May 30, 2012

Trent's email 5/23/12

Hey Ma, Pa, and Ra.
Everything is better now.  The elections are over.  Danilo won, which means nothing to anyone who's reading this, but my companion's happy, and I think our Politician investigator will get baptized quicker now because he lost all of his excitement about politics.  Five a clock in the morning, mom, that's ridiculous!  So, when you were writing this email, I was probably showering, getting ready for the day.  I don't think I'll ever really be able to wrap my head around "time."  Very abstract concept, really.  But I guess, even worse, is living without Time.  God's world has got to be very different from ours.  Or maybe He does have time, it's just a different sort of time.  Who knows?  Not me.  And, not important to our salvation, so I'm not gonna worry about it.
Thanks for always being determined to go to Church every week, Mom.  I definitely wouldn't be on the mission right now if it weren't for your hard work in all that.  I really gained an appreciation for the gospel, which wouldn't have happened if you hadn't set a consistent example.  So thanks.  Really.  Probably saved my soul.
Almost all the less actives know they need to go back, but they're just embarrassed, I think.  There's actually a ridiculous clique, I'm pretty sure, in our ward, of a few women who are very strong personalities that like to gossip, and they've offended a few other women.  It's a bummer, because they're all good women, just misunderstanding and impatience is the problem.  
Where's Dad going for military again?  I hope he enjoys traveling without us, at least a little bit.  Shooting things.  Running lots.  Living in tents and sleeping on cots.  That's what they do, right?  
The internet is amazing!  One of our investigators was feeling stressed out at work, so she downloaded a couple chapters of the Book of Mormon to read and felt better.  It made me really happy, she's really repenting.  That's Yanet, Anthony's wife.  Anthony's still working in the capital til tonight, so I'll give you an update on him next week.  Also, I love being able to watch messages from prophets of God that live on the other side of the world, almost as if I were there watching it live.  I love technology.
Zoe said she was going to send me some vegetable recipes, so I'm waiting for those.  I need to eat more.  I was actually happy the other day, I was craving carrots, and even though I had chocolate in the house, it just didn't sound as good as a raw carrot.  I'm trying to eat healthy, too!
Speaking of chocolate, THANK YOU for the package :)  I'm deciding how to ration that deliciousness of 30 candy bars that you sent me.  
Oh, so I've been thinking a lot this week about the price of salvation.  Obviously, we can't pay our own salvation, and we depend on Christ to pay it for us, and essentially he only demands our will-that we humble ourselves before him, and become submissive, meek, lowly, as a child submits to his father.  Also, reading the sermon on the mount in the New Testament, I realized that God really just wants us to give up everything so we can receive blessings.  "Blessed are the meek, the poor in spirit, those that mourn..."  I decided that, in other words, the price of salvation is whatever we're not willing to pay.  As Joseph Smith once said, A religion that doesn't demand absolutely everything never was able to produce the faith required for salvation (or... something like that).  Lots of people think we're not Christian because we don't believe in that, "I've accepted Christ as my Savior and now I'm saved for eternity" nonsense.  Well, tough luck, that's not Christianity.  That's marketing.
I read a quote from C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, that said something like, "Give yourself to me.  I'm not so much interested in your time, your money, your possesions.  I want you. I want all of you.  No half-effort will do.  Give me your all, and I will give you happiness." 
So, yeah, guys.  Just, give yourself up.  It's the only intelligent thing to do.
So, mom, you said you don't like fresh mango... but have you had a mango that fell out of a tree and you ate it about 20 minutes afterwards?  or just the supermarket kind of mangos?  Because the tree stuff is to DIE FOR.  But, I wouldn't be surprised if you still reject it, we somehow have different appetites.  Hmm.  Maybe this is one of those nature, not nuture things.
I hope Becca enjoyed her culture fair!  I used to think those things were so dumb, but now I appreciate them so much more!  I think it's cuz I've met people from different countries and understand what it really means to HAVE a culture.  Fun stuff.  We did a culture fair with the Folk Dance team that I was on, and someone brought REALLY GROSS TASTING Indian food.  I didn't like it.  But then they brought another Indian food that was good. So, it's all fair, right?  amazing.

What is Swiss Chard?
Cops and Cowboys... SO Kanab.  I like it.  And I'm sure all those boys were super content.  Wish I could've seen the exploding watermelon.  That's okay.
Okay, Special Needs Mutual sounds awesome.  I'm glad you enjoyed it!  Go Saya!  Next time you guys see her, tell her to write me, cuz she still hasn't.
Speaking of writing, I have letters for 
ALICE WALDRON
KATIE CABLE (HYER) 
and ANNALEE SCORSEBY
sitting on my desk, already sealed... I just don't have addresses for them because the semester ended and I'm worried they moved, so if I send it to their college dorm they'll never get it!  Becca, will you hack my facebook account and email those girls for their addresses?  Please?  Courtney has my password :)  Oh, yeah, and Katie's probably engaged by now.  The last letter I got from her, she was super enamoured with some boy named Jeffrey Hyer.  Sigh, lots of people are gonna get married in these two years...
So, that's that!  Things are going well.  My comp and I are gonna start fasting more in hopes that things progress a little more quickly.  I am happy, studying lots, burning in the heat, learning lots.  But, it's life!  Love being here.
Miss you all, and see you soon!
Love,
Elder Taylor

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