The past two months have just flown by!  I can’t believe we are pushing up against the one year mark!  I’ve heard missionary parents say how slow the first year went and I’m beginning to wonder why my life is so out of control that this first year feels like we were riding on the fast train. They say the second half of the mission goes by much faster but if that’s the case I wonder to myself if I really want that to happen. I want chance home so bad, but on the other hand I know how important this mission is for him and I don’t want to wish that away for him. I also know that another year will bring more change for our family and I’m not sure I’m ready for that quite yet. I’m still adjusting to having my first child leave home and how it changes the dynamics of a home so much. I can’t imagine what it will be like in another year or two.  So, I guess I will sit here and pray to God that he will allow time to slow down and let us enjoy every single day.

So, the past two months for chance haven’t changed a whole lot. He has been in the same area with the same companion. This will be the longest time he has stayed in one area, this will also be the longest companionship he has had so far. Instead of copying every letter this time I just wanted to take a few of my favorite things from chances letters and share them. I love his spiritual thoughts and the guidance he gives to us. Here are a few of his thoughts;

down here in the south everyone focuses on the cross. And its not just the fact that jesus died on it. They almost believe it to be something Godly and something sacred and special. They always say “well if the cross worked im saved” or “The cross has made me clean”. I just want to testify today that the cross didnt do any of these things. It was done only through the infinite power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If Jesus would have been killed by the jews he would have been stoned but i can testify that the outcome still would have been the same. We would all have been provided a way and means to return home. 

I love this. It reminds me that no matter how the atonement was performed Jesus would have still died for all of us. He would have sacrificed himself in anyway just to make a way for each of us to return home. Looking at it this way makes me gain even more admiration and reverence for our Savior. 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2004/02/five-small-experiences?lang=eng

This link is a talk about missionary work. Sometimes my letters to chance seem boring and redundant so I decided to send him something that would maybe remind him what good he is doing even if he doesn’t see it. So I sent him most of this talk. It’s a beautiful talk so read it if you have a chance. I wanted to share his response because we always hear how great the missionaries are doing but a lot of the time they don’t share their doubts and fears. I want other missionaries to know they aren’t alone, they all share a lot of the same feelings. 

Thank you mom! i really really appreciated that letter. That was something i really needed. It gets really hard when you knock 200 doors in a week and maybe 10 people say you can come back and maybe 2 of those actually end up hearing you out. But hearing those little experiences really helps me! A lot of times we walk into buildings and we get funny or dirty looks and people whisper and giggle but every once in a while someone deliberatly walks up to us and tells us thanks and asks us how our day has been and i know that is because a missionary in the past made a good impression. Its just hard to keep that outlook sometimes! but thanks again mom i really appreciate that letter and its definitly something i will keep in my mind and heart as a go out doing missionary work from now on. 

My spiritual thought from this week comes from the story of the prodigal son. In the story you read that the son had turned away from his father and went and lived life on his own till he realized that he was better off with his father. He knew that he wasnt worthy to be called his son but decided to go back. It says that he turned back and the father ran to him. He fell on his neck and kissed him. In culture of those times it was considered showing respect to someone of higher rank than yourself if you fell on there neck. I like this story because each one of us at times turns from the Father. We all go to some extent out on our own until we realize we just cant do it without the Father. Then we decide to turn back, knowing we are not worthy to be called His children. But everytime we turn to him he runs to us. He is always waiting for us to turn to Him. and nothing we will ever do will make his love for us change. I can testify that i know that because of our Saviors sacrifice and our Fathers love and mercy we will always be considered worthy to be called children of a Heavenly Father. 

I love this!  To think of our Heavenly Father running to ME when I have chosen the wrong path and wanted to return to him brings me such peace and comfort. I’ve never really thought of it this way before. I think a lot of the time we feel like we are running to him and he is waiting with open arms, but to picture him meeting me in the middle with those same open arms brings such a new and wonderful way to think of it. 

Chances mission president and his wife (the Heaps) left the mission in June. Chance admired president heap and looked up to him so much. It was a sad day for chance when they left so I thought his thought in this letter was very fitting. He takes something he learned and admired about president heap and shares it with us. 

So for my spiritual thought, i wanted to talk about something President Heap was really big on. He has a rule as a mission president, He let us govern ourselves with standards and principles. The standard is something Heavenly father has asked us to follow and the principle is why we do it and what governs the standard. For example the missionary handbook says not to listen to music that distracts from your calling. President heap said that we could listen to whatever music we felt we could still feel the spirit while listening to. Our heavenly Father wants us to live by standards and principles. When he asks us to do something he doesnt do it as a rule, He does it knowing it will help us and asks us to find out why it will help us and why he has asked us to obey that commandment. I would like to invite yall to find something your Heavenly Father has asked you to do that you might not understand and then try to find the eternal principle behind it. I know as you do you will truly find your Heavenly Fathers love in everything he has asked!

We all know the concept of choice and accountability but I love how chance learned from his mission president a deeper meaning to those words. How it’s just not rules, commandments and consequences, but to learn that those rules each have a reason behind them and if we look for the reason why, it makes it easier to want to follow the rules.  

My spiritual thought this week is just the lines of my favorite hymn but i just wanted to express my gratitude and my testimony that the Lord Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of our souls.

Savior, Redeemer of my soul
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole

Whose wondrous power hath raised me up

And filled with sweet my bitter cup

What gratitude my tongue can tell

Oh gracious God of Isreal

Never can i repay the Lord

But i can love thee thy pure word

Hath it not been my one delight

My Joy by day, my dream by night

Then let my lips proclaim it still

And all my life reflect thy will

O’er rule mine acts to serve thine ends

Change frowning foes to smiling friends

Chasten my soul till i shall be

In perfect harmony with thee

Make me more worthy of thy love

And fit me for the life above

I know we can make it back to the Father through the Son! 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2001/03/missionary-work-and-the-atonement?lang=eng

Here is another great talk for missionaries. The last part where it talks about the mission and the atonement is my favorite part. You could easily switch the words mission for “life” and gain a whole new perspective on why sometimes life is just so dang hard. My nephew just returned home from his mission and gave a talk in our ward. He referenced this talk and something he shared from the talk impacted me so much that I came home and had to read the whole talk for myself. I shared with chance how this talk reminds us that we all have to be tested and tried, that the gospel doesn’t come easy to us, just like it wasn’t easy for Christ to atone for our sins. Elder Holland says, “I am convinced missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was not easy.”  Chance had a really really rough week. I won’t go into details, but he was pretty down and I hope this reminded him that missionary work was never suppose to be easy and I hope maybe it reminds anyone else out there that eternal life won’t come easy either.

Missionary life isn’t always hard though. It’s not always work, work, work. Once in a while they also share some fun cute stories. I loved that he shared this story with me. It calmed this moms heart and reminded me that chance is still chance. He is funny and entertaining and stubborn and this story kind of took me back to his wrestling years in high school. As a wrestler I feel like boys learn endurance, perseverance, hard work and dedication and this took all of those. I’m so glad my boys are able to participate in a sport that prepares them in so many different ways for their future. 

Haha just a funny little story from this week. We were driving down the street and we saw a couch in someones lawn with a sign on it and elder pulsipher was like “please say free, please say free” and it did so without even saying a word we got out, picked it up, put it in the back of the truck and drove it home. Then we got home and he really needed to use the restroom so i just jokingly said i would get the couch, because it was super heavy haha, and he said if i did he would be super impressed. Also we live in the top floor. So long story short he finally gets out of the restroom and i have the couch like 90% of the way up the stairs and he just died laughing and i ended up getting it and now we are trying to find wood to make a bunk couch. 

Hahaha!!  Only a wrestler!

His last spiritual thought is centered around the 24th of July. For those that don’t know, this is a huge major official holiday in Utah and especially in Beaver. It’s actually our biggest holiday celebrated as a community and is a big deal for our little town. It is also known as Pioneer Day and commemorates the entry of Brigham young and the pioneers into utah on July 24th, 1847 after they were forced out of nauvoo.  I’m sure it was weird for chance to not celebrate this day seems how he hasn’t missed a celebration in 19 years!

So my spiritual thought is about the pioneers since today is the 24th! Elder Ballard said in a talk given in a General Conference several years ago, “This August I walked in the footsteps of our pioneers along the Mormon Trail through Wyoming and Utah. I wondered why our dedicated ancestors suffered so terribly and yet willingly faced such tremendous obstacles. Perhaps one reason they sacrificed and endured was to leave a legacy of faith for all of us to help us feel our urgent responsibility to move forward in building up the Church throughout the world. We need the same dedication today in every one of our footsteps as the pioneers had in theirs.”  Its pretty amazing to think about the legacy of Faith that our ancestors left for us and all the trials they endured in trying to pave the way for us! i would just like to extend an invitation to everyone to do your best to not let their sacrifice be in vain! we are all pioneers for future generations to come in the church and we need to leave a legacy of Faith just like our pioneering ancestors. Keep doing everything your doing! yall are great!

Chance trying on elder pulsiphers suite!

Not sure what this is but he did send us a couple pictures of it!

Broken down car! 😦

P-day

Ummmm! Llama llama red pajama?  I don’t know!  Haha!!

Moving a white board for a member. Trust chance to be the one hiding in the back! 😂

They were doing some work on the temple and were able to get on top. He thought that was pretty cool!

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