Companion: Elder Villarreal
That's so great that you guys had the opportunity to go to the cabin. I was thinking about that this week as I was talking to an elder from around that area in Show Low during a big meeting we had. Oh yeah, you guys won't have any children in public schools. How crazy! I've realized these last two weeks that I'm beginning to love reading! I'm reading a lot of the books that we have in the house. It's awesome and very neat.
Grandma and Grandpa [Johnson] as well as MaRu email me nearly every week. It's so great to get an update and feel their love and read their uplifting messages. And wow how amazing that Natalie is engaged! Very exciting.
Thank you so much Mom and Dad for the uplifting messages. You both have really impacted my life more than any other physical beings in this world and for that I am eternally grateful. You both have helped me so much in this life in guiding me to be successful here in this life and the next. Such a great eternal blessing! I'm really beginning to feel the love the Savior has for his children here in Barranquilla. There are many hardships that I witness and many things that you may stop and wonder why they have been asked to go through this trial. It's really tough but I know that the Lord is there and that he will help us walk when we feel as though we cannot walk anymore. He will always be there in our lives and we have that promise. What a great tangible and sometimes untangible thing to be entitled to!
This week has felt especially hot. I'm not sure if I was just imagining it, but it was definitely blazing! Oh and I don't know if I said this yet but I haven't eaten a hot dog since the MTC in Bogota! I don't know if that was just a Bogota thing or just a MTC thing or what, but here in Barranquilla when we go the member's houses for lunch everyday we mostly eat rice and some kind of meat (usually beef or chicken). My stomach is starting to adjust to the food too which is a good thing! My meals work like this: Breakfast we just eat in the morning. Usually I will eat something small like an egg and toast or an apple. Then lunch in the biggest meal here in this culture. We go to a member's house every day for lunch. They feed us usually rice and meat. And then dinner we usually just eat at the end of our day. Again it's usually something small for me because I'm not too hungry so I'll eat some granola bars, crackers and an apple or something. Never for dinner. Always just for lunch [we eat at member's homes]. Every week or two they pass around a list in Relief Society and fill it out and then give it to us and it tells us where to go for lunch.
I'm not exactly sure how much time we have on the computers. We go to a store that has computers. They're on every corner. We usually go to the same one every time. It only costs like 2 or 3 mil or 2000 or 3000 or about 1 or 2 dollars. They don't just randomly shut off though, like Abby [Crandall] said hers did.
So the message I wanted to share this week has to do with something my companion has been teaching me, and that is to be your own free agent. In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told to be our own free agents and to do many things of our own free will and to be anxiously engaged in a good cause. I'm really starting to learn to do this. This last week he told me this because before I'd always just follow him, in lessons and other things, and didn't really listen to the spirit for the guidance. I know that I'm relatively new at this but it's a good reminder to us that we are our own free agents and have been given this opportunity and responsibility to act for ourselves for good or for bad. How great an opportunity!
Well, have a good week everyone! Love and miss you all!