Dear Family and Friends,
In the letter you recently wrote, I noticed what you said about the secret to success on a mission being to follow the rules and love the people. I completely agree. What I have been having trouble with recently is motivation. My whole life, before my mission, I didn't care about the Church. I knew it was true and everything and I never denied that, I just didn't care. I wondered briefly if I would go to hell or be miserable, and then I would be like, "Whatever, give me a reason I should care." But when I got to the CTM, it was almost like I was hit by a ton of bricks made out of the Spirit. And it eventually came down to either I gain a testimony or go home. Obviously, I made the good choice. I remember when Dad set me apart as a missionary that he said, “The truth will be written in my heart.” Let me tell you, they were carved into my heart.
I recently have been thinking, "Well, what can I use as motivation?" or "What has been motivating me all this time to do well on this mission?" I continued to ponder on these questions, until finally it hit me: Eternal Families. Before my mission I didn't care about family. Now, I would be devastated if I or any of my family would not be able to be with me for the rest of eternity. And I know, that if I do not give all that I can give on my mission, I would be ashamed to enter into the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to be judged according to my works. That is why I must give all that I can give on my mission and obey the rules and love the people.
Anyway, this week my companion and I gave out three copies of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was strong in all of those lessons about the restoration. Hopefully the people we teach will continue to have a desire to learn more about the gospel. We taught another lady named S***** about the restoration and she cried as we taught her about the First Vision. The spirit was very strong at that moment. My companion then explained that we have evidence that these things are true and that she can pray about this book, and as I was reaching into my backpack to get the Book of Mormon, I realized that I had forgotten it at the house. I think my companion pooped his pants about ten times after the lesson. He was pretty upset. But I did learn a lesson that day, and I will never leave the house to go proselyting without checking to make sure that I have a Book of Mormon in my backpack.
I have to admit that Elder F**** (my companion) reminds me a lot of Tessa before high school. He gets upset at the smallest, smallest mistake and acts as if I have committed adultery or murder. And it's only me he gets upset at. I'm glad though because now Tessa is probably one of the most chilled person that I have ever met after BYU-Hawaii. I can't even imagine her getting upset really. Michelle, since serving her mission, is also a lot more laid back. Katrina has stayed the same; and I mean that in a good way.
It still hasn't hit me that I am in Brazil. It feels a lot like Hawaii. The language also hasn't hit me since I have a hard time paying attention to people. (I had that problem before my mission, too.) Contacting is very scary for me since one of my biggest fears, possibly my greatest fear, is talking to people I don't know unless they say something first. I hate it. It is probably the worst part of the mission. No, I lie. Dessert is. I've been used to not eating dessert at home. Since I didn't like sugar, I pretty much never ate dessert; and you guys didn't care if I didn't eat the dessert because it meant there was more dessert for you. Now I have to train myself to not eat all I can at dinner and save room for dessert. And at times they give us strawberries which is the demon of all dessert so it is a very good thing that I can use my acting skills because I hate strawberries. The scriptures say that the Lord did not make anything bad or miserable on the earth, so, I rest my case.
Oh and the workers at the post office here are on strike so the letters are going really slow. I just got some letters which were mailed in August. So keep sending letters. I would love to get them two months from now. I still need to figure out when I can send some back to you guys.