Hello from East London! I am emailing from the shop here! Elder Pulu had to go to Cape Town for a couple of days so I am here with the Zone Leaders. It was a great weekend with them! Of course, we had a stake conference and we got to hear from a member of the Quorum of the 70, Elder Hamilton, and then we went up to him and he was like “elders!” and he talked to us for a little while. Super cool how much we get respected as missionaries….even by a general authority! And, we had two meal appointments from members that day…. And today is zone pday so we are having a big barbecue, so I happened to come on a great weekend!
This week we celebrated Elder Pulu’s 20th birthday! I made him breakfast, bought him KFC for lunch, and then the Branch President fed us… had so much food that day my stomach is still recovering! We were eating some cake around our kitchen we got with the other Elders in our house and Elder Pulu goes “Guys… we are on a mission…this is so weird… we are literally eating cake in the kitchen in shirts and ties” hahahahahah! It still gets me from time to time that I am serving a mission! But Pulu and I will only be together for less than 2 more weeks and it will be a sad goodbye. Even though he is my “father” on my mission, he is like a brother to me. They asked me to say some stuff about him for his birthday at the Branch President’s house and I teared up talking about him and he cried as I was talking about him. Will definitely be a hard goodbye!
One thing that has changed dramatically over these past few weeks is my confidence as a missionary. For the first couple of weeks I felt totally inadequate, at times I still do, but it is amazing the change I have seen. I now have the confidence that I can do this. I can open up to a scripture when I listen to the Holy Ghost and then talk about it and it is just so cool seeing the change!
There is a scripture I read every single day when I wake up. It is found in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 28:3, it says “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” This is what keeps me going. Every morning when I get up at 6:30am it is tough. I am always so tired and sometimes I think “not today. I will just sleep today”. But I read this and it gives me motivation that everyone needs to hear the message that we have and it makes me sick to my stomach, like the scripture says, if someone goes through this life and doesn’t hear the gospel, so it helps me push through even when I am tired or feel like I can’t do it anymore!
Before my mission, I believed the church was true. But, now I KNOW. I know with every ounce of blood I have in my body that this is the only true church on the earth today. The same church that Jesus Christ established has been brought back through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know he was God’s chosen prophet in this final dispensation. I know that through the power and gift of God he was able to translate the Book of Mormon, the most correct book in the world today. It truly is the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that we have a modern day prophet on the earth today that leads and guides this church through God. I know that God lives, and he loves each of us individually and perfectly. He knows us by name and knows our strengths and weaknesses that we face and he hears and answers all of our prayers in his own way and his own time. I know that Jesus is the Christ. That he lived and he died for all of our sins. And I know that it is through the sacrifice he made, the Atonement, that we can repent, and be made clean, and if we do this and endure to the end, we will be worthy to live with our father in heaven again and his son Jesus Christ again.
Every day I think about and miss my family, every day. But, we as missionaries leave our eternal families for two years, to help other families become forever. I know that the message I share, and missionaries all over the world share, blesses families and gives them hope and peace in their lives. I love you all so much and miss and pray for you guys every day!