|The wall of our apartment right behind our desks.|
|We like to have towel fights. So this is when our hands collided and bled. :D Good times!|
|Woohoo! comps forever!|
|Ah, it's a pretty church, huh? also, Mom, I met the branch president of the ward when the church was buitl. Didy ou say you knew somebody who helped build this chapel? I bet he knows him. His name is Brother Lopez.|
You are absolutely first place this week. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE PACKAGES!!!!!! WOOOOOOOWWWW it was awesome! Thanks for the music! I loooooved Handel's Water Music! Woohoo! Thanks so much! And I think I got one or two letters from you too! At least one, anyway! Boy Aunt Natalie and Grandma Georgia both sent me a letter as well. It was the BEST MAIL WEEK EVER!!! Hey did you like General Conference? Wasn't that the best?
Thanks so much for telling me about your spiritual experience with Seminary, Mom! I didn't read through all of it yet but I'll go back and look at it again if I have a minute. That's a great lesson to learn, that the Lord is always with us. That corresponds really well with Elder Holland's General Conference talk from theMOrning session, too.
Oh cool, I'm glad you guys all got to do a lot of family things together! Wow Dad you are a trooper! It seems like you've been doing lots of Army weekends! Thanks so much for paying for me out here! I'm not perfect but I love it! Haha not to say that there aren't hard days, but I'm starting to love it!
Hey guess what? This morning, I made Elder Baldwin an omelette. NOrmally, he's the one who tries to bake or make food for me and the other two elders, and he's done more to serve me than I have to serve him, but today, I made him an omelette. I admit, somewhat sheepishly, that part of the reason why I wanted to was to see if I could make it spicy enough to make him cry. He's pretty tough. He puts tobasco sauce on everything. Haha! So I put on some spices like chili powder, pepper, and at the end, I ended up dumping a TON of pepper on the middle of the omelette. It was almost black for part of it, pretty funny. But he said it was good. I just thought I'd tell you, Mom and Dad, because then I made myself one, and it was with ham and cheese, and it was actually good. Yes, I repeat, I cooked something and it was actually pretty tasty! :D So that was a fun moment.
Yahoo for all the temple work! Way to go everyone! And way to go Grace for all the cool awards she got [at her debate tournament] ! What a performer! Elder Baldwin's twin sister, from what he says about her, reminds me a lot of Grace. She liked choir, she was into drama, things like that. Is Grace excited for her birthday coming up? Boy I bet Zeester was super cute for her birthday! She's a full two years old now! And little Brielle is a cutie in her own right! Haha I've shown pictures of Zia to the other guys in the apartment, Brielle too, and it's been fun. THEY ARE SOOOO CUTE!!!! Haha.
I wanted just to tell you all a few events and progress reports from this week:
- General Conference--loved it! My personal favorite, I think, without reviea of the notes, was President Uchtdorf's about grace and how the Savior can help us. Which was your favorite?
- District Meeting--Elder Baldwin gave another great talk about writing in our journals. So I've been writing in my journal, even if just a line, for every day. I missed yesterday but I've been doing pretty good. Just need to keep it up! I guess it'll really be a big blessing to me and my posterity, and I feel like it's something I need to do, so I do it! That's a principle for you, too, everyone!
- Liège Exchange with Elder Powelson--we had a sweet exchange review. I enjoyed being with him, we talked a lot about his football and rugby stories. He's a pretty cool guy. He said I'm doing really well, so that was a nice pat on the back. He told me to be more confident, too, so I've been working on that. :D
- Charleroi Exchange with Elder Tibbetts--it was really fun. Elder Tibbetts actually reminded me a little bit of my brotha, Hyrum! Just how he is a pretty detail-oriented guy, but very sweet, with a great heart, very intelligent. I love ya so much, Hyrum! How are you doing, bud? Is there anything I can do for you?
- Samedi Sports--we didn't get a ton of people, but I made the cookies, and they turned out without any diastrous tastes! So this week was kind of a start-off week for me doing more cooking. Elder Baldwin tries to teach us how to cook when we ask so we can make more than pasta. THat's what most missionaries make. :D
- Church--was raelly good! We actually started a new exercise program just this last MOnday, and that helped me have more energy, it was easier to stay awake in sacrament meeting!
- P-DAY!!!! Not a whole lot to tell about that, but I'm still excited about it :D
- I've been feeling pushed to improve my desire. My desire to serve as a missionary. I think that's one thing the Lord likes to help others feel through me--sometimes, missionaries get really tired out and it can be hard to keep an enthusiasm for the work, just like anything else. So I'm glad that I can improve on being enthusiastic and happy to serve here!
- Elder Baldwin and I are doing pretty well. When we were waiting for a train from Braine-l'Alleud to go into Charleroi after an exchange, we talked for a while, and I told him that I'd really miss working with him. We actually had an exchange with the Zone Leaders, and I went with Elder Powelson. So we were both in Liège Wednesday after District Meeting until the early afternoon of . I told Elder POwelson the same thing--I'll probably consider Elder Baldwin one of the best missionaries I've served with on my mission. He's just a great comp. He works hard, he's still pretty laid-back, he's funny and very friendly, it's impossible not to like him. I comment on that because this is probably my last three weeks with him. It's possible we stay together, but after you've been with a companion for two transfers, that's usually it, one of you usually leaves. It's kind of sad. But it's life. People have told me that your first time leaving to a different apartment is realy weird, because it's all you've known, but after that, it gets easier. So, in order of probability, I'll either leave to another area, stay one more transfer with Elder Baldwin, or maybe even Elder Baldwin could leave and I'd get a new companion. Elder Baldwin keeps joking he's going to suggest that I train, for example. If that were to happen, I'd probably stay in Charleroi for another two transfers. That'd be sweet! But I'm happy to be wherever the Lord calls me.
- Note: Hymn number 85, How Firm a Foundation, is extremely applicable to missionary work! i'm pretty sure you could apply it to church callings, like your calling as a Seminary teacher, mom! You need to read or sing all seven verses for the full effect.
- I experienced a drop again in talking to people this week, it was a bit of a low point with numbers, but I'm not giving up. I keep realizing that the more I put into skills for my mission, the better of a person, worker, husband, and father I'll be. So I guess something to keep in mind is Dad's motto, "You've got today to live and the rest of eternity to think about it," and the scripture in DC: "...The worth of souls is precious in the sight of God."
- Could you two pray for me that I'll find the faith to find people? :D Thanks! I trust the Lord gives if I'll work hard enough.
- Seeing things positively: my little bus and metro pass hasn't been working--when you get into a bus or metro, you're supposed to hold it up to a little macfhine and it's supposed to beep, but mine didn't work, so we went and got it fixed today. I realized while I was waiting there that, rather than wait there and make myself angrier and angrier by keeping to myself, it's better when we reach out and talk to people. I didn't raelly reach out, but there were a couple of really sweet dear elderly ladies next to me in the line, and they did. :D Haha you can always trust grandmas to know what to do! They're some of best people around who know how to live life happily and well. So that was nice!
- Hey and guess what? Lots of people have been complementing my French, I feel really blessed by the Lord! To me, it's just you pray for the gift of tongues an dyou work and eventually it comes! So what a blessing that is!
So I lvoe you all tons and hope that this new letter format works! I've been taking too much time with emails so I figured I'd do a bigger one like this to my mom and dad, and then have littler responses to personal emails. Please keep writing! :D I love your emails and letters SOOO much! Thanks everyone! THanks Grandma Georgia and Natalie for your faithful correspondance! God bless you all! Till next week!
P.S. Mom and Dad, is there anything you think I could do to focus more completely on my missionary work? Is there anything in your life that you've gotten better at focusing on, and maybe I could steal one or two of the same ideas? Thanks!
Love you all tons! Tell Malia, Austin, Zia, and Brielle I love them SOOO MUUUUCHH!!!! Especially for Zia's B-Day and Brielle's cute little face! My goodness!