I'm so happy to hear from you. It was great to see your faces on Mother's Day! I can tell how each of the kids are growing up. In answer to your question Sarah, the way that we can serve God the best is to keep his commandments. That's cool that you had a talk about converts, and being converted to the gospel. There is an elder that I'm serving with, Elder Li, that is a convert to the church. He's from Toronto, Canada. He joined the church on his own and his family doesn't understand his decision to be baptized. In fact, they think that for him to be on a mission is a waste of time. It makes me grateful to be born in this family. I hope his parents understand someday. Jessica, I'm so glad that you continue to persevere. I know you have faith, just keep growing it. I felt the same on my mission. One time I felt like God wasn't happy with me because I wasn't praying well enough and I couldn't even remember what I prayed for. But now I know it was a test of my faith. I love you all very much and I'm glad that we have the opportunity to correspond with one another. Mom, that's funny the weatherman calls the rain moisture! Anyway, the students get out June 18th. It's a little late, huh?
Sorry my letter is all broken up. I got kicked off the computer because it ran out of time, and I had to get on a different one. I e-mailed Josh today and told him about the weather, the culture, and frequently asked questions. The Pacific Northwest is great. I love it. Jessica, I want to tell you something that helped me. I remember that a general authority (I don't remember who) said "a testimony is found in the bearing of it." In Alma 32 it says if you even only have a desire to believe, let the desire work in you until you can give a place in your heart for God's word. If you keep trying, and persevere, even when you make mistakes, you will have rock solid faith. One of the greatest indicators of true conversion to the gospel is your desire to share it with others. That is still something I'M working on. Don't worry about giving your talk on Sunday. The bishop asked YOU to do it, because he knows the Lord wants you to grow your faith. Keep trying. Even if you don't feel like you're doing all that you're supposed to. When you put your trust in God, he will help you. Repent of your mistakes and move on. That's all that God asks us to do. Christ's grace is sufficient for us. Look up the word "Grace" in the Bible Dictionary, and read some scriptures about it. God doesn't save us on our own merit. Christ payed the whole debt. He asks us to keep his commandments because it is how we grow, and it is what will make us the most happy. It's not so we can earn our way to heaven. Last conference, President Uchtdorf said that believing you'll be saved by your own good works is like buying an airplane ticket and thinking you own the whole airline. The truth is, we can't do anything on our own. You have to look to Christ in every thought. D&C 6:36.
By the way, Peyton (cousin Justin's new baby) looks beautiful! We stopped in on a less active family on Saturday, and they just had their first baby on Thursday! Her name is "G M H". Then we helped give her mom a blessing. It was great! Brother "H" helped give the blessing too. He was a little unsure of giving the blessing because he hadn't done it in a long time. But he did wonderfully. The work is going alright. Its a little slow, because a lot of our investigators are sick and afflicted. I found out that Sister "H" has fibromyalgia! That would be hard to deal with and raise 4 children. She's a trooper! She has been in my prayers lately. Brother "S" wasn't at church on Sunday. He still must be sick. We met with a member returning to activity the other day. Her name is "C D". She has schizophrenia and depression. She is a trooper too. She has just started to read the Book of Mormon again. She said that when she started, it felt like demons were attacking her, but she fought through it and she said they went away after she kept reading. She really wants to go to the temple, but she struggles keeping the word of wisdom. She is also in my prayers a lot. That's how the work goes. I can't wait to hear from you next week!