The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways! The work has been getting better every week and I am really loving life and thriving here in Temecula. Which is a good thing, because as you know I will be serving the duration of my mission here. There is no place that I would rather be than here at this time. I really believe that. I do not think that the Lord doesn't need me in Mongolia, but He needs me here more. Would you be able to send me a guide on "How to throat-sing"? I still really want to learn! I have 5 minutes in the shower everyday.
The other three elders besides Elder Hegland and I have been re-assigned to the Oakland, Sacramento mission. Elder Hegland and I will both be staying here! I will be sending home some of the books and sweaters that I would have needed in Mongolia, but no longer require. After I figure out where I stand and how empty my suitcases are, I will let you know what I can't get here and ask for help, thanks.
Elder Lake and I have been working hard this week and having a great time! It is hard to believe that it is September already! I do have a great love for the people of southern California already and want to do all I can to help them all find happiness to the fullest of my abilities. I love this missionary work and I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides a way for us to obtain lasting happiness. Joy that will continue beyond the grave. I want to do all that is required of me and more. I have a personal goal to exhaust myself to the point that when I come home I will sit down somewhere and not be a missionary and sleep for 72 hours. Then I got sick this week and had to slow down a little and pace myself. Working hard without working smart is not pleasing unto God. Working too hard, even if it is smart, to the point where it is not sustainable also, is not good, because the Lord requires effective servants that are always at the top of their games.
As I tried to express last week before the time ran out, this work is a literal battle that we missionaries are waging against the unembodied hosts of the adversary. The fight is over the bodies of each of God's children living on this earth. Satan's legions want us to be miserable like unto themselves, and Christ is working through us to defend truth and liberty. As Moroni experienced of old, the conflict can seem overwhelming, but the war is one that we know we will win. We have been promised by God and through latter-day prophets that God is on our side and will come out the conqueror. I have tried to be more bold and fearless this week in proclaiming the Word to the hearts of the children of men, whose hearts have been prepared by angels. Alma taught that in order to receive exaltation, we must humble ourselves before God and bring forth fruit meet for repentance. Often we need to pray for guidance and listen, we may need to let go of our pride, we may need to forgive and move on, or perhaps, we need to just lose ourselves in a relentless push to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The difficulties arise when our enemies (those spirits who chose to follow Satan) try to lead us away from the straight and narrow path to eternal life. I have no greater conviction in this life than my knowledge that this church is true. I will not allow myself to falter in the march towards victory, nor will I pass up the chance to extend the invitation to all to join the ranks of our Father. Every singe person living on this earth has a body and that alone provides power of the bodiless forces that seek to oppress us and enslave us with the yoke of bondage. I, more than ever, know that this fight is not easy. Even missionaries have our struggles and challenges, but faith and submission to the will of God have given me hope and power to endure each trial. May each of us this week stand a little taller and know that we are on the path that God wants us to be on. I am grateful for the peace that this knowledge brings. I love being a missionary.