Wow. This week has been mind blowing and I’m so excited to share with all of you as much as I can. I hope I can get it all out as I need to.
So, first off, thanks so much for all of your continued support and love. I can’t explain how much it means to me that you are thinking of me. This week was a little difficult for me and my companion. We weren’t getting along so great, and tensions were riding high, and boiled over early this week. We are doing better, much better, in no small part to letters and comments from our respective families and friends. Again, I can’t explain how much you helped.
So, this week, for our Tuesday night devotional, we had Elder Russell M. Ballard come and talk to us!! Three apostles in a row, no one can remember the last time that happened. I was super excited. He talked about what we need to learn to do, as missionaries, and in our lives in general. As missionaries, he counseled us to strive always to be master communicators, and that through our friendliness, open, simple communication, the Spirit will testify of the truth of our message. The biggest thing I pulled from this was what he said about antagonism. We need to strive to be clear and levelheaded, even with those who are antagonistic, and we will be able to share our message so much easier. The biggest thing about being master communicators, he said, is not about talking eloquently, but being able to understand the person you are talking with and being able to truly communicate back and forth on any topic. (Side note, he related a story to us in which he asked a mission to go and ask random people what there views on God were, and the best was: ‘I’m not religious, I’m a Jew!’ :P) He told us that his wife says that the most important tool we have is our smile. “It doesn’t matter which language is used, when Joseph Smith’s own words are used,(…) lives change, and they know you have something they have never felt before.”
Yesterday, we found a bird flying in the cafeteria. 😛 Watched some of the staff (Elder Horrock’s brother-in-law) chase it for 30 minutes, until he gave up and waited for the missionaries to leave so he could get it down… definitely the most interesting thing in that cafeteria.
So, today, I received my Patriarchal Blessing. Holy cow. Patriarch Dougherty (I think that’s how it is spelled) is a wonderful man, and he and his wife said I will have a copy of it by Sunday. (I’m going to send the copy I recieve home, after I get a copy for myself, laminated) I don’t really know why I never got it before, other than I never felt a burning reason to. Until last Thursday. And now I have it.
This week has been incredibly amazing, in no small part to all of you who write me and support me. While it may have started out rocky, my companion and I are on the right track, and I have had one of the best, happiest weeks of my life.
- Cherish: I finally got one of your letters! yay. Thanks so much for writing me, and I hope you got the one I sent last week. (Sending another today, eventually)
- Sam and Sean: If you read this, please please please email me or something so that I can get your addresses. I lost yours, Sam, and I don’t think I ever had yours, Sean. When I leave for Mozambique (in three and a half weeks!!), I won’t be able to write often, or at all (still can email, but that’s no fun). So let me know as soon as you can!
The language is coming great, and if I had more time, I would share some, but as it stands, I’m almost out of time. But, I am currently reading A Milagre do Perdão (The Miracle of Forgiveness) in language! (although it’s taking me forever, but who cares. I know the grammar, just not the vocab yet.) But I’m a bit scared for Mozambique, the language is so completely different than what I am currently learning. Oh well, trust in the Lord and all 😛
Thanks again so much,
Your loving Elder Leake