It was great to be able to talk with most of the fam yesterday - I love hearing everyone's voices and personalities every once and a while.
I am very fortunate, Mother, to have 3 older returned missionaries as siblings. I have always had that example. I have met many missionaries who are either the first to serve a mission in their (generation) family (1st and 3rd companions) or who are the oldest (Elder Morgan and Elder Pongi) or have older siblings who chose not to go (1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th companions). I have realized how truly blessed I was in that regard. Of course, it is not just the fact that they all happened so serve, but the straight up, amazing examples they set for me. There are lots of people in the world who suffer unhappiness because those they love, and depend upon, make bad choices. I belong to a very tiny minority of people who are blessed with a ridiculous number of good examples in my family. I hope that paragraph made sense.
Oh, and you don't have to worry about sun exposure, Mom. I am either in a car or wearing a bike helmet all day. My hair is actually light brown now (not really blond).
Well, things are going well in the area (not like much has changed since last night ;) We have dates for O. and L. on the 23rd of September, and they are in the same ward. So I'm not sure what we'll do, perhaps have the service for one, leave the water in and when everything is done the next group can come in. I don't know how much they'd like being baptized in the same service... we'll see what happens!
Hopefully we can meet with T. soon and I especially hope and pray that he prays sincerely and with real intent about his baptism. Because I know he'll get the right answer if that is the case - and I really do love T., he is such a great kid.
I'm still pretty amazed that I have been out for 8 months. In no time at all I will have been out a year - that is a scary thought. Soon after that I have less time left than I've been out! Too weird.
I love you all and hope you do everything you can to have the spirit with you 24/7. One thing I've figured out is vital to having the Spirit with you is obeying promptings. It's a "duh" thing but it is VERY easy to ignore or not recognize the promptings of the Spirit. President Uchtdorf knows this - and he talked about that in his priesthood session talk. But if we have the right attitude, which is: if the Lord commands (through the Spirit), then [I/we] obey, then the Spirit can be our most trusted and beloved companion.