I should start this email by doing what the Spirit tells me to, and that is to tell my wonderful eternal family how much I love them and appreciate them. You are amazing people and we are a family that is loved and watched over by the Lord and our Father. Angels are continually protecting us as long as we are doing the right things and being safe and healthy. I love you all very much. My patriarchal blessing has a line that says, "I bless you to be forever grateful for the home you were blessed to be born in that you could come into a home and be born under the covenant and know you are truly blessed to be part of a family that have the blessings of eternal marriage and family." And the blessing is 100% fulfilled. I am sure I will see even more as I progress through mortality, but I have felt recently how amazing each of you are and how much you all contributed to me being a worthy Priesthood man. Thank you all with all the sincerity I can put into an email. I pray you will feel the Spirit testify to you that not only do I love you, but our living Lord, Jesus Christ, is watching you now and loves you even more. I know that is how it is.
The tragedy of Westgate was pretty terrible. So uh...... yeah..... the reason you never received an email was cuz President had me come to the office with my comp and get on the office computer and send out a mass email. And in compiling the contacts and everything, I seem to have....er....... forgotten to put my mom and dad in....? BUT!! I had sent Mom an email only a few hours prior so I figured ya'll would be ok. But all the missionaries were safe. A couple missionary were inside when it started, but amid bullets and grenades of terrorist, escaped unscathed and helped a few other old people out. Amazing, and terrifying at the same time. That's the first miracle, that they escaped fine. The second miracle: President and Sister Hicken had left the mall only minutes prior to the attack!!! They had felt like going early to the mall for shopping that Saturday, not knowing it was a prompting, and the Lord saved them. Third miracle: This one will put you on edge a bit. Elder Gideon and I had planned to go and visit Westgate that very day. It was our p-day and he had never been. However, neither of us felt like going and felt a bit tired and so we simply didn't. Talk about the Lord's complete intervention. He protects his saints and servants. Take care of the Lord's things and He will take care of you.
On a lighter note, I am so happy to be with Elder Gideon again. He is such a great missionary and brother to me. We get along great, and each of us have skills and abilities that makes our duties pretty dang easy and extremely enjoyable. President says I will leave the office at the end of this transfer, which is right at the end of October. And then... my last 6 weeks starts. Ugh......... my head swims with a billion different thoughts and too many emotions when I think about it. But I am doing my best to make the most of my mission still. I still crave to be obedient because I am always happy when I am. Being obedient is so satisfying!! The Spirit will be with you and you know the Lord would be pleased with you. I'm definitely not perfect, but I am trying to do better. Elder Gideon is a great companion. We really feed off of each other's positive encouragement and I feel great when we are companions. We'll be brothers and friends forever, no doubt.
This Sunday, tomorrow, we will be going to Mwanza in TZ. Then this week we are getting ready to start a tour around the mission for MLC, mission leadership councils. President Hicken really has us do alot. It is helping me grow in too many ways. I love it so much. BAH!!!
How is Tanner doing? And when you guys see him next, will you get his personal email and have him email me with it. I only have his mission one which I think will shut down soon. And what about Justin Moscon??? Where the heck did he disappear to?!?!? Oh yeah, been emailing Hailey... she's doing great :)
Not much else to report. Time is dwindling for me, and it is the most bittersweet I have felt in my life thus far. We are working hard here and I am doing my best to stay humble. I love the Lord. Tonight, me and my companion, along with the Office Elders, Elder Cele and Elder DeWitt, are going to read the Old Testament around a campfire. I am almost brought to tears at thinking I will have to leave my mission. Yuck. But keep up daily scripture study. I know it isn't easy, but you will rarely feel uneasy or unrest or stress if you devote time to the Lord every day. Love you all so much. I do miss you, but I know the Plan of Salvation and I know everything will be well no matter what happens. Please stay healthy.