Family and Friends,
Sorry I wasn't able to send out an email last week. Just a brief run through of a few things that happened that week...
My aunt, uncle, and cousins were at church on Sunday and I was able to see them which was wonderful! Especially since I hadn't seen my cousin Taylor in a little under three years. It was good to see them and how happy they were. We also went last Monday in the morning to the beach and took some photos. It was really pretty, even though the sun was covered by clouds (which is always the case when we go to watch a sunrise at the beach). After that we went to Duck Donuts, which was amazing. My aunt Heidi gave me some money, so we went with the English Elders and all had a nice treat. They all say thank you Aunt Heidi!
As for this week, things have been a little slow. With the end of the tourist season winding down everyone is trying to get in as much work as possible, especially the Hispanic people. So we hardly were able to teach any lessons, although there were several tender moments where we were just able to listen. Listening is really one of the greatest things in the world. Yes, it's important in missionary work, because it can help us discern the needs of an individual. But it's also so important just on a mutual friend level. I'm sure if we all listened a little harder, a little better, this world would be a better place.
We had a nice surprise at church yesterday as well. We had stopped by a less actives house the night before and invited him to church. Well his friend was on the couch playing video games while we were there. The next day at church we were thrilled to see this less active show up, but even better, his friend was actually listening to us the night before. He asked the less active if he could go to church with him! And the ward here is amazing. After church several people went up and hugged the less active, and also his friend. They really help people just fit right in!
This week I also hit my year mark. It's crazy to think that my mission is already half way over. I feel like even if I were to serve my whole life as a missionary, I would never be able to give enough back. I also feel like I would never end up being perfect as a missionary. But that's one thing that I love about this Gospel. We aren't perfect, and we won't ever be able to give enough to God. But through the infinite grace granted by the atonement of Jesus Christ, everything will work out. Everything will be just and fair. As long as we keep trying our best, no matter how many times we fall or falter, forgiveness and mercy are possible. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy every second of it!
A side note from our family...it was strange spending Monday 8/1 minutes from Harrison in Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk and not seeing him. Here are some pictures of us at the Black Pelican (a seafood restaurant Harrison recommended with one of the horse statues in front of it) and at the beach just across the street.