Because I have a new hija (brand new missionary) I get extra time to write! Hna. Pitcher is from Utah. I really like her. And I like how she is just determined to do well. I can tell she's uncomfortable with the language and everything being new, but she just has this instinctive reaction to think that being uncomfortable is not an excuse to not get comfortable with the language and mission life. And she's very analytical, which means she learns really fast. She asks lots of questions. She reminds me of some Pixar animated character-- I think it's Penny from Bolt, but I don't remember my movie characters anymore. She's cool. And I feel this surge of love for her that just comes out of nowhere.
|Hermanas Pitcher, Ludlam, new sister, and De Leon|
Thoughts About Love: I was thinking about what Mom said about sometimes the most charitable thing we can do for people is withhold judgment. Sometimes the best thing we can give is the benefit of the doubt. And that will make us happier people, too.
I was also thinking about my question from a few weeks ago, about why it is that service engenders love. I think it's because charity, or love like Christ has, is the ability to look outward instead of looking inward (see "The Character of Christ" by David A. Bednar).
The ability to look outward-- such as thinking "what is this person thinking or feeling?" instead of "what is this person thinking or feeling about me?" is an essential step to feeling love. And service-- real service-- REQUIRES that you do that, to think of someone else instead of yourself. If you are giving service, you are motivating yourself to create the conditions in your heart that are necessary to truly love.
I was also thinking about “What IS service?” A definition that I like is “anything we do to make someone else feel loved.” I think the purpose of service (and the reason Heavenly Father requires it) is not just because we are helping someone else to have less work, but because we are helping someone else feel loved. And like what Richard G. Scott said in the last conference: “Giving others confidence that you love them can give them confidence that God loves them.” I think that’s what Heavenly Father wants, is that we nudge people, by tasting a little bit of human love, to want to come to God and taste of his infinite and soul-filling love. And develop that type of love in themselves… so they can be happy!
Thank you for your love-package, Fam-ly, with the sunflower stickers on it. The products were much appreciated. And I was very impressed with your calligraphy skills, Jenna and Luci! Were the bookmarks a school-turned-missionary project or something from church? And the socks were needed as well-- ever since it started raining, I've had to wear my plastic water shoes all the time that just eat up my sockies. Oh! And the Pilot pen was a really good idea-- would it be possible to send a few more of those with the 0.38 thickness? Anyone that is going to serve outside of the States should buy a ton of fine Pilot pens because your agenda is really small and it’s hard to write clearly with normal cheap pens. No other brand in Mexico comes close in price or quality and there are no Pilot pens to be found.
And I loved the conference blurbs! I can carry around the newspaper clippings with me a lot easier than the chunky conference Liahona (the Spanish version of the Church magazine, Ensign).
For the reunion, are you guys planning a "Family Tree Gathering" like in Quentin L Cooks talk? And has anyone ever noticed how the tree of life is a TREE? Like a Family TREE?
|Fidel and Joel|
Where I am now: Terranova is really nice-- lots of two-story houses and gardens and cars. The house that the other hermanas found for us is really nice. We haven’t visited anyone yet because we spent all day signing the contract for the house and moving furniture, but we should start soon. I’ll try to send pictures next week.
It’s weird how getting a new companion and a new area can change the whole feel of your mission overnight. I think maybe I just feel weird not teaching for a couple days.
These are some really cute kids of our investigator (Jani) in Mulsay. Fidel makes the best, most adult-like faces.
|Flash cards from English class|
Hermana De Leon and I were giving reading classes in Mulsay, and we made flash cards to learn letters. Hna De Leon didn't finish hers (on the right) but they were really cute.
Could someone thank Grandma Cheryle for the card she sent me? I still don’t have her email.
Have a great week, my beloved brethren!