Hi Mom!!!!! Oh my gosh, it's so good to hear from you! I didn't see your email at first and was so disappointed but then I found it :) I almost live for Monday's and email time...which isn't good but that'll come with time right?
The age gap between Elder Dixon and me is more than between me and Ethan! So weird! It's kinda nice though, having someone that has lived on his own for 8 years already. He knows what he's doing for the most part :) I've definitely learned a ton from him! Even though it's hard at times I'm learning so much and I think he's really training me to be a good, diligent, obedient missionary. I've had to stay really humble at times but I'm figuring it out.
Thank you so much for all that advice and motivation! I needed that! I'm still trying to figure everything out, and I get quite stressed from time to time.
I still get really homesick though...especially in the mornings when there's lots of time to think. It's pretty hard for me. A lot of times though I read the scriptures or start getting into the day and forget about it for a while. But then it always comes back. I really hope it diminishes over time. I'm still in the stage where I just want my mission to be over as fast as possible...I hope soon it'll switch though and I'll just love it out here. I've always been a sentimental person, so it's really hard for me to just let go of everything at home, and I think it's holding me back a little. I'm trying my best to really work hard and give it my all though. Ugh there's so much for me to be better at :)
So, we had a baptism yesterday!!! Sister Palmer sent you a picture, I don't know if you got it. But let me tell you a little bit about it :) Her name is Sierra and she's 16 years old. She was introduced a while ago by a friend, and her boyfriend is a member - he's the one that baptized her. The previous missionaries started teaching her but never really pulled the trigger for her to be baptized. So I came in with my baptism-happy companion, and we committed her to be baptized the first lesson we taught her and she said yes. The problem is, her dad was kinda against it, and she's moving to Idaho this Thursday. But we thought she needed to be baptized now with the opportunity she's been given, so we really pushed for her to be baptized on Sunday. So we prayed a lot and she talked to her dad and he begrudgingly said ok, so we taught her the commandments on Friday, interviewed her on Saturday, and baptized her on Sunday!! It doesn't really feel like my first baptism cause the other missionaries had already done a lot with her - but it really is my first baptism! It was so cool! I finally got to play the piano during for the service...I've been itching to get my fingers on one for a while now :) While she was changing after the baptism, Elder Dixon and I gave a message in front of the 50ish people that were there...I was so scared! And he made me start it off! I was so nervous but the words came out and I'm positive the Spirit completely just taught through me. It was so cool! President and Sister Palmer came up for it (they're so cool!) and were super nice to me and complimented me and everything. I kinda just feel less stressed and anxious when I'm around them. They're like the closest thing to a solid, stable home right now, you know? Anyways, that's my first baptism experience :)
Our Ward Mission Leader and his wife are recent converts, and they got their endowments this last week and they loved it so much! It's amazing! Tell Makaeli good luck in soccer! And all of the kids good luck in school! That's one thing I don't miss :)
I still miss you so so so much! Elder Dixon and I did a really good companionship study on the family the other day, and it made me really miss you guys. I always loved you all so much, but I never realized just how much until I left. It kinda just increased how much I appreciate and love you all. Thanks for all of your support and prayers! It really does strengthen me when I get discouraged - I think about how much you love me and are proud of me for being out here and how much it would let you down if I gave up. So thank you for always being the perfect family. Thank you Mom for always teaching me so much and loving me so perfectly. I really look up to your kindness and wisdom and faithfulness and amazingness :) I'm realizing just how perfect of parents you two are. You're so incredible! So thank you!
Well, I think that's it... we have a couple more investigators but nothing super exciting. I'm getting a little better at teaching but I still have a waaaays to go! Oh, I haven't used my bike at all yet, but I thought I'd ask just in case: what am I supposed to tighten? I forgot and Elder Dixon doesn't really know :) Go figure...that's the one thing I was supposed to remember :)
You're the best!! And I'll try with pictures...I keep forgetting. Sorry :/
I love you so so so much!! Thanks for everything you do for me! It's so good to get to talk to you once a week! And I'm looking forward to Christmas a little too much :) I'll email next Monday!
1st Baptism Sunday, August 23, 2015