I Love You All!

MINHA FAMILIA!!! I love all of you!

I am SO excited for you, Tyler! I was so excited when I saw that you have been called to the Japan Fukuoka Mission. I can’t even express how exciting that is. You are going to love it so much. The second I read that, it strengthened my testimony even more that missionary calls are inspired. I’m so excited that we are going to be on our missions at the same time. I can testify to you that missions are HARD, but they are so worth it. I never thought my first day in the MTC was going to end. The opportunity to watch people turn their lives towards God is indescribable. In these short two weeks in Long Beach, I have seen people give up drinking, smoking, sex, illegal drugs, and even move out of their girlfriend’s house so they could align their lives with God’s will. On the other hand, I have seen the power that Satan can have in our lives if we allow him to. One of our investigators told us that if he knew he was going to die next week, he would probably smoke twice as much because he knew it wouldn’t matter and God knows that it is obviously impossible for him to smoke. Also, Satan tries so hard to stop missionaries from being effective. Thankfully, we know that Satan will only have power over us if we allow him to.

Hmm… I’m not quite sure what to say for this week.

Krystal is getting baptized this Friday! Hallelujah. She needs to have the blessings of baptism so badly in her life. Her daughter will probably be baptized shortly afterward. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings infinite blessings in our lives if we choose to accept and apply it.
Also, I won’t say too much about this, but our Ward Mission Leader has been a huge hindrance to Krystal being baptized (or really any missionary work). We’re working really hard to love him but sometimes it is hard when he treats us like rebellious teenagers and yells at us all the time. We’re going to try making him brownies to see if we can win him over with food.

I know this email is random, but I really don’t know what else to say. I still love the work and I love the Lord with all my heart. Every day I am increasingly grateful for the blessings of family. It was easy to forget at home how blessed we really are and how incredible our parents have been. The majority of the world can’t claim that same blessing.

Grandma- I love reading your emails every week! I’ve really gained a new appreciation for family history since I have been out here. Some parts of your family tree seem like they never end. It is a real eye-opener to how much work there is to be done for everyone in the world. How does Peggy feel about being called as Stake Relief Society President? I love you! Have a wonderful week!

Tyler- I already kind of responded to you above. Haha. But I like what you said about fighting against Satan to use technology for good. It’s amazing to see how quickly the world is changing and how quickly the church is responding to a changing world. Again, I’m SO excited for you.

Isaac- I miss you and Maria! We are battling an ant infestation in our apartment right now. There was a constant stream of ants from our Kitchen all the way out through our living room door. We had to bomb the entire house.

Kimmie and Dave- I actually saw a glimpse of that game (and then I looked away of course). One of our investigators was watching it and was pretty pumped up about it.Spencer Horner is the Elder’s Quorum President in our ward. He’s doing a great job and I love him. It’s a little weird to call him Brother Horner. We went to dinner at his house on Sunday. It definitely is a small world. Thank you again, Dave, for writing to me in Portuguese. I promise when I get to Brazil and I can change the language on the computer I will respond in Portuguese. It is so true that personal growth comes from humility. It is only by being humbled that I have seen myself grow on my mission so far. Fique Firme!

Lacey- God works in mysterious ways! You sound like you are in the crazy middle stages of moving. Good luck with everything. It’s great that you only have to work two days per week. Your testimony that God works through others is definitely something I’ve seen evidence of out here, but it is so frustrating sometimes when people exercise their agencies and God has to use his back-up plan. God really does want to pour out his blessings upon us. We just have to trust that he will and do everything we can to work towards that.

Mom- It would be kind of nice to have that organ book. My address (for packages and letters) is
6500 E Atherton
Long Beach, CA 90815
That is the address of the mission office, but it is safer to send everything there than our apartment. You should have someone post that on my Facebook as well. There is one Spanish speaking missionary who is fluent in five languages, including Portuguese, but I don’t see him very often. I just hope my Portuguese doesn’t get mixed up with all of this Spanish I have to speak everyday.

Dad- Your trip to Port Angeles sound so great and so terrible at the same time! It is sad how awful people in the world are today. I’m glad you were able to find your wallet and that all of the most important things were still intact. I’m also glad you made it there safely. I guess the Porsche hasn’t really been driven in a long time. Even though the end of the trip was pretty miserable, it sounds like the rest was great! Has Josh gone into the MTC yet? I don’t really remember what mission he is going to. I can’t believe Bishop Bingham got released! Are they moving out of the ward/stake? They better be there when I get back! I miss being in priest’s quorum with the Bishop and Brother Starr and Brother Young. And tell Bishop Starr congratulations and Good Luck for me. He will do great. Say hello to Grandma and Grandpa Koetitz for me. It sounds like they had a rough week too. I love you!

I’ll try to send pictures next week! I should have some pictures from a baptism!

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