Monday, March 25, 2013

From Mexico!!!

March 25, 2013
I'm realllyyyyyy tempted to say that I'm sorry I don't have time to write this week so that you guys are like WHATT?! NOOO! But I decided that's a whole other level of cruel so let's just dive right in.

With New Companion March 19, 2013

          So first off I miss my district a tonnnn! Those guys and girls were the closest thing i had to family in the MTC and when you are with people for more than 18 hours a day for 6 weeks you get kinda attatched haha so the night before last at the MTC we dragged some extra matresses into our room and all the guys came and slept in our room together. It was awesome. Then we took pictures the last night and i woke up at 3 am to say goodbye to Elders S and N, then woke up again at 5 to say goodbye to Elders B, S, and N. Then i woke up at 6 to say goodbye to Elder K and then finally once more woke up at 6:30 to get ready and be at the travel office at 7. The flights and the airport were fine. Our plane from the Houston airport down to Puebla had 3 seats in each row, 2 on one side of the plane and then 1 on the other side and luckily for me i got to sit on the side with the single seat so i had pleanty of room to stick my legs out. We arrived in Puebla and went through customs and then met the mission president and the rest of the people coming into the Puebla mission from different flights. Then we went back to the mission home and me and the 2 guys from my district back home slept in the same room together with another missionary who went home the next morning. It was sooo weird sitting there talking with him about his mission that is already over for him and yet we are justtt starting and the end seems sooo far away! but he gave us some good advice. The next morning we got up, took a freezing cold shower, and had the changes meeting at the stake center in Puebla and it was all in spanish, PLUS they make all the new missionaries sit up on the stand...not seeing the logic behind that as everyone just stares at you and when you're 6'3" and white as paper it's pretty obvious you are a GRINGOOO. So they announced the changes and I am companions with a guy named Elder P and we are going to be serving in the Loma Bella area in the city of Puebla in Puebla. There are actually small areas in our mission that are in other states like Oaxaca and Guerero. He is from Hawaii and praiseeeeeeeee he speaks English! haha so I don't have to feel totally alone. So that first day we went back to our house which is.....simple haha we have a small bathroom, a bedroom, a "kitchen" which consists of a fridge, a table with a foreman grill type thingy on it and a sink. So we dropped off my stuff at the house and then went out the door...yes i said went out the door. These people do not play around - haha we then proceeded to go to three appointments and teach 3 lessons in which my companion asked me to bear my testimony at the end of 2 of them. So they aren't kidding about the whole jump in thing. But it was good. I really didn't understand much of what was going on except phrases here and words there so i wasn't able to really help out a lot. That's pretty much been the story all week here though haha i have been able to interject things here and there but a lot of the time when people are telling stories they tend to talk even faster and they use words that are slang or different. Anyway we have been teaching lots of people all week and my spanish is definitely getting better. I can talk freely with the families that I'm comfortable with but i usually say minimal things when we are teaching people that i don't know.

              The big story this week would probably be that God protects his long as they are obedient. Sooo on Wednesday i had these weird quesadillas that are NOT like American quesadillas. They have mushrooms, some different cheese, and then you eat them with a ton of green salsa. Then for my comps birthday we went to a seafood shop and had some raw fish dish and it was unlike anything i have ever had.....yah....and then we went to a family's house and we had the oh so famous MOLE which i found out...isn't my favorite thing here. So BAM BAM BAM my first 3 days here i was already eating all this crazyyy food that I've never had, but it was all going okay because God protects those that are obedient. So then on Friday morning i did something disobedient that we aren't going to get into but I KID YOU NOT, within the hour i was feeling sooo gross. I was sick to my stomach and hungry but everything looked gross, I had the runs (TMI? IDC.), and I had a fever and was ready to just lay down and pass out. But that's not how missionary life is so i kept going through the day and it was important because we had to teach this family who has a baptismal date but the Dad went on the internet and was looking up things about the church and found out some CRAZYYY stuff that wasn't true so we had to go clear that up. But then that night i got up like 4x to go and puke and then finally the next day I was able to walk around normally even though i hadn't eaten any food in 2 days. And then that night I sold my soul to the cashier at a small market for a jar of peanut butter and went and bought bread and had a peanut butter sandwich. If any of your kids are ever sick of PB&J, try serving them Mole for a few days and they will be begging for it! haha so then the next day i was fine again. Needless to say when i started feeling gross i repented of the disobedience, but God decided I needed to learn just how important it is to be obedient. So now I am back to normal and things here are alright.

             So a little bit about the area: We are in the "city" but it's more like a suburb compared to any cit in the US. We can't drink the water so we have to buy it in these huge barrels, everything and I mean EVERYTHING, is covered in dirt so shining your shoes just means you will have a nice sticky surface for the dirt to stick to. We have lunch appointments at the members homes instead of dinner because it just works out better, there are dogs everywhere just randomly running around. We travel around on foot and it takes about an hour to walk to the other side of our area so we try to schedule those all on the same day. We have to do our laundry by hand usually although luckily for me this week we had a member say that if we brought the soap we could use her machine so we got to do that and it's apparently veryyyy lucky. My companion is really cool and we have a great time. He is obedient, but he is also fun so we aren't EVER arguing, he is a good missionary and has 11 months and like 29 days on the mission so almost exactly a year. We listen to a lottt of the same music before we came on the mission so we joke around and talk about that a lot. He doesn't look at Taylor Swift with quite the same admiration...yet. But i figure i have about 3 months to change his mind since companionships are usually in an area together for 2 changes. The people are sooo awesome here and it really isn't hard to love them. They are all so humble and have worked so hard their entire lives for the simple things that we take for granted. They are also very patient with a gringo trying to learn to speak their language haha they are all very hospitable.
Volcano behind Puebla
            So thats about all of it. The work is good and the rewards are better. Sometimes i start to think about how long 2 years seems but quickly i remember the words of EVERYONE who ever talked to anyone about a mission "forget yourself and go to work" and then I fall back into the blur of the busyness. There are slow and fast moments, i haven't had any heartbreaks yet even though I want some of the families we are teaching to make it to the temple sooo bad and it's always sad when they don't keep commitments and things like that. But it goes on and we find that after all you and the spirit do, everyone still has agency to choose for themselves. So yah I'm just trying to lose myself in the work right now, keep my mind on the people and the great work with which i have been entrusted. Hopefully the next time i get sick won't be for a longgg timeee haha Anyway, thanks for all the support coming from back in good old Virginia!
             The spiritual thought this week comes from John 16:33. As i have been going about here in a strange foreign country, not being able to speak the language, not being able to understand the language, not really loving the food, and adjusting to all the new changes that are rapidly happening i have thought a lot about how Christ has felt all the things that I'm feeling and how just like i saw those missionaries going home already, I'm gonna eventually grow accustomed to this and then the 2 years will fly by. "...That in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." There is NOTHING that i can't do when i put my absolute faith in Christ because he has overcome the world. He already did it and he knows that it won't be easy for us, he even says it right there! We will have tribulation, but let us be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world, and through him, we too can overcome.

Friday, March 15, 2013


March 15, 2013

             For those of you who don't know, in spanish that title means health. And it's pretty much the most incredible thing ever. haha  We so easily take for granted our health but now that I'm finally back to being healthy I could nottt be more grateful!...Of course that being said, 2 other members of our district are sick now. It's really going through us here, but they seem to be on the final leg of it. 

             So the big story this week is that we got to/had to go to the Mexican Consulate to try and convince them to let us go to Mexico. So basically it was a group of 10 missionaries all going to Puebla Mexico, and i was designated as the travel leader. So i exchanged a voucher for 14 dollars in the MTC travel office, then all of us piled into a big van and they drove us down to a train station in Provo. I used the 14 dollars to buy group passes for us and then we hopped on the "Front Runner". The train was awesome. It had 2 floors and tables in front of the seats so since it was on our P-Day we just wrote letters the entire way. Then we got off the train in Draper and had to catch another train (Blue Trax) from Draper to the Ball Park stop in Salt Lake near the Bees stadium. Then we had to look at a map they had given us and figure out the way to the Consulate. Our appointment was at 3 oclock and although we caught every train right on time and practically sprinted to the consulate, we arrived at the consulate at 3......:05. so we were 5 minutes late, for which we were quickly chastized haha MIssionary life. smh. anyway, so then we took pictures and the lady had a deep hispanic accent and i couldn't understand her English and she kept saying something about my visa. Then later i realized that she was saying "cheese or no visa" like say cheese for the picture or you won't get your visa. But she was kidding.....I think. So then they called us in groups of four to go upstairs into this room where a lady was waiting and told us we were going to take a spanish test. I almost jumped out the second story window but luckily she said she was kidding just in time. But we were in for a test though, cause we sat there for 20 minutes while she asked us question after question about our missions and why we were going to mexico, where, how long, with who, under what pretence, how will we pay, where will we stay, rules, regulations, ect. At one point i even recited our missionary purpose in spanish haha she didn't think it was funny but at least it answered her question! And then we were there for about 2 hours and we were told we should be good and have our visas when we need to travel!! So we got them!!! And since we had 45 minutes before we had to catch the earliest train we walked a block down the road to Sonic to celebrate! haha REAL FOOD TASTES SO GOOD. We got to talk to so many people too! They were all mormon of course because we are in Salt Lake City, Utah but still it was so awesome to interact with real people who talked about their missions and post mission life. But let me tell you- the real world is a scary place haha as we were getting off the train there was a veryyy narrow hall way and as we were funneling down a girl about our age was rightttt next to me....I figured I didn't have to say anything until she said "hi". At which point I said, excuse me while I go into Cardiac Arrest. So i just said "hello" but then she said "so you guys are missionaries?" At which point the door opened and i walked out quickly without responding. Scary place that real world, scary place. haha but it was overall really fun and we made it back alive.

                  Soooo on Wednesday we got our TRAVEL PLANS! I'm getting on a flight in Salt Lake and laying over at Houston Intercontinental. Then I'm flying from there directly to Puebla. It's crazyyyy!! I can't belive it's already time for that! It's been hard to say goodbye to our teachers. We had to say bye to Hermano R. last night. He was our replacement teacher for Hermano P. who decided that getting married was more important than being with our district. Wierd i know. But we really liked Hermano R. and it's a bummer he is gone. 

                We got to go to this "In-field Orientation" thing yesterday about life in the real world and how to apply all the things we have learned over the long time that we have been here. Anyway at one point there was a play that they put on for us of some missionaries in "the field" and you will never guess who was in this play we watched....Elder Christiensen!!!!......oh....right....nobody knows who that is haha. Well it's the missionary from "The District" which we have been watching in class almost every day. They show us like 3 minute clips of them teaching people so we have examples, but that makes him like a celebrity to us, and probably the closest thing we will ever get to a celeb haha so we took a picture with him that I'll send so you can put it in!! But it was so cool to be like oh my gosh we have seen you soo many times out preaching the good worrrddd! haha

                So the other members of my district got to go to the consolate on Wednesday this week and that meant that everyone in our district was gone except for me and Elder G. Hermanas S and B were sick and G wasn't feeling well either. So the girls didn't even go to class which meant that class Wednesday night was Elder G, Hermano R, and I.  haha.  But it was soooo good. He was able to go over the gramatical stuff that has been hard to understand since we have been going so fast and it was like personal teaching time. We got to teach him too, and then he gave us one on one feedback on things we did well and things we could do better. Then he talked with us at the the end and shared stories about his mission and life after the mission. He even said that since there were only 2 of us, he felt comfortable sharing something from his patriarchal blessing. It was really spiritual, and he knows so much. Fun fact about him. He was called to serve in an Alabama mission and was speaking English. 6 months into the mission his mission president was instructed to switch him over to spanish....IN THE FIELD!!! So he had to learn spanish in the field when he didn't have anyyy background whatsoever! haha that was a testimony builder/comfort for me for sure. If Hermano R could learn spanish in the field, I can learn it in the MTC! Even more crazy, our district was trying to catch their train but they were late getting there and missed it. So they hopped on the second train and then they found out that the train they would have been on had to slam on its brakes and ended up hitting and killing someone on a bike who was crossing the tracks. So they were actually blessed that they weren't on the train cause a lot of people were hurt cause they fell when the train slammed on the brakes. But they had to all shuffle ff the tracks onto buses to get home and it took them like 4 hours. We are remmebering the cyclist's family in our prayers.

                 Besides that not much has happened this week. We are pretty much freeking out running around here trying to get ready to leave on Monday. Packing, haircuts, dry-cleaning our suits, packages home, Orientation, Letters, Laundry, more packing, the whole lott of it. It's hard to think that I have been with these guys for 6 weeks almost 18 hours a day and now we won't be seeing eachother for 2 years but hey, that's something i gotta get used to i guess. theres pleanty more where that came from. Next week I won't be writing till Monday cause i have P-day on Mondays in the field but the next letter you will get from me will be after my first week in Mexico! Can't believe I'm leaving already. I feel so ready, yet so unready at the same time. Hermana B was sharing her testimony this week and said something along the lines of "I have heard some of you talking about how you think you arne't ever gonna learn spanish or how you don't think you will be able to teach people very well. But how dare any of us think that we aren't able to do everything becasue we know that God prepares those whom he calls, and we have been called of God to teach people." I feel like that is so true. I feel like i have a longggg way to go with spanish and with learning to teach the lessons effectively, but don't we all have things that we are trying to work on? We have lots of shortcomings and we may not know everything, but God didn't call us thinking we would know everything or thinking that we were totally perfect. God calls those whom he calls because he knows that they have the desire and the ability to learn. Like the scripture says (and i paraphrase): "I give unto men weakness that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient that all men who humble themselves before me....unto them i will make weak things become strong unto them."

               Ending on a spiritual note, i was in the temple this morning for the last time, possibly for 2 years, and i was in the Celestial Room thinking about faith. While in the MTC I have had many different times where i was relying a great deal on faith. I believe we have faith in more things than we think. I think this is especially true for missionaries. Since we are serving him all day every day, we have to be constantly relying on his help-whether learning the language, teaching, or anything else. Without faith that he can help us there is no way that we are going to be able to do the things he has planned for us. While sitting there in the temple I opened the bible dictionary and looked up the word faith. Again i paraphrase but the part that stood out to me was "Miracles do not produce faith, rather faith proceeds miracles...But our faith can be confirmed by miracles." A lot of the time we think that if we were to see the miracles of Christ we would be able to belive in him so much more, or we see the people in the scriptures who have seen great miracles and still fall away and we wonder how. But that's what the bible dictionary is saying. We don't get faith by seeing miracles. Yes, miracles can comfirm the faith that was already there as the "witness we get after the trial of our faith", but if we don't have faith to begin with, all the miracles in the world aren't going to change our hearts. "Faith is a hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's *cough* *COUGH* Up?

March 8, 2013
I got my Spanish scriptures engraved!

            This week has been all about sickness! Now before you throw me a pity party let's look at the week in summary. That way you'll know how many people to invite. Soooo apparently I was a little more sick than i thought when i was writing my last letter and so this week i have been missing a decent amount of class, gym time, and meals. Basically i woke up Saturday morning with a slight fever, aches, congestion, sore throat, and all other things incredibly pleasant. And i pretty much stayed in bed all day on Saturday after staying in bed most of the day Friday. If you aren't familiar with how being sick works in the MTC, let me explain. Imagine sitting in a box. The box smells kinda funny and theres about 3 things you can do. Sleep, stare at the walls of the box, and wallow in self misery. Soooo basically being sick in the MTC is probably the worst thing that could ever happen to you here. You have nothing to do and my headache kept me from reading the scriptures, and you have to ask roomates or companions or others to get each of your meals for you. "MTC food is the best thing for a sick stomach!" -said no one EVER. 

           So this is how it went, but then Sunday i was in bed and feeling sick and I suddenly felt as though i was wasting away my life (which is an easy thing to think when you're sick in the MTC) and so i decided to go to sacrament meeting since it was fast Sunday and i didn't want to miss Testimony meeting. Well i ended up bearing my testimony and then when i was sitting in my seat i thought of the story of Wilford Woodruff who was sooo sick when he went on his mission that he had to be rowed accross a river and laid in a cart to get to the train station. Then he was laying on the platform at the train station and Joseph Smith walked by. Instead of healing him like Wilford thought he might, he simply looked at him and said "Wilford, Forget yourself and go to work." Sooo basically YOMO. You Only Mission Once. Sooo with renewed vigor i figured that if Wilford could do it, I can too. I'm not nearly as old. (jk I realize he didn't have that beard when he served). Since then, i have been able to manage my symptoms and go to classes and other things. 23 months is too short to waste time sleeping or staring at walls in my room. So one week later and I have been to the clinic, and told to suck it up haha they said it should be gone by Sunday and while I don't think that's gonna happen, at least improved. Moral of the story- FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY DO NOT GET SICK IN THE MTC! You will go insane and you will die...or something not far distant from it.

              This week was also the passing of power. Right before sacrament meeting on Sunday the Branch President came into my room and told me that they were going to have to let me go....wellllll he said something along those lines. It probably sounded more like "We thank you for your diligent service as District Leader but the MTC Presidency has asked that we change leaderships every 4 weeks." But to me, having been laying in my bed for like 3 days and not being able to serve my district during my final days "in office" took that kinda hard at first. But i quickly realized that I was glad to have been able to serve and more than happy to pass on the responsibility so that someone else can have that experience.

               Hmmmmm other news from this week. We hosted the new missionaries again and it was equally incredible! So glad to have that experience. Sunday our district was chosen to usher at the devotional. These people clearly don't understand that I get so easily drunk with power. I almost kicked out the speaker (Elder A.) because he was giving me lip. Something about a seat for his wife ;) jk   Ummmm most of the week was uneventful. We got a new teacher and he is really cool. His name is Hermano Rock (piedra, roca, rocka, rockandroll) or whatever other names we can come up with in the next week. OOOOHHHHH!!! And I am going to the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake in about 1 hour to meet with them and hopefully be able to receive my Visa! Don't know what it's gonna be like but we are taking a train to Salt Lake which will be a nice break from this place for a bitt! haha I'll keep you posted next week on how it went! I don't know whatttt else happened. Just a pretty normal week aside from being sick most of the time.

                Soooo spiritual thought this week comes from Alma 42:24 which says: "For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent can be saved." That entire part of Alma is basically all about Mercy and Justice and how they work. From what i have gathered is Mercy can't rob justice, which means that there had to be an atoning sacrifice where both mercy and justice could be satisfied. And so if you don't repent you will be subject to all the demands of justice. Now if you haven't read the description of justice in the's really not a very pleasant theme. And when we don't use the atonement to receive mercy, we allow justice to exercise all his demands over us. Basic synopsis = Mercy is like a mattress on a spring bed which is justice...if that makes any sense. Anyway It's not much but just some food for thought since it's been a slow week.aha especially if there is no mercy. Sooooo the basic message is repent or things are gonna be painful.

This is where I'm going

                I hope all is well with everyone. I realized that i only have one more P-day left in the MTC and it is pretty crazy! I'll update you again next week!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekly Letterrrrr

With Elders leaving for Argentina
March 1, 2013
Hey I'm woody, howdy, howdy, howdy
             I have found there’s a lot of things that they don't really prepare you for here in the MTC and on your mission in general. Such things include but are not limited to: your inability to determine whether a sister is genuinely good looking or if you have been in the MTC for 3 weeks, your loss of concern for your outfit on P-day, the amount of time you will spend just listening to someone talk/instruct you, your body’s incapability to retain food for extended periods of time, andd let's not forget the dramatic shuffle of priorities. Just a few things that I have been thinking about this week as i have have been going through the days.

              I can't BELIEVE that i have almost been here a seems wierd to think that i only have 23 months left and it seems like i haven't even been out that long. Elder K (one of the guys from my district) found out last night that he is going to be leaving one week earlier than the rest of us so he only has 10 days left!!!! It's really weird, and it means his companion is gonna be a solo Elder for a week before he leaves. I can't imagine what it's gonna be like without him since we have all been together since day 1. But if we are being honest, he is the most ready to go. His Spanish is coming along great, he is learning the lessons, and he has the energy and excitement for missionary work that you really can't teach. But anyway I'll keep you posted on that.
"God Be With You Til We Meet Again"

           On Wednesday this week we got to do one of the most awesome things EVER! We signed our entire district up to HOST the new missionaries as they came into the MTC. So that’s like those people who were standing on the curb when we pulled up and helped us find our stuff and our rooms and then get to class. I was sooo glad I could help because just seeing those Elders and Sisters reminded me of just how terrible that first day seemed haha it's so overwhelming to say goodbye to your family knowing that you won't see them for 2 years! So i was glad to be there and assure the parents that we would take good care of them, and then once the parents left, assure the Elder/Sister that this place really isn't as bad as everyone says haha It was nice to see them kinda relax once we started talking about life here and the daily routine. I met one Elder going to the Hawaii mission. I asked him if he was planning on serving a real mission after he got back from the 2 year vacation. Then i also proceeded to use the same joke on a Sister i got that was going to the West Indies. Anyways, it was soo much fun and it was so cool to see the different reactions of people as their sons and daughters left. For some it was like in "The other Side of Heaven" when that dude dies and everyone is wailing and freeeeeeking out haha others it's like okay son I'll pick you up after school...even though they know it's two years. Just interesting to see the dynamics. And its also curious that it seems people have the hardest time saying goodbye to their brothers. They always cry the most at that point. Made me feel a little bit better about being such a wuss haha.It's wierd to think that i only have like 2 weeks lefter here in the MTC. I'll be leaving around the same time that all these new English speaking Elders are.

               So this week was all about Elder N who was pretty much dead. He got sick about Sunday or so and it was just a common cold kinda thing and he didn't go to the doctors and he didn't take it easy and what was a simple cold turned into a throat infection....soooo needless to say it wasn't the best week for him. But he is finally getting better and was able to get out of bed today. But the real trial came on Tuesday night. Tuesday nights we have devotionals and sing with the choir. This particular week we were singing "Consider the Lillies" and I was soooo excited to sing it because it sounded soo awesome when we were practicing it on Sunday. But with Elder N being sick we have had to switch off people staying with him in the room and other people going to class so that his companion (Me) doesn't have to miss class all day every day. So nobody really minded it but i didn't want anyone to have to miss the devotional and stuff so I reluctantly volunteered to stay with him. Wellllllllll it just so happens that on this particular night, at this particular devotional, a certain M. Russell Ballard of a specific quorum of the 12 came to speak to the missionaries  -_____-   So when they came back after the devotional and were like uhhh do you wanna know who spoke and i was like no....but you should tell me anyway. When i found out i immediately started to feel bad for myself. I had been waiting for one of the 12 to come speak and now i had missed it all because Elder N was sickkk. But then I took a step back and started to think about the situation. Elder N didn't choose to be sick and he had missed the devotional too! And meanwhile i was feeling fine while he was feeling gross. Plussssss, I'm sure he felt bad that he had caused me to miss the devotional too. So I thought and I quote: "What cause have I to be miserable when at least I'm healthy?" So in summary, everything worked out alright, and clearly i have been reading too much of the Book of Mormon because I'm starting to think and talk like I'm Alma.

                 So everything has been pretty good I guess. N got better, and then I woke up this morning sick sooooo hopefully i can keep this thing under control. It hasn't been too bad so far and I'm keeping medicine in me so hopefully it won’t detract from the work too much.

                  Anyway, before i go i just wanted to share a quick thought. So i have been reading as much of Jeffrey R Holland as i can get my hands on and there was a book i was reading in the doctors office that has all the general conference talks from April 2012. Jeffrey R Hollands talk was called "Servants of the Vineyard" or maybe "Laborers of the Vineyard". Either way I was reading and it was all about the parable of the servants of the vineyard. You should go look it up and read it because i took like 10 quotes from it that are awesome, but basically, the parable is about a keeper of the vineyard who goes out 4 times during the day to hire laborers for the Master's Vineyard. At the end of the work day, the workers gather to get their pay and the Master of the Vineyard pays each worker the same amount. Now the workers from the morning are upset because they have been working all day for this pay and there are others who have only been working for one hour and they are getting the same amount. There are many different insights that we can draw from this parable. "[God's] concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there." He doesn't care if you have only just arrived at great faith as long as you have arrived. The reward will be the same. "It is never too late so long as the Master of the Vineyard says there is time." "Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God, is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don't expect it, and often feel they don't deserve it." "Envy is the mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know." And the last great point that he makes is that the parable doesn't say that the workers of the morning were so mad that they threw their coin in the Master's face and stomped off without pay, but I'm sure some of them might. "We consume such precious emotional and spiritual capital clinging tenaciously to the memory of a discordant note we struck at a childhood piano recital." We need to let go of the things that are so menial but that we hold onto anyway. "The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of the earlier hours - real or imagined - fall away in the abundance of the final reward." It's such a good talk so go and look it up and read it!

                   Sorry this post hasn't been all that exciting this week but not much has happened. Although it seems that the days are passing quicker and quicker! I hope all is well with everyone and I'll be sure to post again next week!

Elder Josh Hamm