so many appointments laft night that we had to split up with members and Scalise, with Jose, taught 3 lessons in one night and he hasn't even been here that many weeks! So much fun to watch him go out of his comfort zone with the language and then really feel the fire that comes from missionary work when you can really spend your time helping people change their lives! You should have seen him talking about the lessons that evening, it reminded me of Marshall telling me about his football games: so much energy and excitement that you have to share it just because you're bursting at the seems with joy. I just thought to myself "Yup, this is so much better than the happiness that comes from relaxing, watching T.V., just entertaining ourselves." I'm definitely agreed with Mom now, videogames are a complete waste of time. I highly doubt I'll touch any more after my mission; there's just too much to do in the world to waste time reading popular magazines, following celebrities online, spending hours on Pinterest, whatever it may be. Those things can serve good purposes (church magazines, communicating the gospel and uplifting material online, even the prophets have Pinterest pages don't they?), but it's different when we use these things to accomplish goals versus when they consume us hours on end without us accomplishing anything that will bring any lasting joy to ourselves or those we care about.
Challenge of the Week:
Hence the challenge of the week: Get a timer (digital or otherwise) and just every time you sit down to a computer, turn on the T.V., or log in to Netflix or pinterest or facebook or whatever on your phone, start the timer, then end it when you're done. You don't need to necessarily cut down on your time or anything, but at the end of the week, think of how you could use that time to really make people happy. Maybe you can cut down a bit and practice a talent or get some more exercise or help around the house (even if it's just to make your parents more willing to let you hang out with friends for the weekend #MarshallandMason #FoodforThought) or you could use Facebook to figure out someone's birthday ahead of time and surprise them, share an uplifting quote, or use ideas from Pinterest to make some cookies for someone feeling down. Whatever it may be, master your minutes!
I love all of you and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God lives. That He sent His Son to feel everything we will ever go through and pay the price so that we can grow, change, improve, and one day live with Them and our families and loved ones forever together. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true Kingdom of God on earth for the benefit of His children and I know that each one of you are an important son or daughter of the God of the Universe and that He knows you, loves you, and cares about you. Keep going, no matter what it is you're going through. It's always worth it.
Thanks for all your prayers, love, and support!
Love and Gratitude,