Dear Family and Friends,
It is such a blessing to be able to sit down and email each week and to tell all of you how my mission is going. This week was a really good transitional week to allow Elder Navarrete to get accustomed to the area and to the people.
How is it being a senior companion you ask? Great. :) It has been nice to see how much I've grown and how much my testimony and confidence has increased. I'm [starting] to feel old in the mission, even though I also feel relatively new (It's kinda weird...). It's also nice to feel like I've gained trust from the Lord and from President Castro to be able to serve in this position of leadership.
Elder Navarrete is from West Plains, Missouri and he's a cool guy. He has been out for seven weeks now, and he does all he can to contribute to the work. At times, he seems a little cocky and boastful in his abilities, but we are all working with him and helping him. Of course, nobody's perfect, but it's important not to dwell on the negative traits of people. Each companion I receive I try and make them my new favorite companion. Looking for the positives and just finding ways to have fun is very important.
On Wednesday, I was feeling a little overwhelmed and incompetent, but then I prayed, I wrote in my journal for a little bit, read the scriptures and read the letter Cameron gave me when I went into the MTC about adapting yourself and finding ways you can improve. After doing these things, I felt so much better about everything and we were able to go our and have a good day. I know I say this a TON, but I have developed a greater love and testimony of scripture study and prayer. Truly just going to the Lord in times of need and reading the scriptures can answer ANY question we may have. It is such a blessing to be able to have the scriptures in our lives and to be able to turn to them when times get rough.
Oh, so about transfer meeting. Monday night (the day before transfer meeting) we couldn't find a ride from anyone to get down to Ventura. We were doing our laundry, and the ward clerk who lives in the same complex as us came in and talked to us. He called his boss (who coincidentally is a former bishop) and explained the situation to him. He was able to get work off the whole day just to drive us to Ventura. It was truly a miracle. We are bringing him a Dutch Apple Pie today.
Another thing that I have been appreciating is the feelings of love and trust that we have been receiving from the ward. I feel like this ward is a lot more missionary minded and focused than when I got here. What a blessing that is. Last Monday, we were able to go to Jose's house with a member from the Elder's Quorum and he was able to connect with him really well and show him some of the gospel library app's. It was really cool. The bishop trusts us a lot, and I just feel like we are doing good work here.
We have arranged to go to a member's house to do our phone calls on Christmas! They have unlimited minutes, :D and we were planning on going there around 9-10 (my time). I'll give you more details in the future. I can't wait to talk to all of you on Christmas!
Another thing that I have really appreciated this week is just simply receiving letters. I often reflect on how other missionaries don't even have the support of their families. Thank you so much for everything, and it was great to receive the letter from all of the Wards! Thank you!
Dad, it was also really cool to hear about that experience you had in the temple. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. It truly brightened my whole day. I know that I didn't find Sarah Jane Dunham's name on accident, and it was really cool that you were able to feel her presence there. Thanks again.
Well, my time is just about up. There is no doubt that the Gospel is true. If you don't believe me, then just read the scriptures. 'Nough said. :)
Love, Elder Harper