Elder Carboneau and I could be brothers. We are alike in so many ways. He is a spiritual giant (unlike me) when it comes to deep doctrine and truly listening to the Spirit. I love working with and learning from him. I am so happy for Brian and Louretta! It's impossible to describe the change in them from before to after baptism. You are right mom, we need to be more deliberate in our actions in truly coming closer to Christ through true conversion. Those deeper levels that we can and should delve into will help us reach that goal if we make it a priority and work our hardest to do so. The temple was amazing. I'll talk more about it later in the email. This week has been a true testimony builder to me and something that I needed to go through for my mission. I loved every second of it!
I'm sure your week was super busy with school and everything else going on. I'm glad to hear you are excited about the new principal and it seems like she will be great for the school. If you see her soon, tell Mrs. Payne and Coach Smith Hi for me. It's too bad Tanner doesn't have Coach Smith. He is my favorite teacher of all time hands down. But it's okay. He'll do great. Let me know if he gets into football again. Basketball is going to be great for him too at the Freshmen school. It really built my skills and fundamentals there and the coaches are awesome as I'm sure you remember. I'm excited for Chanlers new experience at Carver and it is going to be really weird for you and McKenzie for her to be the only one there at Santa Rita. She will do great though. Have fun in Tenor 2 Logan. haha don't you love it when they change your part on you? You'll do great. Don't forget to practice practice practice and use those tips I gave you. That 5K is going to be tons of fun! I'm jealous. I miss all of you.
Don't stress too much about Seminary. You're going to do great. The Book of Mormon is the best one to start on so you got lucky. Listen to and live by the Spirit and you'll have no problem teaching those kids in the morning. Thank you for the quotes. I like them a lot and I might be able to use them sometime. You're right about the no preparing to get up at 5. You just have to do it and it never really gets easy. I'll tell you a secret though. If you are living with the Spirit, he will help you in more ways that you can imagine and it will become easier. I promise.
Happy 19th Anniversary!!! I am sorry I missed it since it was during the week but I'm glad you two had a good night together. You are the best parents in the world and I love you.
I'm glad you went out with the sisters. Keep it up. Being on my mission I now know how much it truly helps when members go out with the missionaries. I wish I could have gone to Dallas for the baptism. That is so exciting. So is Dad's new calling! He's going to do great. You're right, he is an amazing man of God and an example to all of us. Chanler's letters have been perfect. I love getting every single on of them. And everyone elses. He usually draws something for me and says he loves me. Nothing to be worried about. Letters daily are just as good as letters weekly.
I would like to have a CD with all the music and instead of a player maybe just a flashdrive with it all on there as well. We have things we can play music from both of those at our home so those would probably be best if you are having trouble with the ipod. I was thinking a nice new set of scriptures but its okay. I'll just work with these ones. Try to find those books as soon as you can. Thank you so much.
So for my weekly update... Starting Monday was just normal PDay. We got to play basketball which was a relief to me. It was nice to play my game again. After dinner at the empty nesters we helped move some of our investigators. Tuesday morning we finished the move. We went from there to a district meeting. Nothing too exciting happened that day. We visited a less active man, Brother Hill, who talks your ear off if you talk to him about the bows and arrows that he is constantly making out of PVC pipes. My companion said he usually doesn't talk unless he likes you so that was a good sign. That night for dinner the investigators we helped move earlier took us the a place called Tapps in Corona. We didn't realize until we left that it was not only out of our area but our zone too so on our way there we had to call and get permission to go there. Luckily we were okay to go. The dinner was amazing and super expensive. The cheapest thing on the menu was 19 bucks!!! That was a great night! We finished the day with exchanges. I stayed in my area and Elder Bangerter came with me. I got to drive the car all day Wednesday!! It's a good thing we had the GPS or else we would have gone no where. It was awesome because most greenies don't drive until their first 6 weeks is over. Wednesday went good. That morning our homeshare Brother Ziegler hurt his back and asked us for a blessing on his stairs. I annointed the oil and Elder Bangerter gave the blessing. Brother Z we crying by the end of it and is now walking just fine! We taught some lessons and saw Brian and Louretta. They were having some issues with family members and a uncle that lives with them since they were baptized and it's really stressing them out. The amazing thing is they are so strong that they wont allow themselves to crack and let Satan in. They said that themselves. It's amazing how spiritually strong they are. I also gave Brian a blessing of healing for an awful toothache that was swollen and keeping him from work. It was a very special moment. I've come to truly love this family. (I don't remember if I told you this already but I also gave their son Brian Jr a blessing for school last week, which was my first blessing I have given)
Thursday we had the amazing opportunity to go to the temple. It was beautiful. I was still a little nervous since it was only my second time to do endownments and the first for the dead. But it ended up being wonderful. I don't know if you have heard of the new film and if you haven't had the chance to go see it then go as soon as you can. It is so powerful and emotional. It really opens your eyes to everything. I think my favorite part of the temple was when I walked into the Celestial room and saw all of the seats and couches taken by the rest of the missionaries there. It was literally like walking into a room full of angels. It was so beautiful. I loved it so much and I can't wait to go back again! After the temple we went to Cafe Rio for lunch and for dinner a member took us to a Chinese buffet after we went to visit some more people.
Friday was a great day as well. After a long morning of planning we went out and saw some people. nothing too exciting until dinner at the Morris'. They are a Samoan family so there was tons of food and they basically invited the whole ward there so it was like another ward party in a house. It was awesome! However in the middle of dinner we got a call from Brian (who was at work) and he asked us to go to Louretta and calm her down. We didn't ask questions we just left. We knew we needed to see her. When we got there we had to talk on the porch since there wasn't a man at the house but she had already broken down crying. She told us how this whole week had been so hard for her with her family and how that day the uncle they were trying to get out of the house had made some threats and so they had the police come. Because of her and Brian's past, if they were to really do anything but talk to her uncle, they could have their kids taken from them and they could possibly go to jail. So it was really hard for Louretta not to just snap and take his stuff and throw him out. The amazing thing is that she has realized that all of this is Satan trying his hardest to keep her from receiving the Holy Ghost and working her way towards bettering her lifer and their family's. She is so strong. I don't know how to explain it. You can't understand unless you know her and have seen and heard where she started in life and how far they have come and where they are adiment about going. I have never seen anyone this strong nor anyone this tried by Satan. That night I gave Louretta a blessing. The Spirit was powerful that night. Before we left she told me that the blessing I had given Brian on Wednesday had worked. She said that after we left she looked at his face and watched the swelling go down in front of her and he said the pain had gone away. It was such a powerful testimony builder to me to see the miracles of God at work and a blessing to know that I am worthy to have those miracles work through my hands. That night truly testified to me the importance of being in tune with the Spirit to know when and where you should be at the right time.
Saturday I went on exchanges with one of the Zone leaders ( Elder Young). It was a great day and we had another Samoan dinner. Sunday was the perfect ending to this amazing week. I conferred Brian a member of the church and gave him the Holy Ghost and stood in the circle as Elder Carboneau conferred Louretta. It was so spiritual. I loved every second of it. I love the gospel. It is so true. The Priesthood is real. Then that night we had dinner at the Samoans home again and stuffed ourselves to the brim again. This week has been absolutely amazing. I loved it. I love it here. I love the people and I love the gospel. I know I am where I am supposed to be. I know the gospel is true and the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that the Priesthood is real.
I love and miss you all. Have another great week and I can't wait to hear from you again.
Love from California,
P.S. I got your letters Saturday.