My dearest friends and family,
I wish to begin my email by giving a shoutout to the 4,300 members of the church who showed up in Louisiana to help all of the flood victims. One of those has been my beloved father, who has always had a heart and mind ready to serve others, no matter the circumstances. Dad, if I were home, I would gladly have joined you. Your devoted service to others inspires me and gives me just the motivation needed to carry on serving the people of Mexico.
I've come to realize more and more over the course of my mission just how important our families are and the things they instill us with throughout our childhood. I am incredibly grateful for a loving father and mother who taught me so many valuable lessons as a child. Many of said lessons I learned the hard way, but I know that I've been made better because of it. On Sunday, I taught the gospel principles class about developing our talents, and I realized that many (if not all) of the talents I've been able to develope have come through the help of my parents and the values they have instill me with. Here are a few examples I've been reminded of in these past few days and weeks out here on the mission:
1 - The ability to play the piano; Mom practically tied me to the piano bench to get me to practice, and although I hated it with a passion that burned with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns, I have come out much better and in fact love the piano with that same passion. Thanks, Mom :)
2 - My abilities to work as a missionary have come through my parents' instilling me the value of diligence and hard work, even and especially in the face of adversity. Mom always taught me to think outside the box which has helped me quite a bit here in the mission field. Elder Mena and I have tried a new tactic that we're calling "leave the book". We simply leave a Book of Mormon in some random place with a small note that says, "to whoever finds this book, take it. It changed my life and will change yours. It's what you've been looking for," and our phone number on the inside front cover. We have two potential ways it can help us: someone will call us asking about the book, or in a few years, someone will see the missionaries carrying a Book of Mormon, stop them, and ask them about the book. Either way, it's been working; all of the books we've left thus far have disappeared.
3 - My abilities in Spanish supposedly came from Mom and Dad recognizing a certain gift I had to repeat the words of Dora the Explorer in Spanish and enrolling me in a Spanish immersion program back in first grade. I wasn't there for very long, but I remembered a lot of what I learned when I began taking Spanish classes in middle school.
4 - Here in Tecámac, I've learned that I did, in fact, develop a certain knack for cooking due to Mother's teachings. I know what spices mix well with what dishes and how to give a smoothie just the tweak it needs to taste oh-so-wonderful. I've started making some pretty crasy concoctions that come out quite well, actually. Here are my blue-black-raspberry pancakes that came out splendidly.
4 - I'm sure my companions are grateful for our culture of saturday chores back home. It comes quite in handy while cleaning the house on Mondays.
There are many more I could name, but time is of the essense and is always limited. The moral of my message for this week can be applied to all. Parents, instill your children with the values they need to succeed in life. Children, don't fight your parents. They know (most of the time) what they're doing ;)
Keep serving others as the saints in Louisisana.
Iré y haré,
P.S. Some converts gave us some clown noses. We had some fun.
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This blog is edited by Elder Groesbeck's amazing, beautiful, younger sister Aubrie. I will post any update I get. Enjoy :)