Monday, March 18, 2013

I am very grateful that we bought a lot of short sleeve shirts...


This has been one busy week and it sounds to me that your week was super busy as well. Things are going pretty good and I am starting to feel more in the swing of things lately. 

Mom, I am glad the play is over and although you are still picking up the pieces (figuratively speaking) of the play, that you are able to relax a little more and get back into everyday routine. It is so true about family dinners though.  I have realized while I am out here that some of my best memories our of family dinners. I think there, more than anywhere else, we really became unified as a family. Unity is really where perfection lies and I am so grateful that I was able to grow up in a family and have parents that were completely unified. It is so cool!  John 17: 21-- That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. When we are unified, we are unified with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And that makes it so our "hearts cknit together in unity and in love one towards another." Mosiah 18:21. This is all from the Unity section in True to the Faith.  But I just feel really blessed to have a family like ours.

So Elder Gentry and I are now the Aaronic Priest Leaders and we have to teach the lessons from the new curriculum... So maybe some tips, anyone?

Well I will tell you guys a little about my week:

It has been getting progressively hotter down here and I am very grateful that we bought a lot of short sleeve shirts. This last Monday we took a trip up to the State Capitol building in Baton Rouge and I will try to send some pictures of that, because it was pretty cool. I was able to borrow a missionaries guitar this week so I could practice some for that thing coming up this Wednesday and that has been awesome. I have been trying to pick out hymns from my mini hymn book that I will be able to play and it has been a good stress reliever for me. I think I will start looking for a guitar and I will try like you said to find a really modest one that will work for my mission. I won't be too hasty though.

We had exchanges again this week and this time I took over the area for a couple days. I was a little bit nervous at first, but everything worked out really well. I was with Elder Ageda again and the first day we went up to Port Allen and saw R. and L. One cool thing about that, I invited L. to be baptized and he said he wants to do it soon! He doesn't feel like baptism is necessary right now, he feels like it is just a way to show your loyalty to a church. But I think he is beginning to realize the importance of baptism. He already considers himself a Mormon though, he always calls it "my chruch." It is cool to see him progressing so much.

Brother J. got jumped two Saturdays ago and the people gave him a pretty bad black eye and stomped on his ankle. I was able to give him a blessing last week and he has been in really good spirits the last couple times we have seen him. He got a job offer in Utah and when he hears more about it, he will probably take it. It would be sad to see him go, but it would be so good fro him to get out of the situation he is in.

Brother K. has been doing really good and has called us a couple times just to wish us a good day. It makes you feel so good when you get one of those calls. And he has only been a member less than a year and he seems like he has been in the church all his life. He always talks about how the Church is the most dynamic thing in his life. He is so enthusiastic about the Gospel and you can just tell that he loves it.

We gave M. a large print Book of Mormon and it was like Christmas for him. He couldn't stop smiling and thanking us the whole lesson. He kept saying "I just gotta thank you, cause now  I can read!" He also got a new cell phone and he gets super frustrated because when the alarm goes off he thinks someone is calling him and nobody will talk haha. I was able to turn the alarm off though.

One interesting that happened this week though. We got a call from a less-active member that we have never met and she wanted us to give a blessing to this woman. When we got to her house it turns out she wanted us to bless this "cancer tea." We ended up giving the woman, who had cancer, a blessing and said a prayer over the tea. But her son and his girlfriend were super grateful and started asking us about the church. They want us to come over again and maybe come to our church. Exciting! Even through it seemed like a really weird situation at first, it was where the Lord wanted us to be.

I have learned, like you said mom, that I do beat myself up a lot about stuff. Sometimes I don't even realize that I do it, but it just happens and it weighs on me. But Haley was telling me how we really can lose ourselves in the service of others and that is so true. When we forget about ourselves, the Lord is able to work through us and help us become what we need to be. I am still not perfect in this and I know it will be something that I will need to work on throughout my mission and my life. But I was able to experience it a little bit this week.

I love you guys so much and this is about my three month mark. I saw that The Hobbit is already coming out on DVD and that baffled my brain.  But your guys support is what keeps me going!

Prayers and thoughts always :)


Elder Soper

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