To: my very best friends
I hope you had the happiest of all Thanksgivings! I'll have to admit mine wasn't quite the same without Uncle Rich and Dad working on the turkey.. or Mom, Lisa, Aimee, and Mandy in the kitchen preparing the twelve different pies :) I'll be honest I wasn't sure how my day was going to go- my favorite holiday away from home without the people I love most laughing around the table with me. But I have to tell you, as much as I did miss my best friends, I had one of the best Thanksgivings to date.
Thanksgiving Day Service Project
Family, I can not even begin to express the gratitude that I feel within my heart. Words will never do it justice. I mean, I've always thought I was a grateful person.. but this gratitude is one I've never experienced before.
I try, but I can never express my gratitude to my Father in Heaven enough for all He has done for me. I read a letter from a missionary saying that she thought that by going on a mission she would be showing her appreciation and giving back to Heavenly Father for all He's blessed her with. I had a similar idea.. However, I've only come to find the same results as that missionary. The more I work and the more I serve, the more He blesses. The longer I'm here the greater understanding and more aware I become for all I have and all He's given me. It looks like I'm going to be forever indebted to Him. I never want to take for granted all my many blessings. Ah aren't we so blessed?
I had such a wonderful week, I prayed all of you would have the same.
My companion and I gave the lesson on Sunday, let me tell you, it was so nice to be able to teach in English! It went really well, and I learned so much through preparing. My class loved the story about the letter from Brother Tanner- I have to admit it is one of my favorite stories as well :)
We lose four districts, the rest of our zone tomorrow! It will only be our district left. You get so close to the other missionaries, it'll be very difficult to say goodbye, hard to believe we're next.
Oh yes, before I forget I have a few announcements: especially for my two eldest brothers- listen up.
first, I want you to know that I'm always ready on time. As a matter of fact I'm usually the first one ready in our room and I always end up waiting for the others (I guess that's only fair seeing all the waiting I've made you do):). second, I really have a good feeling that I'm going to be hilarious in Tagalog. I already make the teachers and investigators laugh all the time (its probably at how poor my Tagalog is.. but hey they're laughing regardless).. Steve, Drew, watch out I'm coming from the bottom but I'm going to knock you out of "the funniest Welling" position.
In Tagalog Alaala is to remember- and its pronounced similarly to Ellaella. And so every time I'm using the word remember I get to smile and think about my cute little Ella and how she says her name :)
Thursday Elder Nelson spoke to us. The moment he entered the room the spirit bore witness to me that he has been called of God. Its such an amazing thing that we get to be taught by those leading our church. The spirit he brought.. wow.
We also get to hear from another Apostle Tuesday! Can you believe that? Elder Perry, Elder Nelson, and mystery Apostle this week. and they're saying there will be a fourth, maybe a fifth- is that amazing or what!? Its quite an event when an Apostle comes- similar to a big concert .. missionaries line up so early to wait to get a good seat, there is pushing and there is shoving.. ha. its so great.
Yesterday I was sitting in the hallway reading my scriptures when an Elder came and sat next to me. He was from Australia headed to the Philippines as well. We began talking and he told me his conversion story and by the end we were both in tears. I can't believe I'm in an environment where I get to have these experiences on a daily basis. Thank you for letting my serve this mission. It truly has already blessed my life in countless ways, and to think I'm only a few weeks in.. ha
I love being a missionary, and I love this gospel with everything I am
Try praying out loud this week, a prayer of only thanks- all that you're thankful for. I promise you won't regret it. (but make sure you give yourself a while-- because it takes quite sometime) :) Expressed thanks is powerful.
I love you family! oh my heavens how I love you. Thank you for being mine.
ps. yes, I promise my knees feel amazing. I've actually been running the track during gym this week.. I haven't ran since.. have I ever been able to run?
I'm being so blessed. They're getting stronger everyday, so please don't worry!
pps. I din't get the package you talked about in your letter yesterday mom? Hopefully I get it today
But thank you for the package monday!!! AMAZING. I love you.
ppps. mind sending me Jake's and Abbey's email?
pppps. It was so funny dad and Stephen both gave me similar advice on the language about not being afraid of making mistakes and just speaking. And that was the goal I had made the day before.. so maybe we were all inspired?It has made such a difference though. My grammar is sometimes off but at least I'm able to contribute and get the message across. I LOVE the language and its starting to click a little more every day.
ps did Stephen ever get my letter? or Andrew? I was nervous sending it to their college places
Tell Stephen I met his friend Ali Anderson.. she said to say hi
Do you mind sending my farewell talk?
Sorry that was a lot... trying to remember everything!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!
Love always and forever,