First of all, happy birthday to Bridgette!!! How old are you now? 17?? Haha you all look so big and grown up in the pictures! Thanks Mum for sending me the pics of the fun adventures with the extended family! I´m so jealous! Looks like you all had a blast! Congrats to Lacey for having two big prom dates, and congrats to Brad for asking out the head cheerleader and getting a personalized announced entrance at the homecoming dance!!! ''That's how we do!'' hahaha :)
Speaking of pictures and dances, that's so stinkin cool I'm on several posters at BYU! And of course being as vain as I am, I reeeaaalllyy want one for keepsies! Would Emily or Corey or someone at BYU be so kind to ask for one? That would make my day :)
Today we traveled two hours up to Conce for ''Return and Report'' with the mission president, which only happens this one time as a greenie. As of later this week, I won't be part of the newest crop because we're getting a new group of missionaries! Woo transfers! But since I was in Conce, I got to get mail early! Thanks so much to grandma Lenna, Krysta, Jackie, and Corey for sending me letters! I already wrote back (on the bus ride home) but of course you won't get my letters for a month... It's so weird to read letters and imagine your lives and what's going on, then remember that everything I'm reading happened over a month ago...haha so I'm a little behind on news, but I love recieving your letters. Thanks a ton!
This past week was a crazy week and pretty difficult, but we ended on quite the note. Our investigator Katy was baptized. She's an absolute miracle. She's 16 with a 10 month old baby--yet she's married! Marriage seems to be pretty uncommon down here, so it's been a true miracle to get to teach her. My companion and his prior companion found her mother about a week before I arrived, and then I've helped teach her all the lessons. What I really want to talk about, though, is how I didn't do anything. Seriously. Katy was prepared by the Lord long before Elder Gringo walked into the picture. So eventhough Brittany and I are on opposite sides of the world and we'll see varying amounts of baptisms and definitely experience different types of trials, we have a minimum of one thing in common: we are doing the Lord's work, not our own. It's also important to remember that each person still has their agency to accept or reject Christ's gospel, no matter how hard we as missionaries work. I've been extremely blessed to get to work with Katy and watch her life change for the better--and it certainly wasn't because of me. Yo no fui. It's also so surreal to look at our pictures and realize that I'm the missionary standing next to the girl in the white baptismal gown. But it's great to get to see the Lord's work move forward.
My time is short, but I wish you a great week! You're in my prayers daily, and I love you! Read your Book of Mormon daily, and if you're not, REPENT! That book is the key to eternal life. The only key.
Elder Long :)