Mathew 15:14-16

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Monday, December 12, 2016

December 5, 2016

So I have realized I have really slacked lately on this big weekly email the last few months for several reasons. I feel bad I haven't given it much importance but I have promised myself that for the rest of my mission I am going to step it up and make it less pathetic haha.

Anyway, so today is the start of a new transfer. I am staying in this ward and I am going to be training a new missionary. So that will be good. I am overly excited to teach him how to use a bede! 

So here is a summary of my week:

Monday- normal pday. In the night we had a great lesson with a 19 year old recent convert named Marlene! She is so awesome! She has such a strong testimony and she never lets any outside influence change who she is and what she believes. She also makes some of the best juice I have ever tasted!

Tuesday- I realized today that my mission has made me really racist haha. In the city where I am currently at, for some strange reason, there are a lot of Peruvians. And words cant even express how much I love them haha. They are seriously so kind and receptive it is ridiculous. When I walk through the street, I literally feel like I am on a safari hunt for Peruvians. I have gotten so good at picking them out and I never let one walk by without contacting them! Sometimes I wonder if I should just go live in Peru after my mission instead of going home. But then I realize how much I miss my mom and how much I miss Red Robin.

Wednesday- Our lunch appointment today was crazy. It was with a younger lady in our ward we didn't know. At first she seemed really nice and cool but then all the sudden she went nuts. After she heard how long I have until i go home she decided to give me a load of life advice on marriage. Out of everything she could have told me about she chose stinking marriage.... She literally corned me and railed me about the importance of waiting several years after I get home from my mission to get married and how I better ¨for sure know that she is the one¨... I agreed with her 100% but the way she turned loca on me honestly made me wet my pants a little... 

Thursday- It was a super great day because we got to teach the law of chastity twice! Then at night we did some service for a member in our ward. I realized today that I feel naked without my missionary clothes. While we were traveling to go do this service, I tensed up everytime someone walked past me because I felt like they could see my nakedness.

Friday- Today we saw a girl that looked really sad outside painting her nails. We wanted to contact her and to see if she was ok but we couldn't think of a good approach to do it. And then all the sudden I remembered ¨Wait! I know how to paint nails!¨ and I was just about to ask her if I could help with the clear-coat but then I realized that was super not missionary appropriate...haha

Saturday- In the night we had to travel because I had to do a baptismal interview for a 20 year old girl in another city. So because of the circumstances in the house the only place her and I could go to be alone to do the interview was a bathroom or her bedroom... I know...eww... So we did the interview in her stinking bedroom haha. Afterwards I felt so guilty because I had always promised my mom I would never be alone with a girl in her bedroom. But I was comforted because I think my mom and God understood the circumstances haha. At night today it was so hot too! My body is silly because I cant sleep without socks but I get so hot leaving them on!! Ahh!!

Sunday- Such a great day. Today a girl in our ward brought her 20 year old boyfriend named Lucas ,who is not a member, to church. After the meetings, my companion and I were able to meet him. He is a super nice guy and his girlfriend and him are great together. Later in the night, we went to his house to get to know him more. My companion and I shared our life stories and we taught him the restoration. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. It was so great. He had already been reading the book of mormon and now he wants to be baptized and serve a mission. It was such a special experience.

I am sure everyone has already noticed, but in these emails I send, I filter out a lot of things. The truth is, in my mission, I have had a lot of good and bad experiences. I have been blessed to have some of the most sacred, spiritual experiences I will probably ever have in my life. Experiences that I hold very close to my heart and that I don't share because I don't feel comfortable sharing them. And on the otherside of things, I have also had not so great experiences... In my mission, I have seen things, and experienced things, no one my age should. These are things I will never share with other people and I myself try to forget them... But I am grateful for each and every one of theses experiences because they have helped me grow up and become a better person. 

But the experience I had today with Lucas was so special. After leaving his house on our walk back to our apartment everything just hit me so hard and before I knew it my face was dripping with tears like a baby.

I have come to have such a strong testimony that God does everything for a reason. He has such a divine and personal plan for each one of us. I am so grateful that before my mission, God blessed me with a variety of experiences in my life. And I feel very blessed that one of these experiences was the opportunity I had to introduce one of my best friends to the gospel and take her to church for the first time. And I am so grateful, that for these two years of my life, God has put people in my path that I can help receive the same blessing I had, by sharing my personal experiences.

I know that what I am doing is so important. No matter how many good or bad experiences I have, nothing can take away the beauty of this work. Being a missionary is the best. 

Elder Townsend

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