I haven't gone to get my other package yet, so maybe Elder Rose and I will today. We did get the package with my shoes and rackets and Frisbee and the candy in it. The candy is all gone except for the peeps. We are going to have a microwave battle with them using toothpics. You put a toothpick inside each one and set them close to each other, almost stabbing each other with the toothpicks. Then you turn on the microwave and when they inflate, one of the toothpicks will puncture the other peep. We are waiting to do it with some investigators. One of them has a birthday this Saturday. So it will be a way to celebrate together!
Dedicating the apartments and areas was a good experience. President Calderwood told us that he received revelation about it one Sunday as he was taking the Sacrament. He had been seeking for an answer to something for a long time and that was exactly what he needed. I like what President Snow said about the priesthood. It reminds me a little of the workshop we had in our district meeting on Tuesday. One of the sisters gave a really good workshop on being bold. She has been out for two weeks longer than me, so her experience is still fairly minimal, but she is really bold and we all learned a lot. The workshop was mostly focused on our calling and the power, authority, and trust from God that it holds. We have so much given to us and so much potential, we are supposed to become just like God! we just need to start using our potential and let the miracles flow. And we have seen that so far. I need to work on being more bold. More bold with my companion, with the investigators, probably with other people too.
Today Elder Rose and I rearranged the apartment to try to liven things up and get a little bit of variety going. He's the kind of person that needs to keep things exciting, and I'm the kind of person who loves to take part in that. So our apartment right now is kind of a mess. But we'll fix it when we get back. I really like how close everything is in the mission. Especially in the City. Our District covers one branch, and our zone covers that branch and one ward, all divided over three languages. And we all meet in the same building on Sunday. It lets us see the missionaries around us a lot and I like that. We see each other all the time at the library on Mondays emailing home.
Mother's Day is coming up soon! I'm not sure exactly how the skyping home goes, but I'll find out. Maybe Elder Rose knows. But I'm not sure how we will get a computer with speakers and a camera. We'll figure it out though. This week we have interviews with President Calderwood. I am excited for that. I don't know what they will be like, but I'm excited to learn more from and about him and how he wants us to do the work here.
After losing my backpack a week ago I think I have learned and grown. I had prayed for a challenge in my life (but I also prayed that it wouldn't be something that would slow down my ability to work, like getting injured or sick) and that may have been the answer. I didn't really let it bother me and I've been able to keep a great attitude. I think with that, I learned to be happier daily. Some other missionaries mentioned that I had a great attitude about it. I just think that there's no good reason not to have a good attitude. It's not always easy, until you've made it a habit. Now I just really prefer having a good attitude over a bad one, so I make it happen. Losing my backpack also helped me remember that this mission isn't about me. That was the main though that came to my mind as I accepted that I had lost it. I was thinking "Aw man, I lost all those things and don't have my sweatbands or anything anymore, and that was a nice backpack" then I remembered what I had been told many times, that this isn't about me. Then I remembered why my life is really better than anyone else's, and those two things cheered me right up. I don't have to worry about myself or those kind of things, because this isn't about me. It's actually kind of liberating thinking about that. It's easier to do that also when all of your needs are taken care of too. Last week we were a little bit lower on food in the apartment than usual, but with some creativity and a lot of unplanned dinner appointments I ate better and healthier than I usually do. God takes great care of us.
Turning 19 will be kind of weird this week. I will be as old as a lot of the missionaries out here now. A lot of the people in my zone have said "you're only 18?! that's so weird!" Now I will have to remember that I'm not 18 anymore. I guess I will need to start acting like I'm a year older too now.
Thanks everyone for the letters! I will try to reply to them all today. And Katie, I will make sure I get a postcard in the mail pronto. Love you all (especially you Mom)!
No, I haven't been able to teach the backpack stealer yet, but maybe we just have to wait a bit more. Or maybe they are from Corona at the other side of the park and contacted the missionaries there. Thanks for taking care of my credit card and license. Without a backpack or wallet I've been travelling pretty light recently and keeping it simple. And I haven't really missed having a lot of stuff with me, so I think I'm learning a lesson on simplicity. When I go get my backpack I'll have to simplify what I put in. I got the package with the rackets, and I loved the little add-on to fit the handles in. I love the shoes, and was really surprised when I pulled them out of the box. That was good timing. My other shoes are already well-used. It felt really weird wearing basketball shoes though. I haven't worn new shoes like this in a few years so I felt weird running before I got used to it. They are working great so far and I feel like they will last longer than the others. Maybe today we will go to the mission office and get the other package.
Everything is going pretty good here. I'm continually noticing miracles and improvements in the people since we dedicated the area. Our English class that we teach has had a lot more people recently, and we generated a lot of interest when we had an English Class fiesta and showed The Testaments. People here care about their homelands. They love it when we know something special about their home country, (usually we mention a food that they like) so when people hear that Jesus came to the Americas it is important to them.
In the last couple of days I realized that I need to take a more leadership role in our companionship while we are out and about. I usually let Elder Rose lead out with most lessons or conversations or saying that we need to be home soon, so I am going to work on that.
One thing that I am noticing a lot is all the blessings promised in the gospel. As we study Preach My Gospel I see that all throughout are blessings offered when we keep a certain commandment or are faithful in a certain principle. Commandments are the way we get blessings, so the more blessings you want, the more obedient you should be.
Thanks for everything Dad, Love you!