Email sent Monday 21 November 2011
This week was full of hard work. Dealing with people's agency is hard sometimes, and it is sad to see them chose and make wrong choices, but we just keep teaching and testifying of the truth.
I am so grateful to be a missionary in the greatest mission on the earth - the Texas McAllen Mission. I love this work. I love all of my faithful brothers and sisters in this mission. Last night we were able to attend the special memorial service held for Elders Walker and Strong in the Weslaco chapel. About 80 of our mission's 170 missionaries were in attendance, and the rest watching in stake centers throughout the mission by internet broadcast. The parents and twin brother of Elder Strong were in attendance as well. The chapel was packed. Media from local news was there as well. The entire front middle section was reserved for us missionaries. It was such a great service. A former companion of Elder Walker, Elder Field, gave a tribute to him, as well as Elder Harris, and Elder Strong's mother. President and Sister Trayner spoke and the Area 70, Elder Villareal. As well as a musical number by a youth choir in a ward that I and Elder Strong used to serve in. And a stake choir from that stake.
It was a beautiful service, full of tears, lots of tears, but also lots of joy and the strong conviction that THE WORK GOES ON. These two elders continue the work, they are not resting in peace, but working in peace. They are not the type of missionaries who would rest. And neither are we. I have never wanted to hug so many elders before in my life, but we are such a strong family here in the TMM. I love my mission. I wish it could go on forever. I love these people. I try not to think about the fact that it is winding down because it just makes me so sad. A piece of my heart will always be here in Texas. These people are so amazing. So full of faith and love, really charity - the pure love of christ. They are such examples to me.
Here are some random but super useful things that we learned this week (composed by sister mazey and I):
Never get a haircut without first studying hair-style spanish vocabulary (sister mazye learned from experience)
Having someone tell you "I wish I could hug you right now but I know I can't" is almost as good as getting a hug.
The Light of Christ is so real...kids with very bad decision making parents know exactly what's up.
Everyone needs to keep a journal. period. no exceptions.
Sister missionaries should be able to serve 2 years...
Everyone needs to either serve a mission or go to jail at some point in their lives.
Never be lazy...because then you will be lazy on important days and think it's not a big deal when actually it is a very, very, very big deal (learned from actions of a member who was lazy)
Don't drive 40 in a 30 even if you are leaving church...sister mazey got a warning
If you act dumb, dumb people will trust you. (aka no one trusts a smart person)
Last words of Elder Pinter: work hard and be obedient. that is the secret to success
Love every minute because at some point your minutes start to run out. :(
Well that's a lot, but I best be going. I love this work, I know that this is Christ's church. I know that through the atonement of Jesus Christ we can be healed from any pain, sin or trial in our lives, whether we self inflicted it, or it was due to the actions of others. I know that God has a plan for us and that we WILL return to live with him and see all of our loved ones again if we follow his commandments. I testify that this is true. I love you all and I am so grateful to have you all in my lives.