Sunday, August 11, 2013

Snail Mail letter

*Elder Nelson sometimes sends snail mail letters in one envelope for lots of people.  He labels who they are for and I re-mail them or deliver them for him.  He included us with this letter that I have retyped here:

Dear Mom/Dad/Familia/Friends,
So this will be the letter that was so short, or an addition to it, the week that I didn't write much because I sat waiting for the page to load.  The rest of these letters should be redistributed to their proper owners.  The one that says Jessica is for Jessica Bagley, Rachael, for Rachael Porter.  I hope this makes it before their missions start.
Dad, I never get to reply to your letters, but they're always a lift and right on the money.  I plan to reread yours from today and maybe write something back next week in the email.  I'm still waiting on Braden's personal account of the proposal.  He wrote me a quick email just to say he was engaged, but some things never change, the promised follow-up email didn't come.
Mom, the taffies weren't hard, in fact they melted a touch, maybe next time in a plastic bag?  They're delicious, I have one every day or two to really savor them.  The photos of our house about made me cry for how much we have.  I haven't told you all, but here, the people live in concrete houses and add stories with bricks or plywood or woven mats.  That's the middle class.  The people living in the hills use discarded building materials to lean against the hillside with dirt floors.  I will never again take our house and lawn for granted.
This week we've been teaching a lot of Catholics. That's kind of the norm because if they are part of another church they changed from Catholic and are a lot more firm or want to prove us wrong, and well, that doesn't do well.  There's one family , a nurse named Carmen who came to church.  She and her husband work constantly, or she studies to know more about nursing.  She's 65 years old and still seeking more education.  They're married, which alone is somewhat of a miracle, but also her daughter Carmen Jr. is married to a less active member.  The mom was a witness in Maritza's wedding and is now investigating.  We hope to baptize the 3 of them and reactivate the son-in-law by the end of June or early August.  Really, Elder Gaibor and I get along really well.  We both have firm testimonies built on our experiences, and we both believe in complete obedience.  He understands spoken English, but I am helping him to speak more fluently.  His goal is to travel out of Ecuador, hopefully to finish schooling at BYU.  He has about 11 months left and I hope he makes it up there, I'd love to have you all meet him.
Speaking of being in the states, President Blunck is back home now, and President Erickson is here.  We haven't met yet, but I've sent my first weekly email to him and there are plans for interviews and conferences.  President Blunck's final devotional was incredible, and it showed how he didn't slow down for one moment during the mission.  i.e. 300+ flights in both directions Lima-Selva and Selva-Lima (Selva is the jungle).  Incredible.  Braden must have been ecstatic to see Presidnet Hicken and his wife.  That is such a blessing I look forward to.
Well, now comes that time again, I love and pray for each one of you as individuals and I hope that you have plans and goals in the gospel.  Like general authorities have said, if you aren't moving forward in the gospel, you are slipping backward.  Loved the "claimed by the Lord and counterclaimed by the adversary" quote by the way.
Elder Nelson

"Our leisure, even our play, is a matter of serious concern.  That is because there is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every split second is claimed by God, and counterclaimed by Satan." 
~Sheri L. Dew

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