Dear Family,It has been a much more sunny and hot week this week. We had hardly any rain and the temperature stayed above 20 degrees all week. was a bit of a hard day for me. I had flashbacks of when I got dropped off at the MTC and saying goodbye to you. At times during the day, I had a hard time focusing. But I was able to get through that day. I was able to commemorate my 1 year mark by burning one of my white shirts that I got pen marks on by accident. So it wasn't good to wear anyway. It was a good burning.
When we go home we will have to live on our own, we will have to find a career, we will have to date and get married, we will have to support a family, we will have to find a new job. It makes you want to be a missionary forever when you think about it. So it is easy to be discouraged about going home and facing all these new life pressures that we didn't have to worry about when we were on our missions. It is something I am getting scared of myself. But we as missionaries just need to remember that the Lord has great things in store for us and a mission provides experiences that will help you deal with things that you'll face in your lives. Elder Holland said in his talk that every meaningful thing that has happened to him in his life is because of his mission. He said that a mission is supposed to create a lasting change within us.
Some of the things I want to work on in the 2nd half of my mission is being more bold with people (with companions, with investigators, with less-actives, with members, with proselyting, etc.). Far too often I find that I am too timid and passive. I want to be better at listening to people. I want to take more notes during my personal study. I want to write in my journal more. I want to memorize more scriptures. I want to increase my teaching ability. I want to take the initiative more.
I got to go to Caribou, Maine on an exchange, During the exchange, I got to ride a bike for the first time on my mission. We went and put up posters around town. We also gave service at a food bank in Caribou. We got to take boxes of food to people's cars. It was a good workout. Those boxes weighed a lot and were quite heavy. We also mowed a less active's lawn for about an hour and a half. She had a very big yard too and the lawn mower was short so I had to bend down every time I had to turn it around. It was very tiring. She is allergic to grass so that's why she has missionaries mow her lawn. But she fed us dinner afterwards. So between carrying boxes, riding our bicycles on up hill roads and mowing a less-active's lawn, I did a lot of labor on the exchange.