You have no idea how crazy this whole situation has been. I don't remember if I shared with you the entire experience about the visa confusion. I was really freaked out about the whole thing because I had decided to stay in Oklahoma. When I was told that my application had expired I spent a lot of time praying and pondering on what would be best for ME. I finally just made up my mind to stay in Oklahoma. That night, I decided that I would share my decision with the other Elders and tell them that I had decided that I would just stay in Oklahoma. About 15 minutes after I shared my feelings with them, President called me and told me that my Visa had been approved and that I fly out on the 22nd. I guess the Lord truly does have a greater work for me to do down in Argentina.
As for my feelings - I feel a lot more anxious than anything. I already battled the idea of me going to Argentina once when I was still at home and now it's really happening and I have to wrap my brain around it again. Am I nervous? As heck. But I know that the Lord will take care of me. This conference helped me a TON!
I'm sincerely sad to leave Oklahoma. I've come to love this place as my mission. I have more than a top 10 of great experiences - more like a top 100!
1. Like Elder Beach and the accident with his knee
2. Helping my companion through a hard experience where his best friend committed.
3. Another companion being ready to go home.
4. Helping my investigators re-prioritize their life
5. Helping them see the joy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
6. Learning and growing in Anadarko . . .
7. Helping a companion overcome homesickness and being away from home for the first time.
8. Helping other missionaries overcome "apostate" habits
9. Helping a companion find his own happiness and joy in the gospel
10. Realizing that the Lord sends these experiences my way for my benefit . . .
I don't say these things to boast, but I've had a lot of difficult situations put in my way. Through all of it the one thing that I've learned is (from Joseph B. Wirthlin taught in his talk titled "Come What May, and Love it") is the power of laughter. The power to change an entire situation simple by how WE react to it. If anything, staying positive and optimistic has been the biggest help for me, and I pray that it will continue to help me throughout the rest of my mission.
I will just miss Oklahoma! The people here are amazing. I will miss the other Elders who are now my friends and I'll miss knowing that if I'm hungry - I can always go to McDonalds. :) But I look forward to just finally getting there, meeting the people and learning this language!
So for this week:
Monday: It was just a normal p-day full of email, sports and sweaty missionaries! We went to the Wade's house again and got to talking about that video that Rachel Pitts made of all of us opening our mission calls - so we watched it at their house! The other Elders and the Wade family were all just baffled at how many of us there are! Watch it again, it's insane! Elder Spafford and I finally beat Bro. Wade and Otuafi too - so I was pretty stoked about that!!!
Tuesday: We tried to clean up the ward roster and met a guy. He told us about his wife passing away and it was so sad. He was pretty broken up about it but we told him that we'd like to help him build his faith back up! I mean, hey, it's what we do! :)
We spent the rest of the day tracting and I saw some pretty ponies. :) Then that night we had lasagna.:) Then a "good-bye" party for Otuafi.
Wednesday: is our service day. We also played a really good prank on E. Spafford's trainee. We pretended to be investigators and we asked the most ridiculous questions. When Elder Olsen picked up on what we were doing he started teaching us incredibly false doctrine. It was hilarious! When we asked him what gave it away he told us that when he saw E. Rumsey playing with his oil container . . . he knew.
Thursday: It was a great day! We tracted a neighborhood and we knocked on this lady's door who looked like she'd been crying. She told us that it was a little strange that we were there to say a prayer with her. We bore testimony about how important prayer is and then she shut the door. I guess she didn't want to pray . . .
Friday: The best day of the week! We had an awesome district meeting given by Elder Peterson. Super, super inspired! He told us that we need to teach with the spirit because ultimately that's what's going to do the converting - not us. We then had lunch at the Stables and went back to work. We went to go see Monroe but he wasn't home so we did some knocking and found this other guy. He was about 26 or so and just got back from Afghanistan or somewhere like that a few weeks ago. So we ended up asking him a bunch of questions since he didn't believe in the Savior and had been told his entire life that he was a sinner. It was truly heartbreaking but we'll go back and visit Tobias again.
That night we went and saw one of our investigators. She is from Mexico and we spoke in Spanish for like 45 minutes! We had a great time and I was shocked by how much I knew/understood. She even told me that I sounded a LOT better than the last time I was speaking to her! That she understood more! :)
Saturday and Sunday: We spent the time watching conference and I loved it! I had a few favorites but I forgot my book so I'll write more about that later.
I love you guys! Follow the Prophet!
Live by Faith!
with all my love,