Monday, January 14, 2013

New companion 1/14/13

Hello hello hello!

Well today is quite a weird day! It磗 my last day as a teenager. How weird is it to think that I spent the last 6 months of my adolescense living in Chile? haha how many of my highschool friends can say something like that?? But looking back it磗 been a great 6 months--difficult, frustrating, trying, uncomfortable, wonderful, joyful, and worth it.

Sounds like everyone at home is doing well too despite being so cold and stressed! Trina, Grampsir and Gramzy, Papa and Lenna and Lorinda, thanks so much for writing me! Unfortunately I don磘 have time to respond back individually today, but your emails mean so much to me! Thanks a ton! Love you!

News update: After 4 1/2 months with one companion in one sector, my companion Elder Torres is being transfered to San Pedro. One of my roommates is getting transfered to Temuco, and Elder Willcocks and I are staying in Los 羘geles. Our new companions are two gringos too! Ha, it磗 going to be pretty crazy! Besides setting a mission record for the longest amount of time spent together with us four, we are now also breaking a mission norm of having four North Americans in one house. But I磎 super excited, because Elder Willcock磗 new companion Elder Townsend was with me in the MTC! whoo! And my companion Elder Pond is my great-grandfather (in other words, he trained my trainer磗 trainer haha). Elder Pond as 18 months in the mission, so he磗 very well experienced. They don磘 arrive unil Tuesday, so I磍l send pictures next Monday.

Rather often during district and zone meetings, I look around and think to myself, 创We磖e just a bunch of kids. Living in Chile. Trying to teach people about Jesus. What the heck am I doing here?创 It磗 so strange to look around and realized that there are no adults governing us or babysitting us during these meetings or really anything else. I often wonder about what it will be like to send my own children on missions and realize that they will be in a foreign country where I will have no control what they do or what happens to them. It磗 a daunting thought. But when I glance about the room, I notice something else; despite being a bunch of teenagers from North and South America, we are well behaved. We are responsible. We are determined. We are endowed with power and authority, promised protection and health, and immensely blessed by our Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ. It磗 a powerful feeling. I磛e had real conversations with my Heavenly Father through prayers--more than just a list of things to thank or ask Him for. He listens, and He responds. But we have to prepare ourselves to be able to have such blessings from Him. We need to live righteously, always obeying all of His commandments. We need to live worthy of His guidance that He so willingly wants to give us. It can be very difficult, but it磗 so worth it. I know He磗 there. I know He will answer you. Just trust in Him, and patiently, faithfully await His response. Follow the counsel found in James 1:5, and follow the example of a young 14 year old boy that asked with faith. 

The Lord loves you. And He WILL bless you if you allow him. Mum and Dad, I磎 so glad that you have been keeping a list of the blessings you磛e been receiving. What a wonderful example for us to follow. 创Count your many blessings创 is more than just a catchy song, it磗 inspired wisdom. Have a wonderful week! Love you!

Elder Long

PS. Lacey, I came across a great scripture that you should read. Tyler should read it too now that he nears the dating age. It磗 in 1 John 3:18 (different from the Gospel According to St. John). It speaks great wisdom. Plus it made me laugh. Enjoy!

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