Chris found out this week that two of the girls his age that he's grown up with here are engaged to be married. I think it was a little bit of a shocker even though he knew this kind of thing would likely happen. It is also snow time here and the holidays are upon us. I hear that the months of training and the first holidays away from home are the hardest times of a mission, generally speaking. I think he's doing AMAZINGLY well and seems to be really happy. It's not surprising to read a few less-than-positive musings this week, though. :)
I wrote him a letter after this email. He won't get it for a month but his time on email is so short (a total of one hour to read all the emails, write everyone, including the mission president with his weekly report, and upload the pictures you see in the posts) that sending him anything of worth through that medium is lost in his rush to make the only communication he can in a week (and he has a lot of cute little siblings..and big ones...that write him separate emails every week and he is so sweet to answer every single one).
In the letter, I told him that he is in a crucible (literally...it's almost 99 degrees there all the time with humidity of the same numbers!) of learning. That though life is going on here at home and others seem to be "progressing" he, too, is progressing. Satan may tempt him to feel that he is doing the "same thing" for two years while life moves on at home, but the reality is that he is moving along just as much as anyone else...maybe more so considering the rapid growth and learning that happens in the type of situation he is in. He is being tutored by the Lord and is exactly where he should be. I know he doesn't question that, but if there is ever a doubt, I want him to know his mom knows it, too.
The first picture below goes well with the first thoughts he wrote here. :)
These days are hot. Very hot and dry. I sometimes lose sight of this mission and why I am here. I keep having to remind my natural man (Mosiah 3:19) that I am not here for me, I am here for God and the people whom I teach and for their welfare. This land is so pretty and majestic. The people I serve with both missionaries and branch callings are amazing. We keep pressing forward having steadfastness in Christ with a perfect brightness of hope and a love of all men. I am reminded time and time again that God cares about me, my family and those whom I teach. Therefore, He will look after me and take care of those whom I love. We each can have our own personal strong testimony if we rely on God and His matchless power.
There are times when we feel amazing, like when I got to baptize a sister. If that is the only baptism I perform this mission, all will be well. For we are not looking for quantity members, but quality. If those whom we bring to the gospel will stay and believe in the words of God and His prophets, I know they will find both happiness and joy in their lives, happiness and joy that will last.
Take care, and listen to the words which have been written you. (2 Nephi 33:14-15)
Love you all, and study the word of God, for it shall be well with us in Heaven
|Now THAT is an African sunset!|
|This was my lock screen pic for the week. :)|
|This is when I wish there was a way to send captions on his pictures. This is inside the church building...there must be a story behind this picture. Hopefully he will remember what it was in two years. :)|
|Looks like a fresh buzz to me. :)|