Family and Friends,
I got to talk to my mom yesterday! It was so wonderful to hear everyone's voices and I think if anything it made me less homesick to talk to them and just know that they really are still alive up there and they'll all be there when I get home :) Sometimes I think I got the most difficult traits from both parents. There's my mom's gift/curse of loving so deeply. It's a gift because you really care about people. You form deep and lasting relationships and you would do anything for them. It's a curse because if you're missing someone or if someone hurts you. It HURTS. Then there's dad who quite simply worries too much. This is a gift because it is impossible to become complacent. You're always working to do your best and wondering how you can improve. It's also a curse because it can be discouraging. Did you know that it is impossible to become perfect by tomorrow or even next week? ;) Anyway, yay for heredity! I was able to receive some great advice from my father, and some similar advice from my mission President yesterday that has given me a new perspective. Not surprisingly I opened a letter from a good friend today with more of the same words that I needed. It just goes to show that our Heavenly Father knows us inside and out. If we are willing to humble ourselves and ask for some help every once and a while he is waiting there with exactly what we need to keep going. I was hesitant to ask for advice because I felt like I knew what the answer would be. "Forget yourself and go to work." So if I knew the answer I should just be able to do it myself and problem solved right? False. It doesn't work that way because I didn't truly understand the problem. The discovery is that there is more than one way to forget yourself and I was focused on the wrong one. The first way that we forget ourselves is to sacrifice. We aren't concerned about serving ourselves or self gratification and therefore our concern turns outward to others. The second(this is the one I was unaware of) is turning our focus from perfecting ourselves to bringing others to Christ. It is a righteous desire to do and become better, but I reached the point where I was so concerned about becoming all of these things that I felt like I had to become that I was actually self focused. Not to mention completely overwhelmed. I felt like I was running a million miles an hour in every direction but not really accomplishing anything. The fact of the matter is that if my focus is on serving others and bringing them to Christ then those changes in myself that I have been pounding away at (to no avail) will come naturally. Novel idea! I wish I could say I have this mastered this but alas I discovered it yesterday and have 21 years of the other mindset behind me.. Still, I feel that now I have a direction to run in and like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Instead of thinking that the best thing I can do for others is become perfect myself I now know that by helping others change I will change in the process. *Sigh of relief* Life is hard and it's because it was supposed to be, but we are designed to succeed and we have the knowledge of a Savior who has made that possible. He has made it possible not just in a grand eternal perspective but from day to day. As for our area! We invited Tom to be baptized and he said YES! He received his answer and the spirit was so strong as he told us. The problem is that he struggles with anxiety and he seemed ok with setting a date for his baptism but now isn't returning our calls... He has known that he needs to be baptized for a long time but each time a date has been set in the past he has backed out. Please pray for him and for us to be able help him replace his fear with faith. I love you all so much! I will be eternally grateful for the many wonderful women in my life and their examples of selfless service and sacrifice as mothers.