Truly, I do. I can't ever explain how much I love reading your emails and hearing about your lives. I love hearing how you live the gospel everyday, something that is fascinating to me as a missionary. I love the Gospel, but I think that even cooler than living it as a full time missionary, is living it day-to-day as a "normal" person. I admire all of you for your dedication to Christ and his work.
I also love your families, Jennifer and Heather, with all my heart, even though I scarcely know them. I feel a special connection with them and can't wait to be there in person.
But all in good time...there is still much to do and many people to save in Chile.
Dad, concerning the end of my mission, I would have no problem with you and Mom coming down to pick me up and tour around a little bit. In fact, I would love it. I realize Chile isn't perhaps as historically interesting as France and Italy, but it is a beatiful country with lots of sights that I have not yet seen, and especially lots of people that I would love you to meet. If it is posible for you both, I'd be thrilled. About renting a car, I think yes that would be the best idea. You can take nice, cheap buses just about anywhere, but it's not as convenient, and much more time-consuming. I'm sure you could rent a car in Concepción. Just make sure you have plenty of gas before going anywhere obscure, as gas-stations here are more infrequent.
Mom, glad to hear you're recuperating well. I love you very much and have always admired your courage and perseverance. Hang in there and the prize will be great! Life is astonishing.
This week in Los Angeles was fire and brimstone. IT. IS. SO. HOT. It was above 100 degrees all day for about half the week. Lots of sunscreen keeps us from getting fried, but does not protect us from massive amounts of sweat and heat exhaustion. So that's been the fun challenge of the week.
Yesterday was a great day in Church. One of the talks fell through so Bishop Córdova asked me to give a 15 minute talk to fill the gap. I was thrilled, as I had not had the chance to speak in Church since Carahue, and happily accepted.
The talk went perfectly well and was a success. What astonished me was how the Spirit, added to my personal knowledge of the scriptures and Gospel doctines helped me plan the talk in about 5 minutes and execute it almost effortlessly. It's something that I was not capable of doing in Carahue. But after months of months of intense study of the scriptures, I have seen how the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 84:85 is fulfilled. I treasured up the words of life, and in the precise moment of needed to plan a talk, the Spirit told me which scriptures to use and how to use them. Then, in the moment, I was able to expound on any passage as long as I needed. It is truly a miracle how through the Holy Spirit, God takes what we already know, and enhances it and clarifies our understanding, even sometimes giving us new knowledge, for the benefit and edification of His children. As I spoke, I felt the Spirit bearing witness to the brethren through me that my words were true. And I am astonished. And grateful for the oportunity to strengthen my own testimony while strengthening others'.
Well, that's all I have for today. I know that Christ lives and that this is his church. I am honored to be his servant during these years. I will be forever indebted. I love my Savior. He is my example and my friend. May you all have a wonderful week!
Elder Ross Wilcox
P.S. Corey!!! Thanks for writing me, buddy! It was fantastic hearing from you. Thanks for the year's update as well. I'm proud of you, my friend. I know things have been hard for you, but you've faced the challenges with faith and hard work, and I know you will be richly blessed for it. I love you, Corey. Say hi to everyone for me!