Dear Family and faithful friends,
How are all of you? I hope that the adjustment to this new school year is going well and that you are becoming comfortable with all the newness that each year must surely bring. I know that I am certainly adjusting to my share of newness here. Having completed now the third week here, somethings are beginning to feel familiar, so that certainly helps. The week went by pretty quickly this week.
This week I was finally able to convice the Elders that live with me to take turns running with me in the morning. They rotate days and we go for a comfortable little 12-15 minute run. I have enjoyed it immensely.
With the short time that I have I´ll tell a few experiences that I have had and enjoyed in my time so far. We have visited with and helped a family from the church here a couple of times. The most recent, as we were leaving, the father offered to give us a ride to our next appointment. They live on the top of a big hill with some bumpy roads that wind down over a couple miles to the main highway. He has a small dune-buggy sort of car, like a big go-cart, that they use to get around. We hopped in and sat in the back. He drove it out of his driveway, out onto the dirt road, and then turned off the engine and cruised down the hill. There were flat spots where we doubted we would make it, but sure enough, it would creep to the edge of the next drop and we would go zooming down again. It felt very much like a roller coaster.
Over the course of the last two weeks, two of the important local leaders have been released and new leaders have been called. The bishop of our ward, the man over the local congregations who makes sure that every memeber in the area has their temporal and spiritual needs met, was released after a number of years of service and another man from the congregation was called. This is a normal process. Each position in the church is voluntary and unpaid. Leaders seek inspiration for those that can serve in each and every capacity and call men and women to fulfill the many responsibilities. The position of Bishop is a particularly heavy and important one. Additionally, just yesterday the Stake President was also given a release after 7 and a half years of service in the position, a very long amount of time. In his place was called another humble man, a follower of Christ who has a heavy burden, but will be supported and blessed by the Lord for his selfless service to come. His responsibility is to look over several congregations in the area and ensure that the Bishops have the resources and support to provide all that is necessary for the members in the wards.
That is a little bit about the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each member of the congregation has a calling, an assignment from the Lord to serve in some capacity in the church. Each position is voluntary and requires sacrifice so that through loving service rendered by each member, all are edified and uplifted. Sure would love to answer any more questions you have.
To conclude I want to share a few of my goals for the coming week so that you all can hold me accountable. I will do my best to give a report on how it went next week.
Smile more! I am finding that many see me already as the "serious" missionary. I do not mind that at all, but I really want to make sure that people can see how much I love them. So I will be sure to be seriously happy. :)
Serve someone I live with each day. Serving always helps us be happier right?
Develop strong relationships with more of the members of this area and ward. Learn to love and be loved.
Well I hope to hear from you all soon. Letters are great, dearelder is great, pictures are wonderful, really any form of communication is the best. Thanks for your support!