Hi! It was way cool being able to see and talk to everyone. You all seem to be doing pretty good. This email will probably short since we just talked! And ok mom, I'll look around at shoes and all, but I think I'll be alright for a little longer. I also realized I messed up reciting that thing to you but oh well! And before I forget, Happy New Year! A good time to think about this last year, what’s been accomplished and what you want to accomplish next year. Set good goals!
The weather here has been light snow for the past little bit. I talked to a guy the other day who has been in Frankfurt for 60 years and he said Frankfurt has never had this much snow before. It's not really even very much, but I guess for a place that normally doesn't get a lot it is. It was supposed to go away and rain throughout Christmas weekend but it stayed and even snowed more. Snowy winter is better than a rainy winter though I think.
We got transfer calls! Once again they came Monday morning. It’s funny to see the missionaries get antsy when transfer calls get postponed a day, and then another day ha. Anyway, Elder Moffat is headed home Thursday. So my new companion is Elder Anderson. I basically know nothing about him, except he is from the Munich mission and has been in that zone since the change happened so I haven't met him yet. I’m sure it’s going to be really good working with him though.
Beginning of a transfer is always pretty exciting. 6 fresh weeks, new goals, more time, lots that can be accomplished. Then it’s cool to look back at the end and see how it all worked out. I've been able to learn a lot about goals and continue to and hopefully always will. You set a lot of goals as a missionary, a lot that you cannot completely control and some that you can. You can learn lots from both. At the end you look back at each and see how you did to reach them or in trying to reach them. See what worked, what didn't, what can be changed, what will work better. Then you can set new goals and have a built-upon plan on how you will work towards those. Each time you look back, revise how you did, and change what you notice can change for the better. This is always a lot.
I've had a goal to have no regrets through my mission. Now when I think back on past times I realize I could have done some things differently, but at the time I was acting according to my best knowledge. So I don't regret what I was doing then, but I now know how I can do certain things better. It will always be like that. We are always improving but only if you have the wish to. Otherwise you don't act and recognize what could be better, and if you do, you don't apply what you learn. And that would be dumb! We need to be willing to change for the better. That’s why we are here! It works best when we humble ourselves and allow God to change us.
Everyone wants to be happy and have peace. Everyone has different theories and ideas and plans on how to do this. Everyone’s trying different things claiming they have the best way to find peace and happiness. We however are blessed to know that we have a Heavenly Father who truly does know the best way. He has the best plan. So the best thing we can do is surrender our ideas and our plan and accept his, and he will get us there a lot faster than we ever would have gotten there alone.
What God has in mind for us is a whole lot better then what we could ever achieve alone. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 64:8. I like to personalize it. "But now, O Lord, thou art my father; I am the clay, and thou my potter; and I am the work of thy hand." That’s the best thing we can do. Allow God to change us. Trust him and be willing to become what he has planned.
In conference Elder Eyring said "You show your trust in Him when you listen with the intent to learn and repent and then you go and do whatever He asks. If you trust God enough to listen for His message in every sermon, song, and prayer in this conference, you will find it. And if you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you."
We can always learn, but we need to be willing to learn. There is a cool quote I've heard a lot throughout my mission. "We are not here to be, we are here to become." That’s not just mission advice, its advice that applies to our whole lives. God has a lot in store and a lot in mind for us. He is trying to help us prepare for it. If we humble ourselves and use what he has given us, he will shape us to be what we need to be.
I am very grateful for the gospel. I am grateful for my mission and what I've been able to learn. And I'm really grateful for each one of you and the roles you have played, and still are playing in my life, helping me to learn, grow, and become. I love you all very much.