Friday, April 30, 2010

Email - Received Monday, April 26, 2010

Hey Family!

It was fun today to just get a couple of short sweet emails from Mom and Dad, and then a long one from Whitney! It was a good day for email. I`m not saying that I just want short and sweet from home and then long and informative from Whitney and friends...I`m not saying that at all. I just really liked the fact that even though my parents were short on time and news this week, they still make the effort to email me and, as Dad put it, ¨not let me down.¨ It means a lot to me now, and it will mean even more in the future months, that my family does not get casual about writing me and sending me news. I`ve seen it happen with a lot of missionaries that are about to go home, that their families get bored or just think ¨he/she is almost home, so it doesn`t matter that much anymore¨ and then stop writing or stop giving them good news. These missionaries, unfortunately, get really sad, disheartened, and anxious to be home when this happens. I don`t want that to happen in the Tucker family! Until I send my own sons and daughters on their missions...our family probably wont have another make it count now so we don't regret it later, okay?! haha I know that my family wont let me down, I know that you`re the best family in the world for me. I love you deeply and I have you in my thoughts constantly.

Talking about having you in my thoughts constantly...HAPPY 11TH BIRTHDAY HOPE TUCKER!!!! I love you Sis...I miss you a ton, and I know that I`m still not home, but I wanted you to know that I`m thinking about you and wishing you a VERY happy birthday. Enjoy this next year, because once I get`ll have to deal with your big brother again and also have to share Mom and Dad`s attention! Eww, huh? ;P Oh...and you might be sharing Mom and Dad`s attention between THREE people when I get, Me, AND Whitney! hehe I`m guessing that you already know about Whitney, Hope, but I wrote you a letter last week and told you a little about her at the end. Maybe, by the time you guys get this email, you`ll have already gotten the letter...I don`t know. But Hope, Whitney is way interested in you and wishes you a very happy birthday too! She is always telling me how much she wants to get to know you and then go swimming to show you that she`s got some ¨fish skills¨ in the water as well. haha I know that you two will be best friends soon, so I wont say much more, but you, my Awesome Swimmer Sister, already have a growing fan section and we all love you deeply. Whenever I see a little girl here in Guatemala, she reminds me of you. Especially if she`s loud and obnoxious! ;P Just kidding. =P I love you so much. Have a good birthday tomorrow, and be obedient to Mom and Dad. I`m so happy that you`re doing so good in school and I wish you luck in your last weeks as well. Soon you`ll be a Sixth Grader! The big fish! Just be sure that you stay obedient to our parents, your teachers, and be nice to EVERYONE...not just your friends. You`re an awesome sister, i love you.

Okay, not much news from the mission this week, other than the fact that just about all of us had plain, old, bad luck! Our numbers didn`t drop badly...but our commitment to meeting our new district goals didn`t give much fruit. Oh well...we`ll do better this week. Today, during our regular District Counsel meeting, I had everyone kneel down, say a group prayer, and then leave the chapel for 20 minutes to go contacting in different parts of Sister Mascareño`s and Sister Campos` area to get them some appointments and references. It was actually a really effective teaching experience and we were able to help those sisters out a lot to start their week. This whole change they have had a BAD challenge with finding new investigators (their area is TINY), so we needed to do something different in order to get things going again. On Wednesday we will be doing an ¨area attack¨ as well down there to help them out. We`re hoping to pump life into all of our areas before some of us have to leave...we`ll see what happens. I actually have no feelings about what`s going to happen to me this change...however, if I stay in my area...I might not be very happy. I need to get out of there! and I really want to learn a dialect. We`ll see...sigh... =P I might train again though...supposedly there is a group of 23 new Latin missionaries coming in this change. haha Maybe President is going to make me a Trainer again...that might be fun...I`ll make the best of any situation the Lord throws at me. I have to, otherwise...these next few months aren`t going to be very fun. I`m already having a little trouble not feeling the weight of the rest of my mission on my shoulders...I need idea from RM`s in the family of how I can keep going strong in these next 11 months. Please, answer my call for help?! haha

Dad, this week I would love you to tell me all about the possibility that I might have of a spot working on your team next summer. I`m gunna need cash, and before I get home, I want to know what I would be getting myself into. Seriously, I`m not baggy by asking this, I just think it would be cool to know and think about every once in a while when I daydream about my future after we get home at night. Hours per week, hourly pay, opportunities for working in the same job when I go back to Phoenix, I wanna know all about what it would be like. Also...I want to know your thoughts on me not trying to buy a car right away...instead, buying a bike after you teach me how to ride. Tell me about what comes to your mind when you think about that.
Mom, I wanna know how your ¨end of year¨ crunch is going and all about what you`re dealing with at school. It`s very possible that when I get home, I`m going to want to spend a lot of time with you to help you finish your school year with as little stress as possible! I want to be involved and maybe even be a part of your classes. I definitely DO NOT want to be that RM that sits around the house all day, waiting for his family to get home so that he`s not bored and lonely anymore. haha could you do that for me this week? Also...remember the assignment I gave you in the Christmas phone call? The one about finding and buying all the formal pictures of the Temples and putting them together in a picture book? I have been wondering how you`ve been doing on that and if it`s even possible for you to do. Let me know! and I`m totally stoked that you`re sending me your ¨bullet¨...I really need is very important to my relaxing time. =P Also...I finally ran out of Orbit gum! Send me lots of Wintermint and Cinnamint, please?! I love you!

Alright...right before I came to write this email, we took a bunch of pictures of our house here in Santa Elena Barillas, and I`ve attached them to this email. I hope they all get through to you. Enjoy! I love you all

This next week, I will probably be writing on Wednesday again, because of changes. I`m sorry...but that`s just the way it is. Send me lots of love and keep my spirits high. =) I know you`re all awesome and you love me and I really appreciate every time you tell me so.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. Okay, I`ve been waiting for about 20 minutes, trying to send this email with the attached pictures...but it`s too big to I`m just going to send them another day. I love you all!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Email - Received Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey Family!

I`ve been missing you all so bad this week and a half...seriously, it`s getting out of hand. I miss my immediate Family, of course, but now I`m thinking about almost all of you as well. I think about my grandparents and how they`re doing physically and emotionally. I think about my aunts and uncles and how they are with handling our awesome extended family. I think about my cousins and how I would love to be helping them out both physically and spiritually in this crucial time when we`re all trying to grow up and start families. I think about a few of you more than others, but that`s only because the letters you send me keep me focused, informed, and conscious of you. I`ve really tried this change to write lots of letters. I write at night, when all of our reports and phone calls are done. I write in the morning, before study. And I write on P-Day so that I can really focus on writing in an organized way, responding to all your questions and needs. This week I wrote to Hope, Aunt Metzie, Amanda Dixon, Josh TImothy, and (of course) Whitney Robbins. They were all good letters and I felt accomplished when I got them all in the mail. I`m going to try to write a long letter to Jason this week and I`m going to venture into the unknown and write Whitney`s parents for the first time. They`re getting jealous of all the awesome communication that Whitney is having with Mom and Dad, so I better get on the ball and even up the score. Anyways, so I`m trying to really communicate with my family and friends, let them know that I love them and that they are still the most important people in the whole world to me. It`s with all YOU guys that I`ll get to spend the Eternities with, if we live worthy. I want to be with all of you in happiness and peace, but that will only come if we are constantly and actively helping each other to be a little better and climb a little higher every day! I know that my family has a strength that not even THEY have realized yet, and before I get home (through my letters) I intend to make everyone aware. Then, when I`m finally home, I intend on doing everything I can, everything you all invite me to do, do make sure we use our strength and come together on a whole new level. Sound like a good plan? I think so..especially because that`s God`s plan in a nutshell. =) I love my family!

Alright...this week was crazy off the wall with schedules and changing plans. First of all, interviews with President Baldwin were supposed to be two weeks ago...we had them on Monday instead. That`s why I`m having to write on a Wednesday this week...again. Ugh...sometimes having a leadership position in the mission is just a huge hassle...but I magnify my calling and that`s all the Lord really expects on me. So we got that done on Monday. I let my President know that Elder Garcia is ready for a new companion or a new area. I also told President that I have been having the feeling that I need a new challenge in the mission...the challenge of learning another language! =) In just Guatemala City Central Mission, the indigenous people speak almost 21 of the 28 native dialects that are spoken all throughout Guatemala. In the mountain Zones of our mission, there are three in particular that missionaries can learn to expand their ability to teach more people, because there are some native people that don`t speak Spanish at all. I told President in my interview that, because I was able to learn Spanish so quickly...I would love the opportunity to learn a dialect...while I still have the right to the Gift of Tongues. So...soon we`ll see what happens there...if President decides to send me to the mountains...I wont be training anymore, but I might still have a leadership position. Also, if I pick up the new language really`s possible that I could stay in the mountains for the rest of my mission...tri-lingual missionaries are REALLY valuable assets in this mission. So that was Interviews. What was even more out of the ordinary was the fact that we had Zone Conference last Friday, before Interviews. We learned a lot about how to better teach the Commandments (Lesson 4 in Preach My Gospel) to members, recent converts, and our investigators. Also, President Baldwin gave a workshop about Tithing and how specifically it effects the Central American people. These people have the Apostolic Promise that they will always BE poor and they will always STAY long as they DON`T pay their Tithing. We felt the emphasis to teach everyone about Tithing and to increase our efforts as missionaries to teach them how to pay it. We`ll see if I can make that another focus of the rest of my mission...besides the glory and blessings of the Temple for families. And then, to top off all the chaos and traveling, our Zone was allowed this week to go to Antigua Guatemala for a P-Day activity.

It was my second time and I really enjoyed the opportunity I had to take it slow this time and see a few sites that I hadn`t seen before. I went to a Catholic ruin or an extremely old monastery and also a museum of Jade, the most precious possession of the Mayan people. It was way cool and I took a few cool pictures that I will be sending in a month or two. Also, with my friend Elder Domgaard, I went to Monoloco (the crazy cool restaurant/sports bar) and ordered that enormous plate of nachos again...but this time I didn`t conquer them entirely... hahaha If I would`ve had time...I could`ve finished them off, but when I got about 85% Zone Leaders said that the bus was waiting and we had to go. Elder Domgaard and I just paid the check and took the rest of our nachos in a box to go. Later, I shared the rest with my companion. It was overall a good day and I got some pretty cool souvenirs. My favorite of everything that I got is a statue, craved from bone, of a family. I attached photos of it so everyone can see. It shows a father, a mother, and a tiny baby that are all hugging together. To me it struck me hard as exactly the way that I want my future family to be. It symbolized love, unity, and power for me...those are the exact thoughts that came to my mind as I thought about whether or not I was going to buy it. In the end, the price didn`t really matter to me, but I took it home and will look at it every day and renew my goal to make my future family in love, unity, and Priesthood power.

So those were the crazy event of my week...sometimes I just really want to be a normal missionary, without any assignments, so I can just focus all my time on serving the people I`m assigned to and NOT be running around arranging and rearranging the business and meetings of the mission. I guess that part of my mission might be behind me, but I hope to have that simplicity again soon. We`ll see what happens in Changes. Changes are coming up on the 3rd of May. If I stay in my area, it will be my 4th change in Santa Elena Barillas. To be honest, I would like to go to a new area, but I don`t really have a say in that. If my companion changes, I`ll be with my 7th mission companion. Again, I don`t have a say in what happens, but whoever I`m with, I`ll make the best out of my situation. So there ya go: next week I`ll get to email on Monday, and then a week later I`ll have to wait until Wednesday again. That`s my life...for now. hahaha

Okay, not for the personal stuff! =) I`m very happy that everyone is busy and that they all have a lot on their plates. I can testify with all my heart that Satan works the hardest on idle minds and stay on your feet and go, go, go until you can rest on the Lord`s Day. However, don`t lose the opportunity that you have, like me, to slow down in the night time...tell you family that you love them...enjoy good food...and prepare your minds and hearts for the next days. The mind that goes the sleep running a million miles an hour is always just as tired in the morning as it was the night before. And you can quote me on that! =) So, Mom...make a list, take it slow, and it`ll all get done in good time. Dad...make list, delegate to your team, manage your jobs with prayer, and always allow the Lord to help you have good judgement.`re off track, just help Mom out and play your guts out. haha Oh, and make sure you get ready for 6th grade! That`s crazy that you`re so old now...I`ve missed seeing you grow up.

Mom, it sounds like crunch-time has come for your second year at Syracuse. You`re awesome, just keep going. Take everything in stride and don`t try to do too much at the same time, okay? Don`t burn yourself know nobody likes it when you do. When you have a little bit of time at night, I`m sure that Whitney would be more than happy to give you advice on how to start organizing, converting, and digitally scrapbooking your photos. She`s creative...just like you, so you`ll do wonders together. haha I love that my Mom and my Whitney have instantly become best friends that they laugh and joke and teach each other cool things. Now I`ve just got to hurry home so that I don`t miss out on too much of the fun! By the way...Whitney told me that you guys, my Parents, have invited her to go to Bear Lake this summer...without me! How rude...hahaha Seriously? That`s torture! haha Do it if you can, that sounds like a freaking ton of fun, but I`m gunna be SO jealous of Whitney...gets to enjoy my family way before I get too... hehe I`m not really scandalized...I just thought it was hilarious when i found out.

Dad! It`s good to hear from you again! haha Just kidding, giving you a hard time. I totally understand what`s been going on for you and I know that you`re doing your best to put your priorities in order. I`m a priority...but not until after business is taken care of and our Family is doing well. By the way,. thank you for finally bringing me completely up to speed on the family news. I am not worried in the least about what`s going on because I know that the Lord has blessed my family before to help us stay afloat, and he`ll do it again because I`m willing to stay in Guatemala and put my trust in Him. Oh, and speaking of staying ¨afloat¨, you`ve made choices that have made me extremely thankful and happy! haha I can`t tell you how disappointed I would be if we had to give up that special part of our lives to correct our past mistakes. I know that you know what I`m talking about, so I just wanted to sum up my feelings by telling you ¨Thank you, Dad!¨ And YOU...haha you need to cool down with the name calling between you and Whitney! haha This is why watching/knowing all about sports and tournaments and players and teams goes too far sometimes. haha Probably the same reason I never really put in the effort to know all that stuff...who knows if I`ll be into it when I get home. haha Oh, and just an FYI, Dad, when I get home...the priority for you and I will be having those ¨future conversations¨ that have been waiting so long for me, and you teaching me how to ride the motorcycle! I`m thinking that my best option when I get home will be getting a bike, waiting until I`m done with school, and then getting MY first car. What do you think? Thanks...I always love the opportunities that I have to learn from you. Oh, and keep me posted on the possibility that I`ll be a part of your Ebay team for the summer when I get home. I love you to the moon and back.

Okay, so this email is officially WAY too long and I still have one more person to email! ;P So I`m going to leave you all to enjoy the pictures and little bits of news from me this week and I`ll write again on Monday. I love you all with all my heart and think about you all the time. I share my love for you with our investigators and that helps them want the love that the Gospel inspires. Let`s all try hard to share and show our love this week so that Elder Tucker isn`t being a liar when he testifies that my family is strong and loving through the beauties of the gospel! =)

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. Bad little speakers (the ¨bullet¨) finally broke. haha They still charge up good and play sound, but their range is shot and the sound only comes out of one speaker now. I don`t know if they still make them anymore, but I was wondering if you would send me some new ones in the next care package? Also, Elder Garcia wanted to thank you for sending the Peanut Butter M&M`s and the Swedish Fish! North American candy is always a huge hit with the Latinos! =P

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Email - Received Monday, April 12, 2010

Hey Family!

This week went by really slow and REALLY fast at the same time. I wrote a few letters and was sending them every other day as I wrote them, so it felt like the week went by really slow because I kept`s going to take sooo long for the letters to get home...I don't know how to explain it, it was weird. Also `the week went really fast because I studied a ton and we worked hard. We`re still not having much luck with filling our ¨new investigator tanks¨, but we`re working with faith, and that`s what is going to eventually pay off big time. We`re hoping for 15 new investigators this week! That means a LOT of contacting. But that`s okay, we`ve got the Book of Mormon, pamphlets, and our testimonies to help us out, so I know it`s possible. I don't have some great spiritual lesson to share this week, but I do have a HUGE testimony that we can find courage, love, and joy in the Scriptures! I love the Book of Mormon. I think I`m going to read it cover to cover over, and over, and OVER again throughout my life until I`ve got it almost memorized! haha Imagine how beneficial that will be for my family and my future kids if, when they have a problem or a question I can just rail off an example from the Book of Mormon with the accompanying scriptures. It`ll be awesome. It`s just such a fun Book to read if your really understand it and it`s simple, clear message: That Jesus IS the Christ, that he loves and teaches ALL of his people, and that he has restored His Church for our benefit today. I love you family, and BECAUSE I love you, I want you all to study in the Book of Mormon. In it`s pages you WILL find help for ANY situation or problem you have in your life currently or that you will EVER have in the future.

Okay, so the first bit of news that I got from Mom was about the accident and it totally hit me up-side the head. I wasn`t scared, I wasn`t anxious, I was just a little worried about how everyone is doing and what`s up with the Yukon. I know now that Mom and Hope are just fine, which puts me at ease. But that sucks about the Yukon! I know that Dad really loved that truck and that it was possibly the most comfortable boating SUV in the world. haha! That`s awesome that Grandma and Grandpa were willing to lend the Dodge for a while, just let me know what you guys decide to do about a replacement. Sorry, it just interests me. Keep me informed. haha Also, I was way stoked to hear that even though there was an accident, that Mom and Hope got to Arizona and were able to fully enjoy their week in AZ. I love our AZ friends with all my heart and I love the fact that all my childhood friends are all serving faithfully in full-time missions like me. Of course, I`m a little further along in the time, but I know that the mission will helps us all in our unique ways to turn ourselves from boys into the men that Heavenly Father wants us to be. I was way excited to hear about John Sheen completing a year at ASU and being on the volleyball team. That`ll be awesome to go to his games when I`m home! haha He`s further than I am in school now...SO weird! haha It was also very interesting and surprising to hear that the Sipes family is moving up to Utah. Obviously, Jason is going to stay in Payson, but I hope that Momma Sipes and Dirk move in close to Syracuse so I can still visit a lot during breaks.
Mom, hahaha you`re so hilarious, you ALWAYS get called to Girls Camp committee cuz you`re just such a dang good cook and planner! It always made me jealous when you and Dad went off the Girls Camp with your planned menu and I was never allowed to come with...I guess for obvious reasons. hahaha! Soon Hope will get to go to Girls Camp too, that`s weird... =P I`m extremely happy that Dad is completely immersed in his job, but it`s even better that he`s keeping his cool and love at Home. Awe...Daddy`s growing up! lol =P Just kidding Dad, don`t hurt me. ;) Holy crap! I was WAY excited to hear about Katie coming down to DATC! However, I never knew she was going to be into Web Design. She`s a wonderful artist, so she`ll do awesome with the design aspect of everything. It`ll be awesome to have her around a lot more when I get Home. I love that girl! =P I love you Kate, you`re awesome!
Hahaha Mom, you know me too well! Well...I guess you ARE my mother. =P You totally knew that I would want an update on how the communication was going with Whitney, so thank you for satisfying that need. I`m so excited that you all are having such a good time getting to know each other and that you`re all just so impressed with each other. haha You`re right, and I totally have to be a little prideful in this facet of my personality...I DEFINITELY have good taste! ;P Keep talking, keep communicating, get to know each other, and hey!...loosen up! haha You don`t always have to be so formal about what you`re talking about. Be yourselves, be fun! haha Now you`ve introduced yourselves, now just BE yourselves! =P I love you all, my family is just so FUN! =D I miss you all every day and look forward to the day when I`m home once again. BUT I am working hard, we NEED a boost in this area, especially if this branch wants to become a ward ANYTIME soon.
Our district, together, has put together a set of goals that we believe will help us all have better work ethics, better numbers, and more success in preaching the gospel. We put three goals down: 1) We want to use the hours from 10AM to 1 PM to contact at least 7 families or individuals, go to lunch, and then from 2PM to 9PM, between appointments and during ¨finding¨ activities we will do another 7 good contacts. We desperately need more investigators and now we`re all fed up with the slow pace of our work so far. We`re really going to put our shoulders to the wheel and get this done! 2) We are all going to have a Book of Mormon in our hands as we walk in to street and we are going to use it in all of our contacts. and 3) Every time a full hour of plans falls through, we will all be using 15 minutes of that hour to contact, looking for more teaching opportunities. So yeah, those are our goals. We feel good about them, so I`m hoping you all like them too. Also, the only piece of real news from my area that I have to share is that we put a baptismal goal with Luis Hernandez for the 1st of May. He has stopped drinking alcohol, he is quiting smoking tobacco and marijuana, and he is going to stop drinking coffee. Pray for him, and pray for us, so that we will be able to teach him everything he needs to keep the commandments we teach and to be able to be baptized on the 1st.

Alright, well I`m out of time. I love you all. I think about you often, and I know that YOUR efforts help me here in Guatemala. Read the Scriptures. Say your Prayers. Have Family Home Evenings together. I know you can ALL do it. Living the Gospel is not`s actually the easiest way to live in this filthy world. Try it`ll be surprised how little changes in lifestyle effect your lives in huge ways.

Love Always,

-Elder Preston William Tucker

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Email - Received Monday, April 5, 2010

Hey Family!

Holy cow, Spring Break is here already?! Don`t get me wrong, I`m stoked about it, but it`s just kinda unreal right now that I`m half-way home. I`ve got so many mixed feelings about that. I love the mission, but my soul longs for home. I love the people I serve, but my heart aches for the presence of my family and friends. I love Guatemala, but the United States of America will always be my home base, where I`m safe and I`ve won the game. (Sorry about the random baseball analogy, I was just going with the flow of that thought process =P) Hump Day has come and gone, but today is special too. Today is the 5th of April, 2010. In exactly one year from RIGHT NOW, I will be home again, having finally completed an honorable, full-time mission in the service of my Lord and Savior. I long for that day, but I make sure I enjoy the days that I have left as they pass. This last week I`ve made a lot of goals for my last year of the mission. To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, I have not been as obedient as I know I could be. I`ve had more fun than I ever thought I could have in a religious mission, but possibly at the cost of teaching opportunities and important moments of personal growth. However, this 180th General Conference has taught me much and basically set my sights back on the right targets and the righteous methods of how I can achieve them. I don`t want to miss another opportunity. I want to be obedient. I want to help all the people that I can in the next 365 days. I want to leave my Final Interview with President Baldwin, KNOWING that I did what the Lord sent me to do, and that I was a bright, sharp, and unstained instrument in His hands. The best part of all this that I KNOW I can do it. It`s never going to be easy, but it will ALWAYS be worth it. I`ve learned that here in Guatemala, I`ve learned that from the Lord.

Okay, so this week was another week of weird schedules, WAY too much time in buses, and lots of time outside of my area. I`m not sure how I feel about this area anymore because lately it just seems like I spend more time traveling than I do teaching. Every time that Elder Garcia and I have to leave out area to go to meetings, interviews, doctor`s appointments, or to take care of any other necessity of my district, it costs us at LEAST 8 Quetzales (1 US Dollar) round trip. On the budget of a Guatemalan missionary, even with a District Leader Transport Bonus, that`s a lot of dough and these buses suck my wallet dry EVERY month. It`s okay though, I`ve learned to always have a missionary copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand or in my backpack (in English OR in Spanish) so that I can read, learn, and be fed by the words of Christ and His prophets. I finished my first time through the Utchi project on the 31st of March, marking in red the references to Christ. It was an awesome experience and I learned an incredible amount about the examples of the prophets and how they apply to my life. I`ve also reaffirmed my love for the Book of Mormon and have come to an even better understanding of WHY it is the Keystone of our religion, as Joseph Smith, Jr. always told. Almost as a side-effect of my reading, I`ve become better at remembering where BoM scriptures are located and scriptures now randomly come to my mind when they apply to a situation throughout the day. It was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone seeking to know more about Christ`s doctrine and the Love that Heavenly Father has for His children. I`ve started my second run through, but this time I`m going very slowly. I have other responsibilities and goals to accomplish before I can focus completely on a project again. I wanted to share my testimony to my whole family in this email, both immediate family AND extended family, that I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.

This whole time I have been reading the Bible through for the first time in my life and have come to a very certain conclusion from what I have read in both books. The Bible gives the Law, which was extremely important the spiritual and temporal well-being of the House of Israel at that time in history. However, there where VERY few of the House of Israel that understood the meaning of the Law, that it was always pointing forward to the future, when Christ would come, fulfill the ends of the Law, and introduce the law of Mercy through faith in and on the name of Jesus Christ. Although this lack of understanding was widespread among the House of Israel IN Israel, the prophets of the Book of Mormon knew from the beginning the meaning of the Law and then taught that understanding to their people, the Nephites and the Lamanites. I love reading the Book of Mormon because the teaching is simple, it is clear, and it all testifies of Christ. I love teaching from it because that`s exactly what the world needs. The world has been saturated for thousands of years with the Bible, it`s errors, and have thus become hard in their hearts. By reading, understanding, and teaching from the Book of Mormon, we find those ¨chosen ones of the Lord¨ that are ready to soften their hearts once again and really become disciples of Christ. I`ve come to know that this is true. I want my family to know that it is true as well. Read. Ponder. Pray. And then, I promise each and every one of you that read these words, that when you have done these things with diligence and full intent of heart to KNOW the Truth, Heavenly Father will send the Holy Ghost to testify of the truth and divinity of His Son in and through the pages of the Book of Mormon. Other, better men have testified of these things, but I`m your son...your brother...your cousin...your nephew...your grandchild. Take my promise and put it to the test. I dare you to. ;P In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. This Conference I took 5 full pages of notes. I`ll keep them safe and I`ll be sure to share them with you when I get home.

P.P.S. I got your package this week, along with a package from Whitney as well, and I absolutely loved my Easter treats and surprises. I love you all. You know me so well. You take care of my, even when I`m more than 2000 miles away, and for that I`m eternally grateful. I love you. =)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Email - Received Monday, March 29, 2009

Hey Family!

So guess what?! Because my district has grown, we now cannot all use Internet to email all at the same time. That`s why this email is getting sent on Monday...but later, at night. Our regular Internet cafe only has 6 machines, but it`s an awesome connection, so I don't want to go find another one. They tell me that I have to try to find another one because President Baldwin wants all the districts to use email together so that everyone can keep eyes on their companions, so that we`re not breaking the rules. I agree with the not being on other websites thing,`s just such a good rare in a 2nd World Country. haha Anyways, so that`s why I`m writing late.

Now, with respect to the title of this email...yeah, it`s time for me to buckle down and get to work. This week was a week full of learning from the scriptures and repentance for me. I really have not been working like I should...we need to do better. So my companion and I are going by the book, from here on out. I`ve heard that some missionaries that are sticklers for following every rule...have a secret that they don't like to reveal. They say that when you`re 100% obedient...the time goes by EVEN FASTER. So the rumor is that the most obedient missionaries not only have the most success...but also never have to think about when they`re going home because they`re too busy to think about being ¨baggy¨. I want that to happen to me...I want to get on the plane and not know where all the time went. I want to just be able to say ¨...I guess all the time just went into baptizing my last 50 people in my second year¨ haha Or...something like that. I know that I might not have enough time to baptize THAT many, but I know that if I`m more obedient from here on out...the time WILL fly, I WILL baptize, and when I get home I WILL not know where the last year of my mission went. Pray for me...I`m gunna need it. =)

Okay, I don`t mean to depress anyone at home (or anyone in California, because I`m SO gunna win the race AND the prize ;P) but...I`ve kinda blown the Book of Mormon away... Today I`m in Ether 8...almost done with my first time through for the Utchi project! =D Yeah, I`m kinda happy about it. I`ve also found, up to the first chapter of Ether, over 4,000 references to Christ. It`s kinda awesome, but just kinda! =P My next time through, with blue pencil marking doctrines, I will be reading and marking slower (just to give a certain someone time to catch up ;P) but I was impressed with myself when I realized what I had accomplished. I`m not boasting, Ammon, I WILL boast of my Lord and His goodness. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. It`s my favorite book of scripture. Even more so than that ¨deep doctrine¨ of the Pearl of Great Price. I love how simply it teaches us, how clear the examples are, and just really HOW MUCH of a Testament to Christ it really is. =P I`ll finish before my year mark, and I`ll reap the blessings of my efforts in abundance. (Fun Fact: I was sick on Wednesday, we didn`t go out teaching, but I was able to read the ENTIRE Book of Alma in ONE day! Cool huh?)

Alright, now for the personal part of the email! =) Yeah man...this week has been full of ¨Aha!¨ moments for me. The fact that my friends are all hitting milestones in the mission is so cool to me. I always find myself thinking about Jordan more than anyone, because he went first. He`s already on his way home! And it`s fun to think about how Josh and Trav are doing with their Spanish skills. Remember how they always used to talk gibberish and say it was Spanish...yeah, well now they`ll actually know what they`re saying for once. ;P Mom! I`m SO FREAKING...holy crap...THAT`S AMAZING! I`m so excited for your achievements with your workout plan, you diligence, and your new-found strength! I`m so happy that you`re happy Mom. I know it`s hard to not want it all RIGHT NOW, but now we both understand that wonderful rewards come to all those that work and wait for them. I`m getting fitter every day too. I`m finally fully committed to following my Perfect Pushup routines religiously. It pays off! I`m going to be lean, and mean, and not necessarily skinny, but very, VERY strong! I`m so excited for you to see me! =P It`ll be awesome to go boating and show off to everyone our new bods! haha I love you Mom, you always make me happy. You and Dad are my best friends. =) Your Arizona trip sounds fun, and I`m sure that Julie would love to see you. I just cant wait for Hope`s 12th birthday. THAT Arizona trip is gunna rock! and Dad, they ARE building three new temples in AZ. One of them will be getting dedicated THIS year too! =P They are in Gila Valley, Gilbert, and Phoenix! Speaking of temples...holy crap, Reggie`s getting married?! Wow...I must be getting old... haha No, that`s so cool! I`m way excited for him. I just think it`s kinda fun that he`s gunna beat Eric. =P Your conference weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Welling sounds fun, and Grandma`s turkeys are always delicious. =) But you got it wrong...I come home on the 5th of April...AFTER General Conference weekend of Spring 2011. I`ll have FIVE General Conferences under my belt when I get home. I asked President if he would be willing to send me home exactly on my 2 year mark, the 1st (a Friday), so that I could be home for that Conference, but he said no. That`s okay, because I realized that I get to give my Homecoming talk the next week while everyone is still on fire from Conference. =P It`ll be fun! Also, FYI, here they broadcast it in the Stake Centers, just like in the States, but it`s in Spanish. Sometimes, they sent up a room for English speakers, but not always. We`ll get going with our branch next week and watching all together. It`ll be cool, and I`ll be sure to take notes. The only thing I wont like: I miss the real voices of the General Authorities. That`s all. =P

Dad, to answer your questions real fast... the Elder Lopez currently in my district is not one of the two I lived with. The older Elder Lopez went home a week ago after finishing his two years, and the other Elder Lopez is still in Amatitlan, my last Zone. This one is a little newer than me, but not by much. My new district and I have fun together and I believe, if we all work as hard as we can...we`ll put up big numbers this change. =P

Alright, well I`m out of time. I love you all. I`m still working on hand-writing letters. I`ll get those sent soon. I haven`t gotten your packages yet, but I will be going into the Office on Wednesday, so I`m hoping they`ll all be there to pick up and enjoy! hehe I`m so excited! Let everyone know that I love them, I miss them, and I look at their pictures every now and then with an ear to ear smile on my face. I LOVE MY FAMILY! =P

Love Always,

-Elder Preston William Tucker