August 12, 2013

Dear Family,

Dang, I forgot you guys were going on an Alaskan cruise! I guess it's a good thing, though, since otherwise I would have been sad all week. It looks like it was super awesome! Was Spencer's "I hate fudge" as funny as "whales are dumb"? Did Spencer or Cassidy eat any of the fish they caught? I'm sure Spencer had fun with all of the cousins. The pictures are all super cute. There are a lot of families down here in the wards with super cute kids as well. Sorry I'm still so bad at taking pictures.
The good news is today we are not playing soccer. We might go bowling, or we might just hang out. Either way, I'm finally going to have time to write a letter home. I have one written already, but I want to have one for each of you four and send them all together. We're supposed to send a letter home every other week according to President Maluenda, so I guess form now on I'll just make really short ones if I have to.
This week has been another crazy one. There was a leadership conference Tuesday through Thursday that even trainers went to. Our district only had five of our twelve for most of every day. Three of us greenies took turns working one of our areas each day. Somehow, we avoided having to speak too much Spanish, and when we did, it was with members who talked really slowly for us.
There have been a couple big rainstorms, but we were inside during both of them. They do start really fast, pour for about an hour, and then stop. The canals probably fill up a lot during the storms. We actually bike along the side of them a lot when we need a shortcut. School does start pretty soon, I think. I did get the package, and we might make some waffles today. We hardly ever actually have to make our own food, though, since people feed us so much. The white shirts fit well, and my bike is covered with reflective tape. I'm definitely getting in better shape; Elder Charles bikes really fast.
During one of the rain storms we were in a zone conference. One of our zone leaders broke an egg on himself; it was hilarious. Both of them, Elder White and Elder Barrio Nuevo, are hilarious. One thing they talked about that I've been studying and thinking about a lot recently is love. Perfect love casteth out all fear. Even after a month out here, talking to random people on the street and even just contributing during lessons is pretty nerve wracking. But if I can figure out how to really love every single person that I see, then telling them about the gospel won't be hard at all. It's the same with talking to your friends about the Church. If you're telling them because you really, truly care about them, and they can see that, then the words will come easily and your invitations will be more likely to be accepted. I've begun digging into reading Jesus the Christ in order to better understand His life and the love he has for everyone. By strengthening your relationship with God, you'll be able to have stronger relationships with everyone.
One last thought is that God does not care where we are in life, or how steadfast or righteous we are. The only thing that matters is that we get a little bit better every day. Never stop learning. Always remember that every single trial, great or small, gives us experience and is for our benefit.
I wish I had some interesting stories, but it's just been another week as a missionary. I don't know if I mentioned we saw a house with a pet hawk. I'll bring my camera if we stop by again.
I love you all so much! Keep being awesome!!!
-Elder Young