Monday, January 13, 2014

Letter #68 1/13/2014 "Gratitude Oatmeal Returns"

Dear friends and family,
Honestly there is not much to report this week. We are still trying to work more in harmony with the ward. Retention of recently baptized members is a huge challenge. Let's put it this way: I have never been so greateful to have been raised in a fully-functioning ward as I am now. I wish you all could live what I'm living, see what I'm seeing, and hear what I'm hearing so you could better understand just how blessed we are. I used to complain about "Utah Mormons." Never again will I breathe a word of complaint.

That said, there are a few rays of sunshine breaking through the clouds:

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but they assigned me to form and direct a ward choir. It has been a mental, emotional and physical challenge, but as always working in music still both wears me out and fills my soul.

We found the recent convert of my first companion, Hermana Harris. She specifically asked me to try to find him. He had dropped off the map for months, and we finally tracked him down. 18 years old and wandering from place to place. I'm so grateful to God for leading us to him. While we're wandering around lost, He knows exactly where His lost sheep are, and guides us to them.

I hope all is well back home-- but I suppose if it were easy you wouldn't be progressing or learning. I know you have trials and difficulties and frustrations. One thing I have learned to be grateful for is the fact that there are trials. One sentance of my patriarchal blessing has been the theme of this week:

"Be willing to accept light and truth in whatever form it may be..."

That form isn't always wrapped in pretty paper with a bow on top. Sometimes it comes in the form of chastisement or correction rudely given. Sometimes it comes in the form of extra, seemingly unfair responsabilities. We have to take it when it comes AND be grateful for it. He whom the Lord loveth He chastiseth.

I pray for you always.

Love you forever,
Hermana Phillip

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