Sounds to me like you are happy and well. I'm very excited and laughed very hard at the fact that Jacob finally bought his colored jeans, yellow ones too! That is so Jacob's style and fashion, I'm sure he rocks them wherever he goes.It makes me also feel very weird to know that Jillian got her driving permit, and one the first try no doubt! It's weird to imagine my little sister driving and my little bother. I'm sure that will take getting used too when I get back, but now they can drive themselves everywhere.
I've thought a lot about you guys this week. This week was one that challenged the thoughts of missionaries, with the challenge of why am I here. We had three days this week in a row cancel on us and we were left with no one to teach. When a missionary has no one to go and see, it kind of blows up their purpose. I felt myself feel very discourage, this caused me to ask myself serious questions. Then came a great lesson I learned, it was a beautiful spiritual confirmation of patience and long-suffering.
After the first day of no one to teach, I was prompted to study the account of Job in the Holy Bible. I read about this man who was being blessed right and left, one who was doing the things he should be. Then a great challenge was placed on him, where Satan caused many of his "possessions" to be taken away, even to the loss of his good health. Job was in the depths of great affliction and suffering, yet still he persisted to praise god. My favorite part of what Job said something like this, "Gird up your loins and be a man". This statement made me laugh so hard! Basically the scriptures were telling me to man up and go forward.
In the end of the account of Job, comes the happily ever after part. In the end, after showing faith unto God and never giving up, he was blessed with double he had at the start. He once regained all that he had lost and was given even more. I testify that this promise is true to all of us. How often do we feel overcome with the struggles of life or the temptations of addiction that we "seem" to lose everything we had? How often does it seem like the heavens have shut their doors and left us too the wolfs of Satan? It is often in these times do we show the faith we believe in and often need to fall to our knees in humble prayer. At the time of great pain and anguish it may seem that there is no end to the torment, but I tell you there is! The hope we have in Jesus Christ and his everlasting atonement gives us that light at the end of our tunnels of challenges. And similar to Job, if we endure well what is placed before us, we will receive our own blessings greater than the first.
My challenge to you my family, and even to all of those that I send this too is to seek the testimony of the Savior. Learn to use his sacrifice and his gospel to give you the light you need in your darkest of hours. The reinforcement is coming, the day dawn is breaking, and the train is coming in to rescue you; all you need to do is trust in the lord's timing and power. He asks you to jump off the edge, so that he can make you fly!
As we did our best to endure well, mainly tracting. We found a new Father lead family to begin teaching. WE also had more lessons on Sunday that made up for our lost three days. So this is my testimony, it is true, and it is for you.
Never give up your Faith and Hope in a better world! It is coming!
I loved General Conference so much. It always refills my tank spiritually. My favorite talks were from Elder Uctdorhf about tittles we hold in priesthood session, President Thomas S Monson's talk about obedience in Sunday morning, and finally Elder Holland's talk about faith leading in Sunday Afternoon. It was an awesome conference and the place to be. It was also cool to think that I only have one more until I'm back home with all of you, and the next time there is a Spring conference I'll be back!
Thank you for all of your prayers that lift me and protect me. It is amazing to be on the receiving end of so much faith:)
Have a great week and enjoy work/school:) Also again Happy Birthday to MOM! Your the best looking and hottest 40 year old I know:)
All my love and know All is well:)
Love your Son and Brother,
Elder Jack F Dalton
ALWAYS FORWARD SOUTH AFRICA!