Greetings from Frisco Texas!
So much has happened in the past week, so let me get the preliminaries out of the way.
I am in Frisco, Texas! My address for the next 6 weeks (only) is:
710 Rose Hill Ln
Frisco, TX 75034
Until I get my call at the end of these three months, I will be emailing from this gmail account.
The apartment I live in is NICE. It is HOT. We got HEAT EXHAUSTION earlier this week. But we are HEALTHY. I am EXERCISING every day. I ride a bike two miles in the morning and run a quarter of a mile. I lift weights. I also eat at least two meals a day at the homes of members in the two congregations we cover. So I am SUPER well fed. Probably gaining weight, at that.
Here is some fun basic information. My mission president is named President Durrant and he is AMAZING. He is very in tune to the needs of the missionaries. I.E.: my trainer is Elder Seager! He's from Las Vegas and served for the last 8 months as an assistant to the mission president (the mission president gets a companionship of missionaries who assist him in all of the things. Basically it's a VERY difficult and busy job, because it's a ton of administrative tasks, as well as tending to all of the 155 missionaries in the mission, as well as proselyting and teaching). We both got double transfered in to our area, which is unusual. Normally, a missionary will transfer in to an area to a companion who has previously been serving in that area so that the work isn't interrupted. The new elder gets adjusted to the area while the elder who was already in the area helps them continue meeting with investigators and members and all of that fun stuff. Elder Seager and I didn't have that luxury. We are both brand new to the area which means we're both clueless about the work that's gone on before us and the needs of the congregations we cover. The mission is set up so that each area has an "area book" which is a binder of information, such as the boundaries of the area and previous investigators and teaching records and ward member lists and things like that. But our predecessors weren't super diligent in their record keeping so we had very little to go on once arriving. However, that gave us the opportunity to work that much harder at getting started and staying busy. It's been incredible being here. I know right now that this was the best decision I've ever made (besides getting baptized). I am truly happy. I am so excited and concentrated and I just feel my mind and heart growing. The members here are an inspiration. Elder Seager is a rock. He is so solid and obedient to the calling of disciple of Jesus Christ. He is the perfect companion for me. We work hard, stay positive and reverant (that's a hard one for some 19 year olds to do), keep a good attitude, and don't waste time. It's WONDERFUL. Elder Seager's testimony is clearly hard won. He's been a member all of his life but he's had some great experiences which have transformed his understanding of the gospel and Jesus Christ. He's so strong and helpful. It's tough to believe I'm almost two years older than him. Ha ha ha.
So in addition to being double transfered, Elder Seager is also training me and is a district leader. Our responsibilities cover a family ward, the Frisco 3rd, and the stake YSA branch. That means that we spend over 8 hours at church every sunday, in between the three hour meetings and hour long ward councils (planning meetings for the auxiliaries of the ward). Yesterday was our first Sunday and we were asked to give our testimonies. It was a great experience because as a missionary I've realized that all that matters right now about who I am is my testimony of Jesus Christ and his Atonement. All that matters is how much I desire to serve others. All that matters is how much I love and care for everyone, including myself. As a missionary, as I get to share my testimony, I am sharing the parts of me that I'm most proud of. The parts of me that I can hold out and say, "This is who I truly am, this is how I understand myself." It's a powerful, intimate thing and I'm so grateful for having the opportunity to do it day after day.
In short: I love it here. I love the work. I love the people. I'm guaranteed to leave this area at the end of this transfer (6 weeks), which means leaving Elder Seager as well and, even though I have 5 weeks left I'm already sad about it.
So, recap: you have my address so send me letters! Family can email me at my gmail account! No pictures to send home yet, but that'll change next week, I promise. No time to take pictures this past week! Just too busy.
I love you all. Your support and love means the world to me. If you're ever wondering why I'm out here and what I'm doing here, if you ever wonder why I love this work and why I'm happy and proud to respresent it, I invite you to go to a church meeting. You can find times and meeting houses at lds.org. It'll give you a better understanding of who you are, of how you are loved, and how you can be happier. I promise you those blessings.
Everything is great. Even having people slam the door in your face. Even that is bearable when you know why you're doing it.
Love love love to you all,