Thursday, September 15, 2011

(From 9/9/11)

Hello, hello, hello my sweet family. (:

     I hope you all had a great week...and long weekend!  Thank you (Mom and Dad) for the picture of the gang.  Allow me to be honest, it was kind of weird to see my married, little cousin who will soon be a father!!!  I guess we grew up or something.  Anyways, you all look good!!

     Last Tuesday, Sister Hansen and I (and the rest of our mission) went to a conference with Elder Nash, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy Apostles.  We had been sick.  And were still under the weather, to put it lightly.  However, we were committed to NOT missing this opportunity.  Keep in mind, we spent the whole week in our home minus one hour at Sacrament Meeting and I went on exchanges with another Sister for a few hours on Saturday.  So we went and it was incredible.  Elder Nash has spent the past four years in South America fulfilling his designated responsibilites as an Apostle.  This man radiates Christ's love.  So does his wife, Sister Nash, who also addressed us on Tuesday.  I was reminded of the reason I came on a mission.  I want to bring people the hope that I have found as I have come to know my Savior through the restored gospel.  This word, "hope", I do not use as a loose term.  Rather, it is concrete and sure.  Through Christ's Atonement, there is always hope for happiness right now and for the eternity that is ahead.  There is always hope to change.  This hope of mine is founded in Jesus Christ and in a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of these important things...possibly too often.

       So we have established that being ill took us down for far too long.  I am going to move past that.  I promise.  Let's talk about being back!!!  Saturday was our first day at sites.  and it felt so good!  We had the 10-3 shift. Our first, and only, tour for the day was around 1230.  There was a group from Columbus, but three of the visitors were originally from Ghana.  They were in AWE that they were actually in Kirtland.  Upon our first moments together, they vocalized their excitement to be in such a sacred place; a place that has been special to them for years, but now it has become real.  Perhaps I have become a bit complacent about Kirtland.  Well...I guess I had...but I had a nice reminder.  Again...I need all the reminding I can get.  We were standing on the a bridge over the Stoney Brook (the first mini-stop on tour) and I was overwhelmed with excitement. gratitude. humility. love.  I wanted a second to talk to Sister Hansen and just tell her how good I was feeling!  Gosh, this place is incredible.  The Saints here were doing everything they could to be obedient to God's commandments.  Walking through the Whitney's home and store, we discover their experiences coming to know their Heavenly Father.  Answered Prayers.  Healings.  Revealed instruction from God. Happy family times.  Work.  School.  Play.  It is amazing.  I love to think about walking through other people's homes and hearing their stories.  It would be so cool to have any of you take me around where you grew up and tell all your stories.  Daddy, I love when we are driving in Dallas and share about your life B.E. as you always say.  (Before Elizabeth).  Anyways, I just love that God gives us opportunities to learn from each other.  I love people. (:

       We went to a few appointments that night and spent all of Sunday at sites.  Life is good.  There are many wonderful things happening here. 

        I love you!!