My dear Family,
I am very very excited for San Jose. I love everyone I come in contact with. It is an interesting feeling that I haven't ever felt before but it seems that the more I talk to people the more I feel my love build. I recently met a man named Zhang1 Hui1 who is from He2 Bei3 China (the province that encompasses Beijing). He does have quite a strong accent ;) and I heard of his story from my companions a little while ago. He reminds me a lot of Brother Sadiosa and is a very loving character. He has a "stubborn" (that's a little strong of a word) belief in the Trinity but he believes the words that we say. He came to church this past Sunday and heard the many testimonies given by the members. He has a daughter as well who goes to a different church and likes to go there more than coming to our branch. I love them both and am grateful for the blessing it is to know them. The daughter's name is Xiao Yun and we have taught her as well. She has a few troubles of her own. I believe that they are progressing though. We have had two really good lessons with them both and they kept part of their commitments (which is a start) I think we just need to meet with them a little more often and they are happy to listen and learn. I pray for them each night. I love this gospel and I am so happy that I can meet and get to know people from asia here in the United States. They are a wonderful people with a great culture and I love them.as well and I just learned that I will be able to talk for about one hour and I will be allowed to talk . So I think I will call you at 4pm hear which will be 7am there . I am so glad to hear that all is going well and that Uncle Jim and Aunt Carol are able to come soon too. I am also glad that I too fasted for Unce Bob and so I joined with the faith of the family. I am having a wonderful time here in
Rebecca, I just read mom's note about you and I want you to know that I have felt that way a great many times. Most of the times it is when I have the most growth in my testimony and spirituality. Don't worry the Lord has a plan for you. I want you to read the talk from Jeffrey R. Holland about Christ's Atonement with mom. I think you will find that because of the Atonement you are never alone. I promise you that Jesus Christ is always there to hold your hand if you give it to Him. He will take you through some rough areas but will never let you get into any danger so long as you hold His hand. And when you get through and look back over your shoulder you will see a beautiful sunset. Our trials are what bring us the greatest joy and happiness. Alma explained this perfectly when he said that "there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my [sister], that on the other hand, there could be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." (Alma 36:21) The joy that Alma felt was equal to the pain that he felt before. Jesus Christ talks of his suffering in -19 and talks of the exceeding pain that he had. But, because he was willing to go through that pain, alone, he was giving joy beyond compare because his pains were beyond compare. So, when you feel pain just know that joy will be just around the corner. That is applicable to all not just Rebecca. I know this to be true and I know that our Heavenly Father does pay attention to the detail in our lives and in that way our lives are beautiful and of great value to Him. He loves us dearly and desires worlds without end for us and that is why we have commandments.
I have learned a lot about obedience and its importance. The 2000 stripling warriors were exactly obedient because they understood that only through exact obedience are we able to receive the promised blessings. If we are disobedient then we may still have joy but our joy will only last during this life. What we are doing in this life as we follow the commandments is giving ourselves more freedom because we are not only free during this life, we are also free in the life to come. If we are too lax with our standards now we feel free in this life but we condemn ourselves in the life to come. I love you all and I wish I had more time to write. I am so excited to be a missionary and I know that through our trials we will receive greater joy and happiness. I wish you all the best and will talk to you soon ;)