Haha thank you Jennifer for the delightful play on words that never occured to me. I will be using it a Lota more now.
Happy to hear about so many miraclulous outpourings of the spirit this week in the far off land of the United States. In the midst of such a physical drought, with so much spiritual rain, I am reminded of the promise of the Lord in Isaiah 44:3, "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground." Surely the Lord spoke nothing of the physical, but the spiritual, and if He has poured so much spiritual water upon you all this week, then I guess my best advice would be that of the Dos Equis man, "Stay thirsty, my friends."
This week, as all weeks, has also been a spiritual flood for me, as my understanding of the Bible has grown tremendously, and my testimony of the Savior continues to be more personal and my understanding of his power and mercy more full. Especially I am struck by His perfect example of humility. I will be honest, this week was hard, as I faced more than a few collisions with my companion, he, like me, being very passionate about what he believes is correct. The perfect world of a new companionship has passed, and I've had to have a lot of conversations with him about what we're going to do about this problem. My conclusion: I am prideful, very prideful. Not in a boasting, glory hogging way, but rather in a much more subtil and more dangerous way. I seek what I want, and am not very concerned about the happiness of others, unless it affects me, and I'm always looking for the flaws in others, so that I can be right. It was a painful process this week coming to this realization. I reflected a lot upon my actions, and how my pride has affected some of the people most important to me. I've always considered that I might be a little prideful, but never in my life have I truly accepted it, because I didn't want to admit it, and I never did anything to change it. Now being in this companionship, God has given me an oportunity to change my heart, and therefore change the rest of my life. I want to extend an apology to all those that I love, to Mom and Dad, to Jennifer, Heather, Ashley, to all of my friends, and especially to Anna (I thought a long time about the way I acted with you, and whether you ever realized it or not, I did not always treat you like I should have). To all: I'm sorry for all of the many times that I didn't take your opinions into consideration, that I sought your flaws, or that I didn't feel a sincere love for you, because I was too concerned about being right, or being better. I know I've still got a long way to go in what is going to be a difficult process of stripping my self of my pride. It's going to come one decision at a time, but I am grateful to God for having given me a companion that is honest and wise enough to help me do it. He has made me search my soul more than anyone I've ever met, and has helped me find things I never wanted to admit were there. I'm grateful for the example of the Savior, who was humiliated, beaten, spit upon and crucified. He never once opened his mouth, and never once thought in his heart, "I'm right, this isn't fair, these people are foolish." He never once rejected them, but rather, with perfect sincere love said, "forgive them, for they know not what they do." I am also grateful for the many acts of service that you shared with me in this weeks letter, Mom. It couldn't have come at a better time. Thank you for your examples of selflessness, love unfeigned, and charity.
I'm out of time for this week, but that's what I wanted to say. I'm trying really hard now everyday to be more like Jesus, meek and humble of heart. Thank you for all your help. I love you all and wish you the very best of weeks.
P.S. Ashley, the best way to prepare for the mission is to study the doctrine of Christ and to really understand what it means to receive a remission of sins. Study faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and persevering to the end. Pray that God will help you to understand Christ's doctrine, and how to help others live it, because there is nothing more important in this world. I love you and I am so proud of you for your decision to serve. I know that the Lord will bless you richly for every effort you make.