Sorry about the past week! I will make it up somehow! Congratulations Brynn! 36 seconds has got to be a world record or something. I'm sad I can't be there to see him grow up for a few months but I will catch the walking and talking stage I think. Welcome to the family kip!
Happy birthday dad! You turned 30 for the 25th time right? Im pretty sure my math is right. You look good in the photos! It's been a long time. And it won't be too long until I'm back home. 8 months from the 22 I will be home and it just keeps counting down. Crazy. As for the rain up here, it has only rained about twice since I've been here. We had a flash flood warning but that didn't happen. Luckily where we are we don't see rain very often. Vancouver and Portland see rain but we are a bit further away in the mountains.
Right now my companion is Elder Peterson. We were actually companions in the MTC right at the beginning. So it's been fun as we have been working together. I'm continuing to learn more every day. The Lord seems to humble me in every situation possibly haha. It's interesting. Elder Peterson is from Burley Idaho. So he grew up on a ranch and is the 13th of 14 children. He kind of reminds me a Bailey Keetch but not sure who I could relate him to back home. I hardly remember anyone back home. I've got a lot of names on my mind haha. But everything has been going great! This week we are so so busy. We are planning a few trips to attend meetings down in Vancouver and also we are starting up a meeting for the 2 wards we cover. A member missionary meeting. We all meet together and have a district meeting with the members of the ward and practice ways that we can do missionary work with our friends and also just easy ways to talk about the gospel. We are pretty excited about it. This will be our first meeting but we will see how it goes and get back to you this next p day. Along with all the meetings we are seeing a boy named Andre. Him and his mom are taking the lessons along with some Old Testament reading just to give him a basic knowledge of God and the scriptures. It's been so much fun working with them. Recently we have invited his mother Pauline to read the Book of Mormon because we were originally there to teach Andre and she has been asking slot of questions. She actually has been keeping her commitment to read and hopefully soon we can start getting her to come to church with her son. Little miracles like those are continuing to happen all around Elder Peterson and I. This last Sunday we had two couples approach us and ask us if we can teach the lessons to their non member relatives. OBVIOUSLY we said yes. Even though we are getting pretty booked. The Dalles 1st and 2nd Ward are the best I've served in so far. So much work to do here and it's great. We are also teaching people in the prison. I wanted to share a little about a guy named Belander. He has been in for a few months now until he gets a final say on when he goes to actual prison. We have been working with him for a few months and the genius is doing great. He has read the whole Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants once and is going through it again. He is making some great progress. It was pretty funny, about a month ago Elder McDaniel and I had to split and teach two at the same time and Belander got in the subject of women. He pulled out a picture of his "x" and he told me about her a little. She had tattoos everywhere just like him. Belander has a tattoo on every part of his body. It's awesome to see that change that has come as he has met with us. Anyways, he eventually told me that he wanted to date a Mormon woman when he got out. And I asked him why. He said that it would be good for him to have that kind of influence in his life and they just are different. He really has come to like the ensigns I think. So that day I left him with the woman of the Old Testament. The Ensign haha. It was pretty funny.
This past week I was able to read a little article by Elder David A. Bednar and he spoke of the enabling power of the atonement. He used the example of Nephi when his brothers bound him. And how he prayed not for his circumstances to change but that he might be empowered to overcome and change the circumstances he was in.
1 Nephi 7:17
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
Nephi understood the enabling power of the atonement and how God really is able to help his children. We are here to learn and grow through the experiences of mortality and so if he was to take them away from us without giving us that opportunity of experience it would defeat his purpose. Instead he allows us to see that with his help it is a lot easier. Not that the burdens aren't there but that with him we can accomplish more. I know that to be true! I see it every day.
Love ya mom!