Way to go Highland Volleyball! You are da bomb! Especially you my bro…way to be Collin…..keep bein the man! I sure do look forward every Monday to receiving letters from my awesome awesome family! It sure does make whatever worries or struggles melt away for a time. Also, thank you my brothers for both writing me…that was some kind of miracle! Oh and Trevor good one! I don’t know if the rest of the family knows what you sent, but YOU HAD ME GOIN! I even cheered a little in the middle of this internet cafe, but I will get the last laugh when I get married before you ;) tick tock tick tock....
I sure bet that was nice to finally make it home after your vacation! I always loved coming home from long trips smelling those awesome cows and just returning to all the comforts of home. I reckon that will be what heaven will be like. I liked that quote shared in conference. I forget who gave it but am sure it was in the last session who said something along the lines of how it will be surprising at how familiar our Heavenly Father’s face will be and how well we know Him. I reckon that the celestial kingdom will be like making it home from a long journey... just a thousand times better because we won’t have to do hours of laundry the next day. ;) (I know mom is saying AMEN to that!) Then if we break all the commandments, I think it will be more like when we came home and someone had shut our power off and all the food was rotten our house stunk and I think the AC was broken to so it was burning hot. That was a taste of telestial glory... so let’s make sure all our lives are clean!
Conference is just the most absolute amazing thing in the world... especially when you’re a missionary. My favorite talk was given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the priesthood session about different titles we carry. All I know is that would be the talk I would study big time and smash for the priesthood bowl. I think one of my favorite lines in that talk was “I don’t believe in a God who sets up rules and expectations to wait for us to fail so He can punish us.” I absolutely loved all of it! I actually had a really really funny experience before that priesthood session too. Some elders in our zone baptized an awesome lady. She seemed completely normal at first, but apparently she has some kind of mental issue like sleep apnea or something, and all of a sudden those elders started getting calls from her at 3:00 in the morning and crazy text messages. She showed up at conference on Saturday at the stake center and she was normal during the second session, but after she LOST it. She got up on the piano and started playing “Mary had a Little Lamb” and singing different songs really really loud (luckily she had a good voice). Anyways, a lot of the members had NO idea what was going on and Elder Hatch and I went up to the piano and she was going on about how she needed to present her gifts to the congregation, the apocalypto, and the bridegroom. We talked her down and brought her to a different room to play the piano and called her mom to come get her. It was pretty crazy and she just absolutely did not want to go home. There is a lot more detail to go into the story, but to make things short after an hour and a half of trying to get her to go home with her mom and a half hour into the priesthood session, one of the members who specializes in mental care sweet talked her into going home with her mum. It kinda made me laugh at how Priesthood session would have probably been a little bit different back home where I would only have to really worry about where we should go for dinner after. It was funny and made me appreciate the good times we have out here.
Collin you asked how you can prepare to serve a mission. I will do my best not to give you the mega list, but…
1. Most important is find a greater Love for the Savior everyday.
2 Do everything in your power to help you qualify for the spirit and recognize what it's telling you to do (
3. Work HARD
4. Study plus memorize scriptures and become a centurion in seminary again. Those will do wonders on your mission.
5. Never be afraid to share the gospel. It never has to be something huge like giving them the BOM or teaching them the Plan of Salvation, (that's great if you have the courage to do that) but always look for oppurtunities.
6. OH…and don’t get senioritis! Once it is over and all your friends start leaving on missions and get married, things will NEVER be the same. Enjoy it while you can. Just like Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “We don’t say our prayers with the amen in mind. We don’t listen to music to hear the very last note, and sometimes we don’t have to ride our bikes at the fastest pace (except when your a missionary). ENJOY THE JOURNEY!!!!
Okey dokey….We had another week full of miracles, but I think one of the coolest ones was when we went to G’s house. We have him come out with us to lessons to share his conversion story and to help us get in when there isn't a male at home, and every time G will say “I am so very happy to teach with you”. Anyways, we went to their house and they had a cousin over who isn't a member of the church. So of course as missionaries, we POUNCE!!! We’re going over to their house tomorrow. Anyways, while we were there we went to go share the Mormon message DVD where Chris William’s family gets hit by the drunk driver ( which was mentioned by Dallin H. Oaks who I will get to meet in one week!) Anywho, they didn't completely understand the whole video so we had to stop, pause, and explain things to them. When we explained that Chris forgave the boy who killed his wife, son, and daughter...we could tell that the Spirit was pouring into the room. Then the oldest daughter broke into tears and told us how they had an 8 year old brother who got stabbed to death by one of their uncles and how it was really hard to forgive him. My mission is awesome! I love every bit and look forward to calling you on the Mother’s day whenever that is. Maybe for a family night you can write up some questions to ask me because sometimes I forget to answer a lot of them when they are emailed my way... Which reminds me! Mom, I think I would like to go to the
mission when we get split. It has
the temple. It would be the third mission I get to serve in. Papakura,
Gisborne, and Tauranga (the areas Connor has served in already) are ALL in
those boundaries. It would sure stink to leave President Lekias though. I sure
do love him to pieces! Either way, I’m glad to serve though! Love you my family!
Be good! Hamilton