Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Letter 4/29/14 (He missed 2 weeks!)

Hey fambam!!!

Well it's been a while since I've been able to write haha. Quick explanation: We lived in a house of 9 missionaries and it wasn't the cleanest house you've ever seen. So our P-day was taken away and we had to clean all day haha. And then yesterday we had our leadership council meeting in Concepcion (5 hours in bus both ways), so we didn't get home in time to write.

Quick updates on my whereabouts: Last week we hired a plumber to come fix the leak in the bathroom shower. A faucet ended up bursting in front of the house and he and I spent the entire afternoon getting soaking wet trying to fix it. A week later, the water company still hasn't showed up to fix what we told them to. It was actually pretty fun haha but not nearly as great if I were with Dad. Plus if Dad were here it would have gotten fixed in a few minutes I'm sure...

Two Sundays ago, we held our testimony meeting (due to ward conferences and whatnot). Camilo, a 19 yr old mentally challenged deaf boy that is in our ward, decided that he too wanted to share his testimony. He got up in front of the ward at the pulpit, and several people chuckled. I simply watched with a proud smile as he motioned what must have been his testimony in sign language. His mother then got up to translate, and explained his powerful testimony of the temple and that Jesus Christ is there. I visited with the family that night and learned much more about his incredible temple experiences. I was so happy to see Camilo share his testimony. So many of us fight the feeling to bare testimony in front of others, yet without words Camilo touched my heart. What a great example he gave me of ALWAYS standing as a witness of Christ.

On Friday we had a stake-wide open-house of our stake center, which so wonderfully is located right in the middle of the centro where soooo many people walk by. Only us missionaries showed up to give tours, but we had a great evening inviting any and all to come look around the LDS chapel that they always walk by. I was asked to play piano in the sacrament hall the entire time, and it actually brought a magnificent spirit to all those that entered. I certainly don't acredit that to my own talents, but rather the powerful Spirit that accompanies our hymns. It was fantastic. I'm sooo extremely grateful for the talents and abilities with which Heavenly Father has blessed me so that I can be an instrument in His gracious hands to help in His great work. And I have to give another big thanks to you, Mum and Dad, for pushing me to play piano and practice even when I complained haha. Love you!

Dad, you asked about the ''car situation.'' I can't lie, I was ppreeeetttyyy darn excited that we even have an option. We're so blessed! Although I loved having a truck at BYU and especially during the snowy winter, a newer and smaller and more fuel-efficient car would probably be quite a bit better for Lacey and me while at school. Awesome!!!

I felt really special yesterday when one of my dear sister missionaries who had been in my district a year ago told me that ''The best district meeting I ever had was in your district. What you tought me has stayed with me my entire mission.'' She mentioned a quote I had shared with her long ago that I'm pretty sure Dad taught me. It reads: ''In order to become whom you want to be, you need to be whom you want to become.'' In other words, decide to change NOW and put it into action.

Yesterday we had a great council about the difference between doing and being. In simple words: you can do without being, but you can never be without doing. In 3 Ne 27:21,27, we can compare the two words. Christ invites us to DO, since it is the first step to actually following His example of what He has DONE. He also invites us to BE, or we will never truly fulfill the purpose with which we came to earth. Quite frankly, many pass through years of just ''going through the actions'' but never let the true reason nor motivation arrive to their heart. I feel like I did that for a while. But I'm so extremely grateful that Christ gives us daily opportunities to try again and improve.  He loves us and will always do everything in His power to help us improve and ''perfect ourselves in [Him].'' I love the Lord, and I know that He loves you. I know that He is watching over you always so that we can all be together forever in His glorious kingdom. Sometimes it sounds silly to believe, but it's the smartest thing I've ever done. Have a wonderful week. I sure love you!

Elder Long :)

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