Didn´t get an email from Maddy, so I don´t know what happened but I´m excited to read it! And Ryker looks EXACTLY like Cody haha. Oh my, at least he isn´t as chubby as Cody was, or maybe he will be when I meet him 🙂
Don´t have much to report other than I´ve discovered that I´m gonna have to be the strong, initiative-taking one in the companionship. That´s fine, once I get to know the members and the area better. She tends to spend tons of time in the houses of members and we leave the house late almost everyday. But with love and encouragement I hope I can change things in a way that won´t ruin our relationship. She´s really great overall and she teaches with lots of love and has lots of experience. We´ll make a great team with a little bit of refining 🙂
I can imagine your frustration and I´m glad that I´m absent from it all to save myself from getting too discouraged. People here mention it and try to comment on American politics but I quickly change the subject because it just makes me angry and they don´t know what they´re talking about. My first instinct is to vote anyway, the lesser of two evils, my thinking being based on the arguments you presented.
Before the mission I´ve often thought about the amount of effort we as Americans and members of the Church should put forth to try to stop or slow down the ´´signs of the times´´. These evils, when we read the prophecies of these latter days, seem inevitable and I feel like just sitting down, making sure my life and my family is right with the Lord, and waiting for the Millenium (spelling?). But then I think that this attitude isn´t very Christian-like. It´s all about reaching out to others, helping and serving them, and taking an active part in this war against Satan. I don´t have even nearly all the answers about what we should do amidst the downward spiral of the country but I can´t help but think we can´t just lay down and give up. Lehi and Nephi have testified that this nation will always be free as long as we keep the commandments. The only way we can be taken captive is through our own iniquity, and that´s exactly what´s happening. Alma also said that the Word is stronger in persuading people than the sword or anything else. I´m convinced that really the only thing we can do to help is live and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and do as the Spirit directs. The Lord is in control of the rest. That´s my only comfort.
I´ve been thinking about you as the ward here is preparing for their big Father´s day party/activity. I feel a swell of pride when I think about how awesome of a father you are and how you have always been worthy to bless our family with the Priesthood. Everything you´ve done and continue to do in order to give us kids all the opportunities we´ve had. I know you´re work is sometimes boring and we´re not always obedient or grateful but I wanted to tell you that I appreciate everything. All of our talks about all sorts of subjects, your righteous and reasonable parenting style, your willingness to give us everything we need (and lots of times things that we want) no matter what, and your wisdom.
I remember one time in high school I lost track of time at a dance and missed my ride with you even though you waiting for a while. When I got home you and Mom were understandably angry and gave me some punishment, I don´t remember what it was. I didn´t feel like what I did was worthy of the punishment so I returned to your room, told you of my feelings and arguments, and you and mom rethought the punishment. I remember being grateful then, as I am now, of how great that situation was. You and mom were able to calmly evaluate my feelings and talk with me. The retractment of the punishment didn´t even really matter to me, but the fact that you listened was something I´ll always remember.
When I told you of my wish to go to England with Hillsdale College, you guys made it possible and encouraged me. Whenever I needed advice or wisdom I always felt comfortable going to you. Not only did you teach me true principles of the gospel, but also how to think for myself and handle myself with others. When I read Elder Ballard´s talk about family councils I thought about how you have been inspired in this area. Our family has this principle down pat thanks to you and it´s something I want to continue in my own family. There is always more I could say in praise of the job you´ve done as a father but I´m afraid of your head getting too big 🙂
Just kidding, I hope you are still maintaining your 97.something% right. But really, thanks. As you know, I love you very much. Have a great week!