Hey hey hey family! Looks like everyone had a great time in Disneyland! I'm super jealous that you all got to go.
So, down to business. Mom, don't worry, I'm doing a bit better. This week has been hard, but I'm getting better day by day. I'm not totally sure what to update you on. I'm glad I'm with Elder Fotu. He's a quiet kid and doesn't say much, but as soon as he notices that I'm lost in thought or starting to slip, he simply says, "alright, let's go." We get out the door, go work, and it's a lot better. Anyway, I've had better days and worse days, but as a whole, I'm doing ok.
As regarding Christmas, I'm fine if you just send the Christmas box to Warsaw. Then I won't have the temptation to open it :). It's probably safer being sent there anyway. Nothing really comes to mind in particular. As always, Nutter Butters, Golden Oreos, and Sour Patch Kids are always welcome, but not totally necessary. I'm also going to put together some candy and stuff to send home for Christmas. It will probably be late, but let me know if there's anything you want.
As for Thanksgiving, we had dinner at the Gay's. It was sooooo good. Sister Gay is a really good cook. She raised 13 kids, plus has lived in a small town her whole life, so she's full of old town country cooking. It's the best. Although, Mom, I still miss your yogurt chicken. Anyway, Thanksgiving was a hard night for me, and I'm not totally sure why, but it was good to have a home cooked meal and good people with whom to spend the holiday.
As for missionary work:
My plans for accomplishing goals this week is to worry only about what I can control. I don't have any control over people's reactions or the progress of the work. I just have control over the type of missionary I can be. So, this week, I'm just trying to relax, do what I can, and let the Lord do the rest.
For District Council, I'm teaching about Teaching People, Not Lessons. I'm excited. It's going to be a good meeting. I want to focus on asking questions to discern spiritual needs. I agree with your message. Basics are so important. Remembering to focus on investigators and ask the right questions will greatly influence our teaching. That's why it's a fundamental in the training program. I hope we can make some progress in it thanks to District Council this week.
A miracle we've seen this week has been with the progress of the members here. We've had 17 and 16 people in Sacrament Meeting respectively in the past two weeks. That's a big number for Szczecin. It's great to see.
I'm learning lessons about the fundamentals of daily life. It's so important to have meaningful prayers daily, read the scriptures, and focus on God in our life. I think I understood all these things, and I never stopped doing them, but I was going through motions. I'm relearning again how important they are and making them a bigger part of my life. I'm reminded of the Lord's promise in the Doctrine and Covenants section 88: "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you." These basic fundamentals are how we draw closer to the Lord, and when we do them, we will have His help in the things which we wish to undertake. I can't think of anything that would be better than that help.
Elder Fotu is awesome. He's so Christlike. It's a joy to work with him. He's quieter than most companions I've had, but it's a good thing I think. He's diligent and obedient, and he makes me want to be a better missionary.
We've seen other miracles as well. A less active member, A, who hadn't been to church in months, has come the last two weeks. She bore her testimony yesterday, and it was powerful. She seems to be back for good. We also got in touch with a less active member J who was baptized by Elder Hardy and Elder Kotter. He couldn't make it to church yesterday, but he wants to meet with us this week! Hopefully good things will come from all of this!
On Thanksgiving Elder Fotu and I took some time to talk about things for which we were grateful in our lives. I thought about it, and realized the big role which the Spirit has played in my life. My mind was drawn back to the decision between high schools. You know, I don't know all the reasons why I was supposed to go to AFHS. I don't think I'm supposed to know. All I know is that was where the Lord wanted me to be. I can see the incredible influence it's had on my life as well. I mean, I couldn't ask for a better group of buddies than I had there (I say had, I should say have, cuz we're all still close, or at least we will be after our missions). I'm who I am today because of the things I did and experienced in high school. Then, I thought about preparing for my mission. As soon as I got my call, I didn't have any doubts that Poland was where I needed to be. So, I guess you could say that I'm grateful for the Spirit in my life and the influence that He continually has in it. Even when I was little and "calm things" entered into my body. That's a comforting gift to have from a loving Father in Heaven.
Well family, you're the best! I miss you all. The gospel is true! Sorry, I don't have time to make personal comments to all of you, but know that I appreciate your letters, love, and support. The gospel's true! Families are forever!
With love and faith,