Hey Family! =)
Wow! I received SOOO much news from you this week, and I loved it! However, I did have to read for a while, which doesn`t help on conserving writing time. Dont, get me wrong, I love that you give me lots of detail in the news you send, but I do have a favor to ask. I would ask that you (Mom, Dad, and Hope) write your emails to me BEFORE Monday. Write me on Saturday or Sunday, so that when I get to the internet cafes on Monday, I dont have to worry about receiving last minute emails. It`s happened a couple of times that I haven`t gotten an email from you until the last 2 minutes of my hour, and then have had to read it the next week. It`s not a big deal, but it WOULD make it easier if you wrote a little earlier in advance. Thank you! =)
Okay, to answer the key questions right off the bat:
I need more white shirts and garments because here in La Sonora, the member that washes our clothing receives our clothing on Monday, but does not give it back washed until Friday or Saturday.
I WAS planning on saving half of my clothing for my second year in the mission, but this inconvenience prevented that plan. Also, my first missionary bag (or at least the way that I wore it) wore out a couple shirts in Promision. The shoulders were stained with stains that dont come out, and on a bus one day one of my shirt pockets got caught on a seat as I was getting in, and ripped a large, unrepairable hole in the front of the shirt.
My sizes for garments would be bottoms = 34 and tops = Large. I would like three more pairs, but two would be just fine. I also only need two more white shirts, size 18 neck with half-sleeves. I am still asking for these things because I`ve been hearing that taking a week to wash and dry the missionaries`clothes is pretty common throughout the mission.
Also, If you would like to send my shoes seperately, go for it! I definately do not want to run the risk of having you send and overly-enticing package through Guatemalan post. I`m ever so very excited to get packages. Letters are awesome! But there`s just something extra special about getting a package at Zone Conference.
You are right, changes are coming up this week. This Saturday we will hear about changes, and it`s possible that everything in my area and mission is about to change completely. This coming change the President is dividing my area and assigning four missionaries to the La Sonora Ward. Don't know if he is going to split me and Elder Child up to train the two new missionaries, if they are sending two sister missionaries, or if they are going to just white-wash the area (all new elders, untrained, and unfamiliar). I just pray that, whatever happens, the progress and friendships we have made do not get destroyed with this change, as often happens with missionary changes. I`ve heard bad news that because they white-washed Promision, none of my converts back there are active and that the missionaries they sent have destroyed the member-missionary confidence that existed before. I can only do what it is possible in my assigned area and send a letter or two to my converts to help them get animated again. At times, it frustrates me, how things happen and change, but I know that the Lord has a plan and that no unhallowed hand can stop this Work from progressing.
This week was very busy and a little hectic for us in La Sonora. We received the news about the area division and were then assigned the immediate task of finding not one, but TWO new houses to rent within our area. This was a tough task because almost all colonies here want to SELL their houses, not rent them. However, in the long run we were both able to find the two new houses to rent, AND teach 17 lessons in total this week. I was pretty impressed with us this week, but I know that the coming weeks will check my pride and test me in ways I have not ever been tested before. I ask that you pray for me, that no matter what happens, I will be able to roll with the punches and continue to seek and find success in my mission.
I am currently studying the Book of Mormon from the beginning again, but this time in more depth. I am familiar with 2 Nephi 26, and am very excited and proud that my family and I are on the same page there. I just started into Mosiah (my favorite part) and am learning volumes about the doctrine and atonement of Christ. Thank you so much, Dad and Mom, for sending me with my mp3 player full of great talks and books on CD. They have helped me each night to gain yet another glimpse into understanding the Gospel and the real application of Christ`s Atonement in my life and in the lives of all those around me. Also I am learning even more profoundly how deeply my soul longs to KNOW the scriptures AND to UNDERSTAND them. I know that will be a lifelong journey, but I`m extremely willing to enjoy it! =)
Again, I would like to remind you that this week I will receive my news for changes. If I get changed, it`s possible that I won't write until Wednesday of next week. I will let you know what happened as soon as possible, okay? =P Elder Child has been a wonderful companion, and if we are seperated this change, I want you all to know that Elder Braden Child has changed my life. He comes from a wonderful, intelligent family. He has a deep love and knowledge of the scriptures, and has helped and protected me like a Senior Companion is sent to do. If you ever get the chance to meet him or his family before I get home, please communicate my everlasting thanks to them, because their missionary changed yours in wonderful ways. =)
Just a note, Mom, the CTR ring (the link that I sent) was silver with black CTR. I would actually like the black one with the silver CTR. Ya know...shiny things attract greedy eyes. haha =) Or send both...if you`re feeling generous. ;P
Dad, I love you and wish you the best of luck with your appointments and training. I`m so proud to have an intelligent, loving mortal father that always makes lemonade out of the lemons, and has taught me to do the same. =) Mom, keep working hard! I think about you often, and my soul cheers for you every day. Keep working out, supporting Dad, loving and guiding Hope, and doing everything you can to teach the young minds in your classes. You are so good at what you do and I want you to know that I love you to eternity and beyond! Hope...oh my dear, tall little sister! I love you SOOO much! Today I got your letter, and even though it was short, it almost made me cry because I miss you so much! I want so badly now to be a part of your life. Your schooling, your swimming training, your goals, and your happiness. I miss you, but want you to know that when I get home I want to do everything I can to love and support you while I am at home to enjoy the summer with you! Grandma, I got your letter too! It was wonderful, and I love you. I miss you and hope you can find strength in my spirit. You`ve taught me to love the Lord, and to love my family, and to ALWAYS love my Grandma! I will see you soon, dont you worry! =) and Metzie, put on your strength! You are one of the strongest, most loving women I have every met. I look to you as a sailor looks to a bright star. You give me direction and I want you to know of the happiness you bring me. Stay strong, and when you need more strength, visit my family and you will be rejuvenated. I love you, always remember that!
Alright, well my time is up this week. I have to go. Dang...this hour is always the shortest one of the week. I just hope that I`ve written enough for you all to learn and feel my testimony and love.
-Elder Preston William Tucker