My salutation today is a smile, because I am happy!
I am impressed that even though you wrote me this email last night, you thought ahead and said good morning to me, because you knew I would be getting it this morning!
Thank you for the email and good news from home. My news, as you know, is that I am headed to a new area this very day. The ward here has been so fun and people said they have spare rooms if I ever want to visit! I just might when it is 75 degrees in December!
My personal favorite experience of the week is hard to put a finger on. Elder Barton and I mentally and physically sprinted all week and were raring for more, but his new companion will just have to catch on quick.Any how, here are a few of my highlights(in no particular order):
-Ward Christmas party: Elder Barton and I cooked the hashbrowns and spilled a little oil. We did not think it was a big deal until Carter van der Linde, who is 6 jumped by us, landed in the oil, got some on his shoes and proceeded to run into the slick wood floor of the gym, make a sharp 90 degree cut to the left while his feet continued ahead and he landed on his rump. A little more wax on the floor please...
-Sunday: I accompanied the ward choir singing "Jesus Once of Humble Birth". It was nice to feel the spirit through music like that. I love teaching and testifying, but music really gets to me.
Christmas caroling: A few times this week we went out with members of the ward or other missionaries to visit investigators, single people or just people who needed a cheering up to sing a few Christmas carols and read from Luke 2. That was really nice, and people liked it.
Oh yeah, also during the Christmas party the young men and young women did a little act and I played the piano for them as they sang some fun songs.
THE BIG ONE: We have a sweet, little, old sister who was baptized about 5 years ago. She loves missionaries! Now, that is all well and good, however, she is tight financially and is looking for a roommate. Well, what is the problem with that Elder Chandler? Her house was neck high in rubbish!!! Ward council has been discussing this problem for years: she needs help. Well That is what missionaries are for, so I told Elder Barton we need to do something about this. This sister has the most wobbly voice I have ever heard. I will call her after my mission just to listen to her voice, because it tickles me.
We usually have a tough time getting elderly women to do what we want, but this time we had no mercy. We talked about bringing the spirit into her home, about getting money so she could experience the blessings of tithing, and being happy! She agreed to leave her home for a season while we went in to do some work. She warned us about the "alligator in the fridge" and I thought it was a rumor. Until I opened the fridge; there it was.
We filled up the dumpster behind her house with newspapers from 1987 and canned food older than me. Once that was full we filled up the next dumpster with deteriorated pillows and warm meat juice. Elder Barton just about vomited a few times (haha)
She is still looking for a roommate, but she is very happy. As a goodbye gift I took her out to lunch yesterday and made her let me pay. She is truly a wonderful woman.
I have to head down to Vista for transfer meeting and to practice a song that President Cook wants me to play for the meeting.
That is not what is really important though, what IS really important is that we have God's church on the earth and the simple Gospel, which is the way for us to be happy. I know that it is true and real. A thought I have been pondering on this week is about vision. Well, vision and perspective. If I want to drive across the country I believe I could. However, all I can see at one time is the road ahead of me. If I crash in the middle, I will be stuck, and you never know what might be around the next corner that would deter you from forward progression. As we make decisions and goals in our life we must remember that ultimate goal that Father in heaven wants for us: to return to live with Him.
What I have been thinking about is that life is not all about what is happening right now. I was guilty in high school of being narrow-minded and absorbed in activities that were part of my vision, but I did not recognize the big picture. Only God really sees the big picture, but I have a strong testimony that if we just live the simple Gospel then we will be happy. As we do the right things and live the right way then there is nothing that can stop us from achieving our purpose in life. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my elder brother and my friend. Please, please, please think about Him every day.
Being a missionary is the bomb! Lovin' out loud is what it's all about :)