It is always super cool for me to be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit! I never really knew back home if it was just my thoughts or if it was actually the Spirit telling me to do something. Sometimes it is super hard! But I have learned that if it is something good that has come into my head and I get the urge to do it, then as long as it truly is good and righteous then nothing bad will come of it and it will really help in the future! :) We had a really cool thing happen yesterday with that! JB came to church with us again, like he usually does, and after church he turned to us and said, "Man, everything at church today was totally focused on me!" It was awesome to be able to see that he was able to recognize what the Spirit was telling him rather than just hearing the words that the teachers were saying! That is a huge testimony builder for me to be able to see first hand how the Holy Ghost can truly testify of truth to us and guide us in a way that we can all understand individually! :) Then last night was another one of those Mission President Devotionals and we went with JB again. Then right when we were leaving he said the same thing! He said it was all focused on him and that he really enjoyed what President Toone had to say! He talked about how The Book of Mormon is literally a story about all of us! We can take any verse in the Book of Mormon and liken it to something that is happening or that has happened to us in our lives! It is super cool that it is written like that, and it truly shows that God cares about and loves all of us!
Sometimes I think that being a missionary is so hard and it is so easy to get discouraged while we are out here on our missions. If you are looking for ways to be a party pooper, it is really hard! :) But it is totally worth it because no matter what we go through while we are here we will be able to gain a stronger testimony through all of this and we will go back a better person than we were when we left! Holidays I think are the hardest part for me to stay positive through. I have really been thinking about my birthday coming up here in the next week and honestly I have no idea what to do. I think that it will probably be the most normal birthday that I have ever had. Back home I always at least had an option to go out and hang out with cousins or friends and stuff and we always without fail did something fun or at least had a really fun cake! :) That is one thing that I will for sure miss on Sunday but I know that it is not really a big deal while I am out here on my mission. It is really weird for me to already have been out for 8 months and just barely be turning 19. I am still the youngest missionary in my zone besides one missionary who's birthday is on the same day as me. That is super crazy! :) But apparently I was the youngest one in my whole MTC group! Pretty funny!
Oh, so this week was a super good week for missionary work! We didn't have as many lessons as we usually do, but we were able to come in contact with some more people that really are here to learn! :) We met one guy at the park right behind one of the apartment complexes that we are in daily! There are a bunch of basketball courts all over the park and there was just this guy that was playing by himself just shooting around. So we decided that we were going to go walk up to him and ask if we could play with him for a bit before our next appointment! :) He let us come and play and then soon we began to talk about missionary work and then that led to the next thing and we began to talk to him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! He lives outside of our area but he said that he is at that park almost every night so we are going to see if we can come back in contact with him one of these days this next week! :) It is just super cool to be able to have so many fun experiences even though there are always those moments that are not so great either! It is really good for me to be able to see both sides, though. I am glad that I learned to be able to laugh through things and get through hard things with a smile! I still get teased about not being able to keep a straight face because every time that I try I am still smiling without even knowing about it! Pretty funny! :)
Thanks for the awesome letter and also for the money that you deposited into my account! I really appreciate it and hope that you guys all have an amazing week and I will try to do the same! :) Brenden is working on his papers!!! :) That was the highlight of my week is just being able to hear that my Brotha from anotha Motha was preparing for his mission!!! :)
Love you all!
Elder Brandon Wallentine