|Mark says that this snow was about all they got in December and it is all gone now.|
|Mark, Elder Guzman and the ward missionaries.|
|preparing to bundle up|
|She loves her California winter|
|Bethany's home in Canyon Country California|
|Which road would be "less traveled"?|
|Elders Taylor and Cuevas preparing to go riding. Matthew has been on a bike his entire mission.|
|This is "so" Rachel. She likes photos to prompt questions.....Not sure which question to ask!!|
|Ben, this is for you....her "selfies" drive him crazy|
They all have good attitudes about the weather (who wouldn't have a nice feeling about the weather in California?) However, Matthew and Rachel say that the cold gives them a little extra time to study the Gospel. They have not always been able to go out every day, and Matthew has played Risk a bit (is that an approved missionary activity?) Mark loves Vernon and the people he has met. He claims it is like his second home now. Matthew is plugging along with Elder Cuevas, who is from Guatemala. Most people do not want to hear their message, but he is gamely still trying to talk to people. Mark is determined to be happy in spite of the lack of work, and Bethany is finding out that missions are challenging. Rachel is ready for a change , I think, but writes pretty optimistic letters.
I am in awe of their determination and fortitude. I am cold, and impatient right now...and I am in my own home! Missions are hard, and I told them that before they left. Rachel wrote in one letter, "missions are all about getting out of your comfort zones, and I am just going to embrace this new adventure." She said that her mission president used to say, "There's no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone." She goes on to say, " It is part of our spiritual nature to continually progress and learn. That's our whole reason for being here on Earth. If we tell ourselves that we're comfortable with where we are and see no reason to change, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to become more like God. God has given us his power to learn and progress so that one day we can become more like Him. Everything we go through in life is to prepare us for our life to come. God gives us certain trials and obstacles to shape us into who he needs us to become. He has a divine purpose for us and he has given us tools to help us fulfull that purpose."
She then quotes 2 Corinthians 4 17-18, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory: while we looke not as the things which are not seen, but as the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
It is wonderful to hear of their growth. I must admit it spurs me to try to be a little better. I am presently in one of my of least favorite months of the year, and do not ask myself to do much of anything outside of work and piano lessons. I tell myself I will feel better as February comes on...
I just read "The Rent Collector" and I am filled with gratitude for all that I possess in the way of family, friends and spiritual blessings. I am not living in a dump in Cambodia, and my kids are healthy and happy, unlike the main character in this wonderful story. Cultivating an air of gratitude for everything I possess is my goal this year.
|"Come what may and love it"|