Elder Hunt is taking this picture from our second floor apartment.
We live in a nice place with other missionaries as neighbors. The gazebo is frequently used by senior missionaries and young missionaries. The seniors use it for gathering to play board games or picnics. The young Elders use it for cook-outs and picnics for their districts. Once last week Elder Hunt saw a chipmunk running from bush to bush. Wish we could see him again, we have some bread crumbs we can give him.
Last Monday all the new missionaries had a luncheon with our mission presidency. We sat at the table with the first counselor Elder Oliver and his wife Sister Oliver. We enjoyed our visit with them and the new missionaries. These were new missionaries who came from MTC.
Tuesday we had a mission conference in the afternoon for the first half of the mission. The next day was for the second half of the mission. President and Sister Tate spoke to us. Like always they were inspiring talks.
Sister Tate talked about changing hearts and gave six steps. From Alma 5:7 "Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God...." (1) To learn and internalize who we are by having faith and trusting in God. (2) Be in control of our thoughts and behavior by teaching our brain that we are in control and by turning difficulties into opportunities. (3) Make peace with our past and our attitude will change. (4) Relationships are opportunities to grow. (5) Be a beacon of joy and happiness by choosing to be kind and friendly. (6) Forgive everyone for everything. Look to yourself for change. Look for goodness. By doing all these things it will get you closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.
President Tate spoke after Sister Tate. He talked about making a difference through respect and honor. He had us all turn to Doctrine and Covenants 31 and told us to substitute our names in place of Thomas B. Marsh. We are called to serve in working miracles of turning hearts of children to their fathers. Like in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah where the Lord had heard the prayers of his people. He told us to exercise our faith and go forward and miracles will follow. He encouraged us to read the Book of Mormon and it will fortify us against the evils of our day.
We have been reading the Book of Mormon. Our mission has a challenge to read the whole book in 90 days so by the end of October we should have read the whole book. We are promised that it will make a difference in our missionary work. We believe it so we are reading it.
We enjoy our mission and we are happy to have chosen this time to come on our mission together as senior missionaries. We love it! The church travel office had us reapply for our visas so it will take at least two more months. Thank you for your prayers. We truly are grateful for your love and friendship. Have a wonderful week.