Making Grandma Dorman proud in her blazer :)
My Chingoo aka friend. LOVE HER
Friends and Family,
It hasn't been very long since my last p-day, but I do have a few updates. Some are a little sad.
Crystal is officially moving :( Her little girl is a little over a week old and she has to be out of her apartment in less than ten days. I'm glad that we are here to help her get everything together, but the chances of her moving to an apartment in our area are slim.
Amir is doing wonderfully well. Our bishop as well as Sister Larsen's bishop are coordinating to get permission for him to be in the other ward so that she can fellowship and translate for him. This is probably the best fit for him, but sad for us because it means we will most likely be transitioning him to the other missionaries. We did get permission to celebrate Persian new year at Sister Larsen's house this week. It was definitely a new and cultural experience. Los Angeles is such a melting pot. I love it!
Tristen cancelled on us this week. It's such a difficult situation because while she says she isn't doing it for Ethan she is doing it because of him, and he isn't coming to church or really keeping the commitments we give him. I guess their deal in the beginning was 5 lessons, so we'll see if once those are up she's done.
Brother Kennedy is brother Kennedy :) He wants the gospel in his life, but the process of making that happen, especially without the support of his wife can be overwhelming. I'm excited for him to attend the Saturday session of general conference and crossing my fingers that he'll be able to retire in May and return to activity.
I think I've mentioned before that sometimes there seems to be a theme at the Visitors' Center as well as just on my mission in general for different periods of time. The question "why" is one that I've been asked all of my mission, but especially the last few weeks. "Why is there so much suffering?" "Why is life so hard?" "Why is this happening to me?" etc. These are questions that I'm sure we have all asked whether we care to admit it or not. They are difficult questions to answer and even a scriptural answer I've found does not leave the inquirer satisfied. However, I do feel that what I've experienced on my mission, particularly in the last few months, has helped me to find my own answer to these seemingly unanswerable questions and in turn at least have a direction to send others in, in the hopes that they will find their own. I love the account in the beginning of first Nephi when he is shown his father's vision. 16: "And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?" 17: "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." Many times I feel like that's the best answer I can give. BUT there is so much involved in that short answer that at least for me has made it a very real and even satisfying answer. Mosiah 23:21 "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." This has always been and will always be a true principle, but somehow doesn't seem all that helpful when you're the one suffering. I was reading Elder Eyring's recent talk "Where's the Pavilion." and even though I had already heard it, it brought something to light that I hadn't understood before. I have always heard and always taught Moses 1:39. Everything the Lord does is for us, but something seemed to click this time more so than in the past. Even the chastening, even the allowing us to suffer, and even the delaying desired blessings. Elder Eyring said, "The Lord’s delays often seem long; some last a lifetime. But they are always calculated to bless" When I read that it just hit me that it was true. Not in an "Oh an Apostle said it so it must be true" kind of way, but more of a knowing. I know that that is true. I know that God allows us to suffer because He loves us! I know it! He sees what we can become and what needs to happen in order for us to become that. I know that everything we experience whether it seems to us to be good or bad is calculated to bless us. Now what has really been difficult has been sharing my realization with others as they ask these questions and see that it doesn't satisfy or mean much to them. We really do all have to find out for ourselves and through our own experiences what is true. So I guess I'll give you all a challenge because I'm a missionary and I feel like quoting a little mermaid song :) "Ask [Him] your questions and get some answers!"
I guess that's all for now. I love you all very dearly and I appreciate all the insights you share with me. I learn so much from all of you!