Dear Family (You are all my family in one way or another)
I'm getting really tired of my mission going by so fast. I distinctly remember hearing from other missionaries, especially my trainer, when I first got to the field that the time would fly by and I never believed them, but now I know better. Though I expected a lot of happy times when investigators get baptized or similar things I never thought serving a mission could be so fun and rewarding most of the time! There are surely times when the heat of the Refiner's Fire is very real but it always leads to further strength, light, and appreciation for all the blessings of life. In the service of the Lord there is no time wasted, unless you choose to waste it. As we diligently seek to reflect His will we will experience greater joy in our lives and the times when we don't feel as happy as we would like are crucial times of refinement that allow us to become vessels of greater light and become like the Savior. It's my advice to other missionaries serving and future missionaries not to waste a minute of your missions, it's too valuable to skip out on or to do half-heartedly.
Sometimes it is really hard to know what to right about because things that are regular as a missionary may be really interesting to others! There weren't any crazy contacting stories or weird things that happened in lessons but it was still a good week. We stopped by Chris, who I mentioned in letters a few weeks ago, on Wednesday and were able to teach her the Plan of Salvation and it was a very very good lesson. She is Catholic but is very open to learning and is really spiritually prepared. She has a very strong relationship with Heavenly Father and is open to the promptings of the Spirit which allows her to feel the truthfulness of what we teach. She immediately recognized us as servants of the Lord and told us that she knows God sent us to her to bring further light into her life! The lesson pretty much made our week and helped us to see God's love for all of us and the people we are serving.
She also has the biggest dog I have ever seen! It is like having a small bear in the room during lessons! I'm pretty sure his tail is bigger than Oscar!
This Wednesday the entire mission is having a conference and training on iPads coming to the mission. It will be really nice to be able to show people videos wherever we are but I don't think it will change missionary work very much. Hard work is still required. It will be nice to see all of the missionaries in the mission and see past companions and other friends. We won't be getting iPads for another few weeks but we will have the chance to council on ways that we can use them to the best effect without them being a distraction.
This week is the last week of the transfer so one of us will probably be moving to a new area. I can't say for certain whether I want to stay or move to a new area but I know that the Lord will guide President Millar in the decision and where I end up. It has been good to get to know a lot of the members and others in Hamble River and hopefully I'll get to know them a bit more.
I know I have promised pictures but I was equally as lazy in taking them this week. Next week there will be pictures from the conference and hopefully some of the other things you have asked for but most of the time I don't know what to take pictures of. Maybe suggestions or requests could help?
I love you all so much and love hearing about home and what is happening in your lives!