April 2, 2012

Another week in Mendoza

We have had a good p-day. We went down to a more touristy shopping place with souvenirs and stuff with the other hermanas. I always love seeing Hermana Ball. I bought a flag and a couple other things but I will have to go back and shop in November. So I finished week 33 in Mendoza and only 33 weeks left of the mission. Pretty sweet. Happy April. That is crazy but so exciting. I got a lovely boatload of mail this week, including my birthday box. Muchas gracias. I also got a lovely t-shirt from Lexxy. Thanks pal!  I actually bought one for you today but I will have to figure out how to get it to you. I might send some stuff home with Hermana Loftus when she leaves at the end of the month. I do have to confess that I opened one of my birthday presents. I thought you had probably sent me the EFY cd I asked for, and my companion had asked her family to send it but they haven’t yet, so we decided to open it. I knew I could count on you, although she keeps playing the same song over and over and over again and it is making me a little crazy. Anyway, all the rest is waiting for me to open on my birthday. Thanks peeps. I had a good interview with president this week. We talked more than usual. He asked me the usual questions and also asked what the hardest thing is and I was trying to think of something quickly so I said being away from my family. He said to try and think of what my family expects me to be when I get home so I can be the person they want me to be. I really liked that advice. He also set my release date for Nov. 20 so we are all set. I am just so glad we have such a good relationship. Today when we were walking we were imagining what it will be like to walk in the airport and meet up with our families. I said something about seeing my 3 best friends. I sometimes forget that not everyone has that kind of relationship with their families. I had a good exchange this week with the hermanas. I went to Villa Carmen with Hermana Kamisese for a day. It was fun. We both just enjoyed the peaceful day that we had together. It was nice to spend more time with her since she is going home this transfer. The elders had a baptism at our chapel after conference and I couldn’t help but imagine people we know going down into the waters of baptism. The zone leaders called on April Fool’s Day to ask if our refrigerator was running. I guess they had made some other prank calls too. We are supposed to go to the temple next Wednesday but we think we still get p-day on Monday. I should still be writing on Monday but if not you’ll know why. So I loved, loved, loved conference this week. I hope I get as excited about it when I am home from the mission. It was so good. I watched all sessions in English. The hermanas in the zone came over for lunch between sessions on Saturday and we had lunch with the zone at the church on Sunday. Good times. I feel like they talked a lot about families and Christ and discipleship. I liked when President Packer talked about being happy at home and sealed safely in the covenant. Love that! And Elder Holland’s, don’t delay, it’s getting late. Even though Elder Baxter was talking about single parents I liked what he said, that every single one of their achievements will stand as a tribute to them...so true. I love my parents. I always like Elder Scott when he talks about his dear wife and relationships beyond the veil. I liked president Uchtdorf’s talk and when he said, it is the merciful who obtain mercy. Elder Ballard talked about, that no career can bring you as much fulfillment as a family. When Elder Evans talked about missionaries and writing them letters, the room went crazy with us missionaries although I already have faithful letter writers. I liked what he said about missionary experiences being natural and normal and that we should pray with the intent to act on the promptings we receive. And of course my dear Sister Beck... I just love her! I liked when she talked about switching out robes for rags and saving souls. And then when President Monson said the influence of those released will be felt for generations to come. I just love Sister Beck and am so sad she was released. I also liked at the end when President Monson told those away from their homes to return to your homes safely and I was thinking that applied to Alexis since she will be with you next conference. I loved the music...some of my favorites were...Teach Me to Walk in the Light (reminded me of Irene), Come Thou Fount, and Hope of Israel...that is my favorite hymn in Spanish. I loved the MTC choir and thought about all of the happy parents seeing their missionaries and of course we all went crazy when one of the elders pointed out David Archuleta. Good times! I loved conference and next conference I will be practically home. I love my family and thought of you often. I feel so connected when I know you are watching the same thing. I love you soooooooooooooooo much. Well, time is about up, but I love you a million. Alexis will be home in 6 months. Crazy! Have a Happy Easter. I will be enjoying my Easter stuff you sent. Love you, ejc

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