Well well well, what a week it was! First of all, happy birthday to me! As my present, we had the entire mission come to Arequipa for a giant birthday party just for me. Well, kind of. I think they probably came because Bishop Stevenson, the presiding bishop of the entire church, came to talk to us that day, but still, i was able to see a lot of the people from my MTC group that i hadnt seen for over a year. Elder Larsen remembered my birthday, and brought me a bag of beef jerkey haha. The zone sang happy birthday, and DESTROYED my face with the cake. Do you know what it feels like to get cake in your eyes? It hurts.
We are having a lot more progress with our less actives than with our investigators right now. Not a single one of our investigators came to church yesterday, but every single less active member that we are teaching did come, so we felt good. We are teaching a number of less active families and teaching about the temple and the blessings of eternal families. It makes me very grateful to have a familiy sealed in a temple of God and for the chance we will have to be together forever--if we are faithful.
Something interesting that Bishop Stevenson taught was the formula for happiness. If we are obedient, God blesses us. When God blesses us, we are happy. When we are disobedient, God withholds blessings, and when He withholds these blessings, we are unhappy. It is so simple, yet Satan (very successfully at times) tries to convince us that disobedience is happiness. Yet, we learn from the scriptures that WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS. Never has been, never will be, never can be. As missionaries, we have more commandments than anyone else. Thus, we have more opportunities to be obedient and receive blessings that make us happy. Thus, missionaries can be the happiest people in the world haha.
Good luck to Megs in her first week of college classes, to the other kids headed off to school again, and to all the good people of Richland who will be driving on the same road as Christian.