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, but...it`s just such a good connection...so 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, but...like 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
-Elder Preston William Tucker