Hello! I can't believe how fast time has flown and that in less than a week I will be serving the Lord in San Bernandino! It's been incredible here, but before I get into all that, I wanted to thank you, Mom and Dad, for sending me letters (and actually Dad, DearElder is you write on the internet, and it sends it personally to me in a letter, so I would love that, and it's cheaper), and for sharing all those photos from the funeral and with Jason and Braden. He looks great and I have no doubt he is going to be a major influence in the Church.
Poor Carolyn! She is having rotten luck with her feet. Was it the same foot that she broke just a few months earlier? I admire how she still smiles throughout it all. What a beautiful ceremony for remembering the amazing woman that Grandma was. Thank you for giving me the details so I could be a part of it. I know she appreciated it, and that she is doing well. You have been very busy as a family, and I am sure you, and the cats, are glad you are all home :)
You asked a few questions Mom, so here are some answers. The Provo Temple was closed since the end of June, and then miracle of miracles, it opened today! So our district had the opportunity to attend the temple at 7 am this morning, our last time to go to the Provo Temple before we all depart. I'm so glad it opened today, what a blessing from the Lord. One of the sisters in our district's grandma even works at the temple, and she was working when we went. What an amazing reunion. I know that is what Heaven will be like.
My companion, Sister Brinkerhoff, is from Michigan, but was born in California like me. She has five sisters, so 6 girls and no brothers :) Her dad takes it all very well. One of her sisters served a mission, and her mom did, as well, to the Philipines. I'm so impressed with her, she has been working and going to school at LDS Business College for the past two years, and she has the best smile.
We really are starting to take off on the work, and our investigators are progressing. One of our investigators, Becca (acted by our teacher Sister Hoopes), who is a devout Methodist, understands the reason for praying to ask for answers, and she has had wonderful experiences with getting feelings of contentment and with the Book of Mormon. Sister Brinkerhoff and I both felt right before the lesson ended that we should extend the baptismal invitation, but doubt clouded us, and we didn't! I learned a valuable lesson--when the Spirit tells you to do something that will bring souls closer to Christ, DO IT! I felt horrible, because Sister Hoopes told us if we would have asked, Becca would have committed. We get one more chance to teach her on Monday, and we are going to invite her then :)
I love studying the Book of Mormon, and Preach my Gospel. I'm learning so much about Jesus Christ, and how often in the Book of Mormon the words, "come unto me" and "the doctrine of Christ" are used. I've started highlighting based on God's love shown, the doctrine of Christ, the commandments, and any testimony of Christ's life and ministry. When I get back, you'll see Jason's scriptures with rainbow colors, ha ha. I am sending back my large scriptures, so you should get a package in a few days. I just feel like I want the little scriptures for my mission, so I can highlight them with the intent to bring souls to Christ.
Devotionals are amazing, and I love Sundays! We watched "Character of Christ" by David Bednar and oh my goodness, it changed my whole outlook! Christ was the perfect example of always reaching outward, especially in times when he had every right to look inward and feel sorry for himself. To become like Christ, we must look outward, and through the Atonement, put off the natural man, and become a saint, for the natural man is an enemy to God (Mosiah 3:19). It also answered my question, "How do I know I am converted?" Elder Bednar said that if we are constantly worrying about being converted and how we are or not, we will never be converted. The way to conversion is being a good girl or boy, using the Atonement, and looking outward, and helping others increase their faith. I love that! I'm so excited to serve and reach outward.
I did see Jon Burrup, but not Paul Amparan. It was so great seeing a family friend--and Jon taught a wonderful lesson on how the Atonement and the Restoration are complements of each other. There would have been no need for a Restoration without the Atonement. We truly are testifiers of Christ, and this is His Church.
George is still progressing, and is working on being baptized. He wants to continue discussing the Plan of Salvation and baptism for the dead. Sister Brinkerhoff did an amazing job teaching how the Atonement is the central part of the plan of happiness. What a glorious plan it is! I know this is the true Church and that Jesus Christ suffered for my sins, and was resurrected so I could be too. He has shown the way to become, and I know the Atonement is real. I'm applying it every day. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that he was the means through which Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ could restore this Church. President Monson is the prophet today. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. When I fear, they are there to comfort, as I pray to them.
Dad--thank you for being an inspiration to me of happiness and never giving up. Thank you for your example of hard work and peacemaking. You are my hero!
Mom--thank you for sharing your talent of writing with me, your letters, poems, and everything make me smile and know I am loved and I do have goodly parents.
Jason--keep having a great time at institute, and make sure you are reading the Book of Mormon every day! It truly testifies of Christ and is the truest, best book on EARTH!
(I don't know how to attach photos, and my time is almost up.) There are some cute photos of Sister Brinkerhoff and me in front of the temple, but I'll try again next Wednesday to send you pictures. I'm so sorry! Please forgive. Know that I am doing well, and am very happy!
Oh, I will be at the airport next Tuesday by 9:30, and through security by 10:30 hopefully. My flight leaves at 11:30, so I will give you a call from the airport as close to 10:30 Utah time as I can. I can't wait to talk with you. I know you go to the temple on Wednesday morning, so I can always leave a message. I love you! The Church is True!
Mom--tell Annie and Kiley hi and I love them, and if I don't write them this week, for sure, next :)