Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fresh Letters - written October 7th!

To Dad:

Speaking of dates and times lining up, I DID catch that cosmic convergence at 9:09 on 9/9/09. Cool story, actually. On that day we attended the temple, and we were in the 9 o'clock session. And guess who else was in that session with us? Elder Jonathan Ogden :)

Elder Ogden and I did alot of singing in between sessions of General Conference. We have sung with each other so much that we can blend incredibly well and we almost intrinsically know when to switch parts. It's strange being around Elder Ogden, honestly. Our personalities are so very alike, just cause we've spent so much time together throughout our whole lives, and it's weird to be with someone who I get along with so totally effortlessly.

I was thinking, I'd like to know how your mission was and what you would suggest I do. I know that the way missions are has probably changed alot, but some things don't change. Contacting for instance. How did you and your companion do that? What were the people like in Colombia? Did they feed you often? To me, it seems like the singular goal of alot of the hermanas in our branch is just to get me as fat as they possibly can! It's so hard to keep the weight off when they sit you down and give you an obligatory three-course dinner, watching you carefully as if suspecting me to hide food in a hidden plastic bag or something. Anyway, enough about food. What recommendations would you give me, from one missionary to another? What things worked for you?"

To Emily:

I thought about hanging the American flag [that an investigator gave them], but...as much as I'm a Yankee through and through, we're not supposed to affiliate with any countries so that people know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide church, not just an American one. The other day an old Spaniard lady stopped us in the street and yelled at us for trying to preach the Gospel in her country, and told us how Catholicism is Spain's religion and that we'd never have success and told us to just go home to our country. We just bore our testimonies and left. Good thing the opinion of one old Spaniard lady isn't going to change my testimony, eh? The truth is that I love being a missionary and I've seen firsthand how this Gospel changes lives for the better. I know it's true and I know I'd be in dire straits without it, that's for sure. And I'm so lucky to be here on the frontlines of the Church and to be a missionary. Hopefully, as a result, I'll come back more manly and more spiritual..."