Monday, May 23, 2011

My dearest family. You are busy! Let's see Let's see. This week
rocked. Especially thursday because we leadership conference in Paris.
Conferences in Paris are one of my favorite things on my mission. It
is awesome to see like 50 other missionaries and have president tell
us how proud he is of us. It makes me feel SO good. It's so easy to
fell really lonely when you're out in your city for a long time all
alone. But then when you see that there a so many other missionaries
that are working with you and having good and bad experiences just
like you, it really builds your testimony of the divinity of this
work. I usually conduct the music at mission conferences and then I
play the piano for the mission song. It's fun. Also I always make sure
to steal a couple minutes with the mission presidents wife to talk
about how good our lives our. She always asks about my family and
tells me how great it is that I love my area and my companion. It is
great. On thursday president talked about FOD - foreign object debris.
It is a airplane term (as I'm sure Josh knows) and it refers to all
the little stuff that gets sucked into airplane engines and costs
billions of dollars. We all have fod is our lives. But how much is it
costing us? In our case right now it seems to be costing our mission
almost 50% of our normal baptisms. Wow! It really has made me look
again at my missionary efforts to find the places where fod is getting
into my engines, and then get rid of it. Thats metaphorical of course.

Remember when I told you about our ami Alexis? The college one that is
like my best friend? Well he is amazing. This week he told us that the
more he has started to pray, the more he feels like there is actually
someone there. He said that he has started to actually think about
what he says because he know he's not just talking to the air. Also
when we were teaching the Plan of Salvation this week, he pointed the
the paper I was drawing it on and almost shouted "That's it! That
makes sense!" One of the pictures I sent is us with Alexis.

Hmm... so I hear that our Armenian friend Adam has been talking to
Jordan and Mom? Adam is sweet. He recently referred two of his
Armenian friends that he knows in a little champagne city twenty
minutes away, so we went there and taught one of them with him.
Armenia is the new France.

Lee sent me a little message and told me that 5 of the young men from
Springboro recently got ordained elders! I love everyone of them and
remember sharing great experiences with them around Springboro and in
Young Mens. I've reflected a lot on my mission about the influence
that we have on others- and especially the influence that young people
have on others. So often when I was younger I was only concerned about
myself. I was concerned about being cool, about fitting in, about
having everything I wanted, etc... But how much more value do we have
in Heavenly Father's eyes when we are concerned not about ourselves,
but about others? The power of example is immense. How many people
look at us even when we are only 16 years old? A lot. Especially in
missionary work, youthfulness or even inexperience can be huge
advantages. You just have to be you, but you have to be the best you
possible. The example of Christ is sure to shine through. That goes
for grownups too :)

Well, time to be going. I love you.

Elder C

ps, I got the pants for my new suit loosened up so it's not quite so
strangling anymore ;)

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