Saturday, July 7, 2012

Goodbye to the Waltons this week!!!

Entes queridos,

Well, this week--Wednesday, in fact--I'll say goodbye to the Waltons.  Man, I'll miss my mission parents.  Those two are true saints and lovely people to have served with.  As sad as I am to see them go, I know the Lord's hand is in it and that He loves us all so much.  Aside from that, I'm excited to meet the Thompsons!  They sound like such wonderful people.

This week has been wild!  We have two people set for Baptism, the mission reached 101 baptisms in a year, and we had investigators in church!  Lizette--as always--is progressing rapidly and already seems to be an old member of the church.  Wow, she's incredible!  Also, Patrícia and her family are progressing.  She's headed toward baptism on the 28th.  We're trying to work with her husband as well and I have faith that it'll all work out.  I'm so excited for all of them!

I found joy on my mission this week.  This isn't to say that I haven't been happy or loving up until this point--trust me, there's nothing better than a mission  Still, this week I found joy.  When Patrícia came to church, accpeted her baptismal date, and decided to get her husband in the game a flood of light just happened.  I can't explain it.  I just have so much love for these people.  They're going through the hardest time of their lives and accepting the Gospel as a place to find solace.  They will be so blessed for this.

President Walton talked this week about motivation.  What motivates us is really important.  Why did we come on our missions?  Because in our society it's expected?  Because we wanted to get out and see the world?  Because we owe it to the Savior?  Why do we serve?  Why do we keep the rules?  The commandments?  Why obey?  Is it to impress leaders?  Fear of punishment?  For acceptance?  To satisfy those around us?  These are all motives, to be sure, but why should we do these things?  I propose that it's got to be love.  Love is the key to every lock in the Gospel.  Heck, in the soul.  We open doors with love.  When we forget our motives and find the Lord's (which were always love), He imbues us with His power and there's more room in our lives to serve Him.  Our motives matter.  They change us.  What are your motives?

As I wrote to a dear friend this week:  I know that in order to live according to the commandments and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we don't have to make any great change in ourselves.  We just have to return.  We're on this journey and the only true goal is to return to where we were and return better than when we left.  It's just regression to who we truly are.  Along the way we find more of ourselves until, one day, we're there.  So, go back.  That's what I'm trying to do right now--and will continue to do until the end. I think that that's enduring to the end.

One more thing:  Starting in August, I can no longer receive e-mails from anyone outside of my family.  Now that we have a mailing system, we have been encouraged to follow this rule and I find that exact obedience is pretty important.  Until August, I'm fine.  E-mail me!  I'll write back.  After that...  Well, send me letters.  =)  Also, if my parents are willing, President said that it's completely acceptable for my parents to receive e-mails from my friends and forward them on to me.  I'll write back through this weekly one (and I'll send letters to the states, too.  It's simple enough for me.  =))  I love you guys.  Thanks for helping me keep the rules!  (Family, this means that you should write me.  =)  I'll make sure that I'm better at getting to all of you each week as well.)

I love you!

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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