Hola Familia y Amigos,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MCKAY!!!!!!
I write you one last time from the great country of the Dominican Republic. Next week I will be writing you from the beautiful beaches and sunny shores of Puerto Rico. I cannot wait to finally get out into the field and start doing some work. Our stay here at the CCM has been great and really helpful but now that the time for action has come, I cannot wait to get out into the field and start preaching the truth to all of God's Children who are searching for something more in their lives.
I know that mission calls are a special thing and I know that a lot of my friends have received theirs. I'm so happy for you all and I hope that you are studying your hearts out and preparing as hard as you can. The time sneaks up on you and it would be nice to be way far ahead when you enter the MTC. As you prepare for your missions realize that your call has come from the lord. My stay here in the Dominican has taught me a lot of things, but one of the most important things that I have learned is that your call is specific and your call comes from God. Interacting with the people here and walking on the streets has taught me something, I wouldn't like it here. But I know that Puerto Rico is where the Lord knew I would be most effective and it's where He knew He could mold me into the person that He wants me to be. I'm so excited to get out there (if you can't already tell)! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
Because of the change in schedule that will be occurring next week, you aren't going to hear from me for about a week and a half. I'm sorry but know that I love you and know that unless you hear about some fiery plane crash in the middle of the Carribean, I'm safe and sound. (And just to ease your fears even if there was a plane crash we have the power of God on our side so I'm not to worried about what would happen). Know that I still love you all even if you don't get a letter. And know that you can write me a ton now that I will be in my mission and it's the US Mail system again! I look forward to hearing from you all about your lives and about what has been going on.
Thanks for all of you who sent me emails or letters this week. Mom and dad your dear elders were perfect. And grandma and grandpa thank you so much for telling me about your trip to Yellowstone. The writing was so beautiful! Thanks for all you do for me Grandma and Grandpa. I hope all is going well with the new house! Mckay, Trent, and Jenny - thanks for your emails and your love. It was great to hear from you. Dad tell the Bristows that Tyler is an awesome missionary and I love him for his example.
Ok sorry about that do you want to hear about my week? ok :)
This week flew by and I'm glad it did. I can't imagine what it is going to be like in the mission field. On Sunday we watched a devotional that was given by Jeffery R Holland a couple of weeks ago in Provo for the mission presidents conference. We were all kind of bummed that we didn't get to be there because Elder Holland is so animated about missionary work and because there were 7 other APOSTLES there. It would've been cool! But I'm glad we still got to hear it. He talked a lot about how we need the spirit and at the start of his talk he said "Welcome to the work of Angels/" That hit me really hard. I know that this is God's work and I know that this is the "Work of Angels." There are angels here helping us everyday whether it's to learn faster, speak better, find the people we need to teach or to just get a lift when we are down. This truly is the work of angels and your prayers and love help so much. Thank you all for all that you have done to support me thus far. I promise you that the Lord is thankful for your support of me and I promise you that He will bless you.
The University was actually kinda crazy this week. We had a great story last week like a told you so I was kind of expecting something a little less uplifting this week. And i was right. Ha ha. We were pumped to go back and I had a great feeling about how we would do. . . and we did well. But man! It was our last time at the University and satan was working hard to discourage us. Everyone we talked to for the first while didn't seem that interested. And then all of the sudden this guy, seriously a son of the devil, came up and starting cursing us. He was telling us how the church is a scam to steal money from the poor Dominicans and send the money back to the United States. I say he was a son of satan because of the anger I felt from his presence, He tried to speak to us in Spanish first, and we didn't understand. But even though he wasn't speaking English, and we couldn't understand, the spirit left us like that! I felt so empty and I felt so angry. We tried to testify to him and he wouldn't listen. People are so stubborn and so stupid, I can't believe it!
I read a scripture in Luke this week about Jesus and the Pharisees. Jesus does miracles and the Pharisees tell the people not to be deceived. I know there are those of you who have received miracles and blessings from the Lord and have been deceived by people like this guy. Don't be deceived by people who deny christ and deny his gospel. Don't be someone who looks past the mark of Christ and has to suffer for your stubbornness in the next life. This is the work of God and i think it's amazing how people can say that we deceive people.
The guy didn't rattle me at all, don't worry. I thought it was interesting that I would read that scripture and have that experience the same day. It actually strengthened my testimony more then anything. I know nothing happens by accident so I know I was supposed to share that with you today.
It was really cool because after that we tried to teach another lesson and the spirit was gone. So we said a quick prayer and then we talked to two awesome grandmas and their families about the plan of salvation. The spirit came right back and we were on fire. I love this work. Satan tries as hard as he can to stop the work of the Lord but it will never stop. I feel bad for those who reject the word of God because they have been deceived by the workings of the devil and the designs of evil men. I hope that they someday figure out the truth and they realize that the Church of God is on the earth today and it's this one.
I know for a fact that not only does God know what we need but satan knows what will hurt us. But I promise you that when you endure and have faith, you are blessed with more then you can imagine. Moroni 10:7 talks about how faith is a principle of power. When you are faithful through difficult times in your life the Lord will grant you His power to overcome what you need to overcome. The Lord blesses those who are faithful. I see it everyday and I know I will see it even more during the next few weeks.
Again I want you to know that the man didn't rattle me at all. I just felt prompted to share it and share my rebuttal with boldness. I love this work and there is absolutely nothing in the world that could make me question whether I should be here. This is the work of the Lord and there is nothing else that I would rather be doing with my life.
The rest of the week went well. It was cool because every time that I would have a spiritual experience this week, whether the spirit would prompt me to say something, or bring a Spanish word or a scripture to my mind, I would remember that quote by Elder Holland. This truly is the work of angels and I am loving every minute of it!!!!!
It's good to hear about your lives back home and I can't wait to hear more when I get to Puerto Rico. I realize that it was a challenge to get mail to me here but you all still tried your hardest to let me know how it is going back home. Thank you so much for your love and support. I am learning so much and at times I wish I could come home now and share what I have learned with you so we can joy in this work together. Or maybe even have you come along with me. But I want you to know that while it's hard to be away for two years, there is nowhere else that i would rather be. And there is nothing else that I would want to be doing! And there is nothing else that the Lord would want me to be doing.
Trent! Congrats on making it to the state playoffs! That's so awesome! You guys are going to do great! Remember who you are and the type of kid that you have been raised to be. You have been blessed with a tremendous gift. Don't you ever forget why. If the time comes and you have to choose between a baseball game and God, I know without a doubt that you will make the choice that is right for you. The choice that God wants you to make. And be careful bud . . . that choice may be coming up sooner then you would expect.
I am trying to write you all letters today but again, today is so hectic because we are getting ready to leave. If you don't get a letter from me this week know that it's not because I don't love you. It's because I didn't have time. Missionary work is so busy but I love it. I love hearing from you all and I will have time to check my email again in a few hours. I would love to hear from you all again so drop a line!
I hope that this letter was OK. I know that it has been all over the place and a lot of the stories probably didn't make sense. But that's Ok. I'm learning Spanish and that kind of throws me off. If my spelling stinks I'm sorry. Spanish is a lot easier to spell because everything is spelled the way it sounds!
I love you all so much and I love your support and love! Thank you for all that you have done to add fuel to the fire. I know that your prayers send angels to help build me up and I know that you all are receiving angels and blessings for your support and love that you have given to me.
If you have any questions email me and I will answer them quick.
Love you all so much!!! Write soon!
Remember to read and pray everyday, as you do i promise that you will grow closer to God and that your testimony will grow, it has for me.
PS I will have you know that I am still the same silly boy who speaks before he thinks. Yeah, the Latins know English . . . so don't say things under your breath if you are ever down here. Oh . . . and don't be sarcastic, they don't get it.
I'm trying to become a better person everyday and the Lord is helping me every step of the way! Write soon! I'm sorry if I left anything out. If I did, email me quick and I will respond.
MUAH! Love you all so much
With eternal love and Joy, Your missionary
Write you from Puerto Rico in a week YUAH!O!@O!@ # !!!