You're in luck, because we took a little bit of time to write emails, went bowling, and now we're back finishing up, so I got your email! Woo! Haha, you sound pretty stressed, and I don't blame you. But somehow you always seem to have a positive and often humorous attitude in the midst of your trials. That's crazy that's it's been so long since your mission. I remember when Sterling left for his. I can only imagine how the rest of my life is going to fly by. I'm glad to hear Ethan and Elise are well. I love your kids and always keep them in my prayers. Congratulations to Liz!!! That's awesome! She's going to love it, I'm sure. What a cool opportunity. Jenn, thank you for always being an example to me. I often think about my own mission, and think about how well you served, and what I can do to live up to the legacy of my awesome sister :) Hang in there, I can only imagine how stressful life is for you right now, but keep being awesome and the blessings and relief always come.
Thank you for sharing that bit of revelation with me. You have such a strong, unwavering testimony, I know the Lord hears every word of your prayers, and I have full confidence that no matter what you end up choosing, you're going to be a tool in the Lord's hands. I'm so proud of you and your decision to serve, and grateful for your example to me. I hope you have a wonderful new year filled with many, many adventures. Love you sis :)
I will certainly keep you and Brother Coburn updated, should I ever make it up north. Did he spend his whole mission around that area? Ohhhh that strawberry cake, I can only imagine. They don't eat a whole lot of cake around here, but they do occasionally have ice cream, and it is to die for. You probably wouldn't like it as much since it's served softer, but man is Trés Leches good. We do indeed get fed pretty well, even in Carahue. We have a lunch appointment with different families every day except Sunday and P-Day. Haha! That's hilarious and awesome that Ashley was so good with the gun. I never would have guessed either, but she's always full of surprises. Way to go sis! Now all you need is that Harley! You're very welcome for the DVD. I'm glad that it continues to be special for you. I have wonderful memories making it, and it was a pleasure to do so. You have read that post on my blog about it right? I will be sure to keep the camera going. It was great seeing you last week. Miss you dad :)
Dearest Mother, Mother of mine,
So good to hear about all the happenings of Christmas and New Year’s. I couldn't help but think over the holidays about what my family would be doing in the very moments that I was tracting, teaching, or studying, or whatever. I'm sorry to hear that New Years was a little different this year, but glad that I didn't miss out on too much, because our New Year’s wasn't quite as wonderful as our Christmas. The entire day, we found ourselves quite discouraged and bummed out that everyone was partying, cooking, with the family, and having fun. No one invited us over for the evening, so we entered the house alone, no understanding why we were feeling so bummed out. Just a week ago, we spent Christmas in the house by ourselves, and it was wonderful! Eventually, in the midst of loud music in our apartment complex, the sound of laughter, and the smell of BBQ, we realized something very obvious. Christmas was spent as solo missionaries in the house, but we knew what was most important and found solace in the beautiful message of Christ's birth, and we were happy. New Year’s has no special message really, and the atmosphere around us was one of pleasure and party, and in that there is no solace. In that moment, we became very grateful for the understanding we had during Christmas of the things most important, and the opportunity to serve Him whose life and death gave us the greatest message of hope and love that there is. We ended up eating ice cream and watching the Joseph Smith movie, and as we remembered our purpose, we were happy.
Thank you for the beautiful analogy of the seeds. Do you have to make everything a sermon?? :) But seriously, never had that thought crossed my mind, but what a powerful analogy it is, and one that I think is really going to help us in our work here. We've been trying lately in our efforts as gardeners, to teach people how to fish. We realized that the people here were given fish by the missionaries, but never taught how to fish, so they ate for a few days, and now are left hungry. They don't know how to read the scriptures, and they don't know how to receive answers to their prayers. So we're teaching them how to fish, so that they may eat for the rest of their lives.
Wonderful story about Melinda as well, and a lesson that I would do well to learn. But I'm trying, learning it little by little every day. I have to go now, but I love you all dearly! Thank you for your love and support. You are always in my prayers. Thank you Mother for helping me get to where I am today.
Love, Handsome Son (Elder Wilcox)