Mom and Dad,
I love emailing, but at the same time it is really hard because i just want to hear your voices and talk to you. i miss always having your council whenever i feel like talking to you. there are so many things that i love about being on a mission, and there are a lot of things that are difficult. there are so many things that are new and foreign to me that i am experiencing. there is a book that i am reading that i got from the CTM called, ´´adjusting to missionary life´´. it has everything in it that addresses problems, demands, and solutions/ suggestions for physical demands, emotional demands, spiritual demands, emotions, depression, social demands, language, stress management, etc ( a lot of which i have already learned from you and dad and counciling). So i know that with all the tools ive been given, along with prayer, scriptures, and guidance from the Lord, and most importantly faith, to persevere/endure, i can accomplish what i need to out here and overcome any spiritual, emotional, or physical obstacle i may encounter. But i just wanted to let you know that it has been really hard, despite all the happiness i have experienced in the little time ive been here; only a few months. its been hard not having my family to talk to and to see every day. i want to share experiences that ive had, etc, but mostly i want someone to talk to; in english! i have done my best to like the scriptures say, ´´bear my afflictions with patience´´, but today i felt extra discouraged and its hard to cry by myself at night and not have someone i can talk to in english to be able to express myself. its been hard to leave everything i ever knew behind, and to be here where everything and everybody is different, including the language. I know that i am not alone , but sometimes i feel like i am.
I dont want you to worry about me feeling like i have just explained. i dont feel like this a lot, and when i do, i am good about combating it and pressing forward. like i said before, i have everything i need to succeed. But i just want to write this to calm myself down today and use this opportunity to write as if i were talking face to face with you to help me get through this short rough patch.
I love you mom and dad and i think of you everyday. i also tak the council of zachary in his letter when he said: ´´ dont think too much of us, because then you might get homesick. just know that we are thinking of you.´´ Honestly i get worried about my siblings and you as my parents. in my prayers i pray that the blessings of my service will be consecrated to the benefit of you guys. I pray for Zach to do well in high school, and for ramie to adjust and shine in middleschool, and for roz to continue to be a good sister for raimie and be there for her, and for haley to adjust to life back in the ´´not full-time missionary´´ life and that she will do well in college. i honestly have no doubt that haley will succeed in college in Provo. I also pray for you two: mom, that you will know how to help your children and that you will be blessed for your efforts, and dad that you will succeed in your many responsiblities as a father, husband, bishop, and a leader in you professional work.
Mom and Dad i never realized how much i owe to you. you really are amazing parents, Being here i have really realized how lucky i am to have you as parents. I feel sad when i remember the times i was prideful and treated you wrongly. i wish i would´ve had more knowledge of how much you do for me and then tried to be more humble. i want to apologize for the times in the past that i hurt you or caused you pain, or disrespected you. i now know that you deserved more respect than what i gave you during those times when i was prideful and unkind.
I also look back at all the good times we´ve had together and how far we´ve come in terms of our relationship and trust in each other. I feel like i grown closer to you guys and developed more respect for you during my senior year in highschool, the process of preparing for a mission, and my time thus far in the field. I´ll never be able to describe what i mean in full, but i think you understand. One thing i told president Bangerter when i met with him in the mission home 6 weeks ago when he asked, ´´what do you want to accomplish on your mission´´, was that besides baptize, serve, and work my hardest, i want ot be happy.
Mom and Dad, I want to be happy here, because if im not happy and not feeling the Spirit, its not worth being here. Anytime i feel down i remember my purpose here is to invite people to hear our message and come unto Christ. This brings me comfort because i know that helping and serving others will make me happy and bring blessings to those i serve and my family. And when i feel inadequate or anxious, i try to envision success and i remember when Thomas S. Monson said. ´´whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies´´ . there is also a scripture that says the Lord chooses the weak and inexperienced/ unlearned to work for Him. Just like the Lord called Joseph Smith to restore the gospel of Jesus Christ ( a pretty darn HUGE task), he called me to serve a mission. If Joseph Smith, as young and unlearned as he was, accomplished his task, i know that i can do what im called to do. it also gives me comfort to know that my dad served in Norway. Even though i know very little about how it was you, dad, i can only imagine how difficult it was to learn Norwegian and serve in Norway.
I still have a language barrier that is getting smaller bit by bit, and its frustrating at times when i cant communicate like i want to or remember certain important words or verbs. I feel like all my thoughts and things i want to say are trapped in my head and they keep multiplying the longer i´m out here. I know i will understand and speak more with time, patience, faith, and study. I try not to let it overwhelm me and i just continue to be curious, humble, faithful, and i continue to ask lots of questions. i remember when Mr. Hauge used to always say, ´´If you´re not frustrated, you arent learning hahaha.. i guess if theres one thing that stuck with me from his class was that little saying.
okay! here is some good news, the highlight of my week: today i found out i got transferred to Iheus! my area is Nelson Costa, right next to the ocean and it is beautiful. I leave early wednesday morning! my current trainer(elder brito) served there in the beginning of his mission and absolutely loved it so i am super excited, plus my new companion i will have was trained by elder Brito! i cant wait to work hard there.
one night i quickly did a light painting in my free time.
and more photos of crazy elder brito! i love him haha
we see so many dead dogs here! is is disgusting. it smelled so bad! one dog was more´´freshly´´ dead. it was a little doggie and he was laying there dead with a rope tied around his neck and i had a feeling like someone purposly killed him. it was sad.