Dear Family and Friends,
Going on a mission is a lot like dying. I've died and came to be with Jesus Christ. I'm no longer the person I was before my mission. I've been reborn through Jesus Christ. By becoming a personal representative of Jesus Christ, I've never known Heavenly Father as much as I do now. I rely on him for EVERY single thing I do. Big or small. I rely on him. I have such trust in HIM.
I may not get the lessons down. I may have sunburn, or poison oak. I may not be used to the heat or the long hours. But I know that my Heavenly Father is carrying me. When I'm at my weakest, He's there to make me stronger.
There's this poem that I heard on Sunday, it says:
"Good timber does not grow with ease,
the stronger the wind, the stronger trees
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
in trees and men good timbers grow."
Only Heavenly Father knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. He alone touches our tortured souls with his comforting words: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, HE is with us. He has promised that.
Family and Friends may we strive to be close to our Heavenly Father. We truly need HIM every hour, whether they be hours of sunshine or of rain.
Well, I'm in my first area! It's in Talihina, OK [population 1,211]. What a place to be too! It's in the Choctaw nation. It's in the middle of nowhere, and I do mean in the middle of nowhere! Out in the woods, with the bears, snakes, mountain lions, chiggers, ticks, flies. The nearest Walmart is two hours away.
The town is very, very rundown and small. The people here are sweet and nice. They truly make me thankful for everything I have. They don't have much here, as they don't have work much here. It's mostly people that are living on disability and are retired.
My area is 80 miles long! There is a VERY small branch here. There are 200 members in my area, but only 20 active members.
My role as a missionary here is to reactive the less active. We have a lot of work ahead of us. But, I'm looking forward to it. I already have an investigator with a baptismal date. For May 15th, his name is Lester. He's an older gentle soul. I'm super excited for him. On Saturday, we taught him the Word of Wisdom. He's going to quit cold turkey. I'm so happy for him!
I love being a missionary!! I love you all so much!