Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

First off, congrats to Brad for his mission call!!!! How exciting! I'm especially glad that we'll get to see each other for a few days before he leaves! Man, and another two years before we're all together again haha.
As I said in a private letter to Mum, I officially come home June 18--or at least I leave Chile that day. It's about a 16 hour flight to the states, another flight to Vegas, and I'll get home late that night plus the time change. Yeesh. I definitely didn't think I'd have to worry about any of that for another several months. The time sure snuck up on me. Another missionary told me that soon we have to already register for classes at BYU. That hadn't even crossed my mind. Any  idea of how to advise BYU that I'll be returning this fall? Plus choosing housing will be based off of pure faith and suggestions since I can't go tour the place myself...ha. Bleh, too many decisions. The mission is super difficult, but it's at least focused in one purpose and therefore somewhat more simple.
So this week was pretty interesting. While Elder Bills spent most of the week writing essays and applying to colleges, I painted my stake president's house haha. It was fun but LOTS of work and we still haven't even finished. But it seems to have gone well for Elder Bills and he's not as stressed any more.

On a much, much lower note, this week we had to send home a missionary. Not fun. Disobedience just is NOT worth it. I'm pretty sure I felt worse that he did, and I can't imagine how bad President Martinez feels--or especially Christ Himself. This young man had only weeks left in the mission, but made several bad decisions and now was sent home dishonorably. I just pray that the Lord will help him stay active in the church and regain his testimony. Something that always calls my attention of why Nephi or President Monson are such GREAT men is because they are simply OBEDIENT. The Savior teaches us that it's the first principle of heaven. If we can't obey earthly laws, we can't expect to be ready to obey celestial laws.
However, dear family and friends, I also have good news. Great news. Our beloved investigators Cristian and Yasna were baptized this weekend. It wasn't just two people being baptized; it was a young married couple taking their first step to becoming an eternal family. It was the most spiritual baptismal service of my entire mission. All of us cried as this beautiful young family started anew as followers of Christ. I'm so grateful for the strong love I feel for them. I feel so strongly that Cristian will be such a fantastic Elders Quorum President. He's just one of the greatest men I've ever met. They were sooooo prepared by the Lord to be baptized this month. What a blessing that the Lord has let me be part of His great work. I know He lives and directs this church.  Have an excellent week. Love you!
Elder Long :)

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