Ok. 30 minutes is so not long enough. I wrote about half the things I wanted to. So I'm writing this extra tidbit. And it's going to be wonderfully random.
Firstly, Sister Day's companion's father went to Dad's high school and is his same age. Does daddy know a Todd Burmingham by any chance.
Secondly, I got your package! Thank you so much, the snacks are perfect! I've been craving sugar like no tomorrow because every day is hard and I like to reward myself with food so the dried apricots really help! Also, I was telling my district several days ago that I love peanut butter so much I eat it by the spoonful. Did I crack up when I saw the peanut butter and plastic spoons? Yes. Yes I did. Thank you all for your letters too. I love them all, and they make me very happy inside! :D Dad's letter with the Facebook feed had me cracking up. Y'all are hilarious. I got the package the day I got sick so the letters really lifted my spirits.
Speaking of, I hope mentioning that didn't worry anyone. Wednesday morning I woke up feeling nauseated and then proceeded to lose my dinner from the night before. But I got a priesthood blessing, got right into bed, slept for five hours, and felt almost normal by mid-afternoon. The priesthood works! I also have a loving district and awesome companion who brought me food and Gatorade. I feel completely back to normal now!
Aannd…can I get copies of a few talks? By elder Holland? Specifically "Missions are Forever," his talk given at the M.T.C. devotional on January 15, 2013 (the day before I got here. Took a long time to get over that one) and the talk he gave at October 2012 General Conference? And "Cast Not Away Thy Confidence" or something like that? Please and thank you! Oh, and a medium-tension grip trainer (red) would make me an even happier person than I am now, if you can imagine that. I can even send you money for it. Just sayin'. :D
Aaannd…I think that's it for now! Thanks again for the letters and encouraging thoughts. They make me a very happy missionary!
One more thought before I retire, and that is about stress/anxiety. I think I touched on this in my E-mail today, but my mind is so shot every day that I can never remember anything anymore. Anyway, stress is normal. It means we need to make changes. But too much, as we all know, is damaging. During the 8 days I've been here, I have noticed a tremendous trick to combatting stress, and that is helping others. People say that a lot, but it is so true. Because when you're stressed out, a lot of the time you're stressed about yourself. But when you start focusing on the needs of others, your stress vanishes. I have seen this more apparent in my life now than at any other time. When I feel overwhelmed, I visit someone, I compliment someone, I teach someone something, and the stress dissolves as the Spirit sets in. It's magic. Service is the antidote to anxiety. It won't fix what you're anxious about, but it will help things snap into perspective. So go serve someone this week when you're feeling overwhelmed. I promise you all it will make a tremendous difference.
I love you all so much! Thank you for the support and prayers. I can certainly feel their strength! I hope you know how much I love it here and find joy in every minute, despite how overwhelming or difficult. It's the most joyful challenging I've ever experienced, and it has only been 8 days! More adventures to come!
All my love,