How is everyone doing! Just finished reading all of the e-mails everyone gave me! The letters and e-mails really do help! I think if you haven't been on a mission you won't know what I mean by. They help a lot because they come from people you love. You're e-mails and letters are wonderful! And they don't make me miss home anymore! I view them as encouragement to help me stay on this path. Wow I can honestly say I have the best family and friends in the whole world! My Lord has blessed me with so many good examples in my life. Just now my two sisters, my brother Brett, and my Parents wrote beautiful e-mails of comfort and encouragement. Thank you so much for you experiences that have been similar to mine. They help a lot! Brett, thanks for finally e-mailing! LOL JK but your e-mail really helped! I wasn't laughing in those parts, but I'm in that boat right now! Like you, with athletics, whether it was two-a-days in football or basketball conditioning, weights. I had pushed myself beyond what I even though was possible, physically that is. But when I look back on it, if I hadn't put myself through all those very challenging times and the whole time I wanted to just give up, I wouldn't have had near the success. Thanks for taking me through your mission. It really did help, as well as your experiences Shauni and Lindsey.
Sometimes during this mission I have wondered why have I been called to a foreign country. Why didn't I just get called to an English speaking mission with a similar culture. I'm getting sick of getting laughed at everyday, everytime I sit down my legs feel like they are going to explode! Samoan's don't beat around the bush either, they tell you what they are thinking and it hurts your feelings sometimes. You might all think I'm sounding like a baby but there is some rude things sometimes. Usually they are nice, but... Anyways... Washing my clothes in a bucket is getting old and taking ice cold showers every night isn't so pleasant. The food gets bland a lot and I feel like a worthless missionary. Ha I remember crying to my companion my second day out. There was literally tears flowing through my eyes. I have never in my life encountered something so mentally and spiritually demanding! And it's even worse when everyone is the KNOW IT ALL and can just throw out advice to you like it's nothing and they been in a situation like this at all... Not you guys, other Samoans... It's been a rough experience and sometimes I would think to myself.... Why has God let me go through this...
But to be honest! Everything is starting to become a lot better. I read Chapter 4 PMG with all the scriptures and extra activities last night. It was raining and so we couldn't go out and proselyte. Such a comfort. The Lord promises us if we are worthy of the Holy Ghost, He will comfort us. Wow it was a neat experience. I put everything I had into it and so many thoughts popped into my head, I was learning so much. I was writing everything that came to my head and when thoughts ceased to come, I would continue with the reading. Everything is starting to get a lot better. Although I can't speak the language and I can barely understand. I'm getting more adapted to the culture. I got really lucky with a companion that doesn't sleep in until 10 like Brett's did. By the way, there is a lot of Samoan's who do that. My companion said that most people here don't like the Samoan Companions because they don't take it seriously and they just mess around all day. But then they don't like new white people either because they can't speak the language, lol. It's been good. I don't know if the people and the culture is helping me that much. But this experience is really challenging me. I'm starting to relax more and I'm starting to see the light. How can I expect to have it all fun and games, when the Savior Himself didn't. He was Perfect and he had to go through everything just to save me and you. I have learned to not care as much what other people say about me or when others laugh at me. I can't even imagine how bad the Jews and Romans treated him during the end of his life. Like Brett, Lindsey, Shauni said... This by far the most challenging thing I have ever encountered. Right when something seems to start to get a little bit better, or I have a reason to rejoice. I get to have another humbling experience. I thought to myself when I left the MTC that I would be such a good missionary right off the bat, if I would have went English speaking. I felt like I had prepared so much for my mission. With Seminary, BYU, and I felt like I had read my scriptures a lot. During my time that I worked with Aaron, he would ask the most outrageous and difficult questions, and it would cause me to ponder. Think about his questions that I had never even thought about. It had not only taught me some doctrine I had never known before, but it also taught me how to search for answers. I had the BIGGEST HEAD and thought that I would be the BEST Missionary. Well, Heavenly Father had just the thing for me. I thought I was going on my mission to help save others. I thought I was going to try and help them find the light of this gospel. Boy I was sure wrong. I found out very soon that I wasn't going to be doing that until I SAVE MYSELF. This mission has pushed me to the limits. And anyone that hasn't been on one or in a similar situation like Shauni's or Lindsey's can try to understand what I'm saying, but you really don't what this experience is like until you really DO IT for yourself. I know that If I endure it well Like Joseph in Carthage, I will be blessed to start finally seeing some success...
By the way we had two baptisms this last week and we are suppose to have another one in two weeks! The work is going so much better and thanks for all the encouragement! I love you all and sorry for no pictures but the computer was being dumb!