Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elder Bennett and I will be staying another transfer!

Dear Fam,

So I know that you are all wondering what is going to happen this transfer and so I won't wait any longer...drum roll please....bum bum bum dadadadada....Elder Bennett and I will be staying another transfer! I know that is pretty crazy haha I have been here for awhile, but Heavenly Father needs us here a little longer. I am pretty sure that this is my last one here so I feel really motivated to work hard to be spirit led and work my "Buns and Thighs" off. I am really excited to be with Elder Bennett again and even though it isn't a big change I am going to work hard to break up the routine and make each day meaningful and special. I have a feeling that this transfer is going to prepare both Elder Bennett and I for the rest of our missions.

It is crazy that has already been about a year, I mean it is only a week or so away. It really doesn't feel like it has been that long and the scary thing is that everybody says the 2nd year is even faster....eek. I am sure I will hit a mid mission crisis soon and realize I don't have as much time as I think to do everything. But I have loved it so far and I am pretty sure the second year will be quite different from the first, if what President Wall told me is true haha. I am excited though, I just feel happy and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.

Christmas time always seems to be one of the busiest times of the year with parties, events, plays, concerts and everything in between. You guys have become masters at juggling our crazy schedules. That was fun to see Emma all dressed up for the Suessical, and holy cow she is tall. I have this freaky idea in my head that when I get back, Taylor will be like 6' 2", Emma will be my height and Haley will have a baby or something. And I will think "Wha?!" But we'll see what ends up happening. It is interesting to see things happen on the outside because I don't get to see it first hand and so when I do, it seems drastic in comparison to what I have seen before. It is strange, but enjoyable.

It sounds like the Christmas party really came together in kind of an exciting way. Sounds pretty normal for the Sharon 3rd ward haha. It just makes me think of the differences that I notice between my home ward and my other homeward here in Thibodaux. Same church, same spirit, but it works in a very different way. I am looking forward to our Christmas party as well and I will send some pictures to you guys. It should be fun. I just like Christmas. I have a confession though haha, last week we were at Target in Houma for P-day before we went to the Voisins and we came across the christmas CD's... I broke down and got the Elf soundtrack and Bing Crosby's White Christmas. It has been good and they bring back some happy memories.

I will get that video from Elder Bennett of J. and it will be fun to watch it with you guys. L. is 11 years old and I think she is in 6th grade. C. is 14 and he is a freshman. So K. and C. are a young couple. They aren't married but they have 3 kids. He is 25 years old and Bro. H's stepson and she is 23 years old. They are pretty down to earth and easy going.  And it was cool this week, C. came out to talk to us and we ended up having an 1 and a half discussion on the gospel. She is really interested in the idea of families can be together forever through Temple Sealing. B. is an older lady in our ward that lives in a home. She is blind, but she loves it when we come to see her. Whenever we come she tells everybody "Hey look, these are my missionaries!" She asks us to read her a few scriptures every time and explain what they mean. J. is a Less-Active member that has had a stroke and quite a few other health problems. But despite that, he is still quick on his toes with his wit and humor. Not very mission appropriate haha, but what can you do. He is a nice guy.

It has been a good week though. We were able to see quite a few families and we stayed fairly busy. We saw the Tabors and had a good lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is cool too because almost every time that we go over there their daughters have non-member friends that sit in. That is the way that it is supposed to work. We saw the Pattens this week and had a really fun lesson on the plan of Salvation. We started drawing the picture with them and they really liked being part of the lesson. We then gave each of their kids an assignment to study part of the plan of salvation and teach the second half to us the next time. Their kids are really smart and Bro. and Sis Patten do a really good job of challenging them to use their knowledge. It was fun to go over to L., C. and K. because we took pictures with them just in case we were leaving and I will let the pictures speak for themselves. And then on Sunday we went to the Anderson's and finished teaching the Plan of Salvation. One of their girls was taking notes the entire time, hows that for making you feel good as a missionary! But we also took pictures with them and they are a cute family.

A member in our ward gave a really good talk on Gratitude yesterday and I learned a lot. He said that there are two things that can really destroy our gratitude and that is routine and comparison. He related it to the children of Isreal that were saved from the Egyptians. They had everything to be grateful for, but they let their routine get to them and they began comparing what they had with what they used to have, or what they wish they had or what maybe they thought they would have in the future. We have to continually be grateful for what God has given us and despite everyday routine, find ways to make it worthwhile and fulfilling. Pretty cool.

To end I will include a little part of my presidents email,

This week I was trying to think of a Christlike attribute that I could focus on this month and I just wasn't really feeling any of them. I was thinking about being spirit-led and it brought me back to the scripture that I shared with you last week in Alma 13:28. It says:

28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and awatch and pray continually, that ye may not be btempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

As I was reading this I thought to myself, "What in the world does meek really mean." I had never really heard a straight answer and it was confusing to me. I knew that it was important and was related to being submissive and humble, but it was different. I studied it a lot and I was really grateful for the talk that was just given by Elder Ulisses Soares this last conference about being "meek and lowly of heart." I am still learning about it but a couple things I have learned about being meek: it is being gentle, humble, teachable, and thoughtful. Being meek means there is more listening and less talking and means to improve day by day. I am going to try to become more meek this month and try to figure out what it means for me.

I love you guys a lot and I hope you have a great Christmas season.

Thoughts and Prayers always,

Elder Devin Soper

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