Hey friends and family!
First I have to thank everyone. I probably got more mail this week than anyone else in the mission! Three packages and eight postcards! I had to stop and think what special occasion it was. Then I realized it was just a normal week, and you all felt like sending me something at that same time. It was better than Christmas! Haha. Believe it or not, I think God worked through each of you to send me mail this week. I really needed that extra little bit of uplifting encouragement. It's just been kind of stressful. We're getting ready for Kristina's baptism coming up, and things are a little rough. She woke up on Sunday not feeling well and had to miss church. Then she was supposed to have her baptismal interview on Monday and had to cancel it. The adversary is definitely working on Kristina as she gets closer to her baptism. It reminds me of the first vision, when Joseph Smith began to pray and was overcome by the power of Satan. As he began to offer up his desire to know the truth, he was bound by darkness to the point that he couldn't speak. In Joseph's account we read that he exerts all of his powers to call upon God to deliver him from the enemy which held him bound. And a pillar of light rested upon his head, casting out the darkness and overpowering Satan's influence. I am reminded of two things from this experience with Kristina and from Joseph Smith's story. One is that although the adversary's power is real and scary, the Lord's power is so much greater. The other thing I am reminded of is that the work I am doing is true and real. It really is God's work. If it wasn't then the adversary wouldn't be working so hard to try and stop it. I think Kristina will be okay. We visited her yesterday and ended up giving her a Priesthood blessing. I know that the reason Kristina is being faced with challenges is because she is about to make the most important decision of her life. Besides everything that's going on with Kristina and the worry that has caused, I have been stressed out over a few things as well. Nothing major. Just a bit of a rough week. Anyway, the point is that I can feel your love and support, and it helps more than you could even imagine. I may have to deal with depression issues down the road after I eat through the massive candy drawer you've all provided me with and probably gain about ten pounds haha. But I think I'll be able to handle it. I'm gonna keep the email a bit short today so I can reply to some of you individually, but just know how much your love means to me. I really can feel it every day, even on the other side of the country, and it makes a big difference. I am so blessed to have a family and friends like all of you behind me. Not everyone has a very good support system at home, and I know that the Lord has placed each one of you in my life to help me at this time as I do His work. You've been an amazing strength to me over the past thirteen months. Thank you all for everything you do for me. I miss you so much, and I love you more than you can even imagine!