Just for the record, three babies have been born in our family since I left on my mission and I haven't even left the MTC. That is crazy! Sounds like you are all doing well. I just got the update from Stephen as he and I had lunch yesterday. How awesome is it that I get to eat lunch with my best friend at the MTC? Good luck to everyone with your plethora of travels. And congratulations to David and Cami on their new baby! I am so happy and excited for you.
As always I am wonderful! Elder Gray and I have a temporary third companion from the advanced district. All of his district already left but he didn't have his travel plans. He has been with us since Wednesday and he leaves on Monday for the Arizona Mesa Mission! He will only be in our mission until he gets his visa and then he goes on to Veracruz Mexico. But I am going to give him our address and phone number and if he serves in the Via Verde branch you all need to find him and tell him how much I love him and how wonderful he is. His name is Elder Soto. He is from California. His dad died when we was 14 and he joined the church during his junior year of high school. He has been a member for almost two years now and is such a powerful missionary. The temple is open again and we went with him today. It was only his second time but it was a sweet experience. We have taught four lessons with him and the last two have been incredibly powerful. When he bears his testimony, he can relate perfectly to the investigators stories and you can tell that he is converted. It is powerful. It has made me think about Mike Shuga and how powerful of a missionary he is going to be. I have known at least ten missionaries now who are converts within the last two years and all of them are the hardest workers and extremely focused.
I have continued to study the Book of Mormon and have spent this past week or so reading from Alma 17 on. I am now in Alma 31 and I could not be any more excited to be a missionary right now. When President Ashton was here for Mission President's Training, he told us to study the stories and Ammon and his brethren and learn what they did to bring thousands of souls to Christ. I have been studying it in great depth and have learned so much. They were incredible missionaries. Two things have stuck out to me above all others. The first is that they became an instrument in the hands of God and the second is that there is three different accounts of them teaching and they begin by asking, "Believest thou that there is a God?" I have wondered on this question and have come to realize that it is the most fundamental doctrine of our life. The song "I am a Child of God" has taken on so much more meaning in my life. It is incredible to me to think that there are people that don't know that they are children of God. But we are. I know that. I know that God loves each and every one of us with an infinite love and that He wants nothing more than to have us return to our heavenly home to dwell with Him forever.
Thank you for your emails, your love, and most importantly your prayers. I love you all and I pray for you daily. I am so grateful for our family and for the blessing that I have had to grow up in a home not only where the Gospel is taught but where the Gospel is lived. Thank you all for your examples of righteousness.