First, some pictures:
That is so cool about Ben's mission! Yeah that is where Jordan went and that is where tons of the Elder's and Sisters in my MTC district went. I know a lot of missionaries there right now. Elder Manufakai, Elder Zachilli, Elder Black (my companion) Sis ward, and a couple others. He's going to love it there and I already know that he is going to help out a lot of people there. That is cool about his mom too. And Dad all that information sounds right to me. That is what I gathered from the broadcast as well and we heard our mission will get that stuff, we just don't know when. That is cool that you are getting your own set of Elder's there. That will help so much with activating Less-active members and even strengthening the members of individual wards. Taylor could go out with them as well, because he will be able to relate well with teenagers his age and do a lot of good. Although I look about 15, I still can't connect with a teenager as well as one of their peers.
We had a musical fireside last night and I always enjoy those. There were some really good ones...and there were some that were pretty off haha. Needless to say I enjoyed those ones even a little bit more. I was able to preform as well and it went okay. I didn't practice as much as I should have and I ended up changing the way that I play it at the last minute to adjust to the way the microphone situation was. I played it too fast, but I don't care too much haha. I try not to take myself very seriously and it makes moments like that much easier to handle. Just joke about it and realize we all make mistakes. It was a good learning experience.
So like I said this week was pretty crazy. I don't know if it is just summer or what, but our lessons have gone way down. I feel like we are working just as hard, but the results are very different. That bothered me really bad at first, becasue I felt like I was doing something wrong. I had some deep self-evaluation and I felt at peace with my efforts. I can always be doing better and doing more, but for what I did I felt good. That quote you sent me at the start of my mission dad has really helped "My consistent but imperfect efforts are enough; I am happy and at peace with my limitations since the Lord will gradually make me stronger and in the meantime, He'll make up the difference." That is very true and I am really trying to have that attitude. It has been tough, but it is helping my faith to grow and I guess in the end, that is what it is all about.
We had zone conference this week and they put a huge emphasis on member missionary work and managing stress. I found I am in the yellow zone right now (moderate) and that that is okay. It is the process of adapting from yellow (moderate) to green (normal) that strengthens you and prepares you for the challenges ahead. I think I have a little bit of that anxiety problem that you were talking about mom. It isn't terrible, but I find myself getting stressed or worried about things easier than most people. I am pretty sure I have been like this my entire life, it has just taking learning and recognizing it for me to really notice it. But like Ether 12:27 says When you recognize your weaknesses the Lord can turn them into strengths. I am learning and I can feel Heavenly Father help me.
Things are going really good with B. and E. We ran into some complications with TJ and T's parents so we will have to take a step back. B. and E. both went to Youth conference in New Orleans this week and they loved it. (S. went as well). They are both so prepared and have a deep desire to learn more and come closer to their Savior. Brad has been reading the Book of Mormon and not only that on his own he decided to mark the verses that stuck out to him. How cool is that! E. has been an open-minded learner and is not afraid to ask us questions so he can learn more. I feel like I am becoming really good friends with those two and I am so grateful that I get to be a part of their lives. Yesterday after sacrament both B. and E. came up to talk to us just to joke around and talk about youth conference. Also we were able to get a ride home with H. and those two yesterday and we just all feel like good friends. I am really happy and feel blessed for those two.
Thank you so much for your support and I love you guys more than anything in the world. I tell people about you guys all the time and use you in my missionary work. I love to look up to you for your Christ-like example. I love you guys.
PS I think we are going to get fishing liscenses today so that will be fun. I will be sure to take pictures.