I don't really know how to explain how I'm feeling at this very moment. I feel very... Strange. Life has changed lately. I don't how to explain it. Y'all seem very distant to me and, though you're all so very important to my life, I just feel this strange disconnect--as if we had separated. It's surreal, but I think it's ultimately a good thing. The mission has truly become the reality and the dream. It's life. And I love it.
I'm learning a lot about being a smarter worker and a more effective one. I've spent a lot of my mission working hard but not always working smart. A lack of plaaning or a minimal use of the area book is not smart work. It's just another form of laziness. I'm learning that hard work is not always a good measure of our dilligence.
I had a really cool experience this week and I wanted to share it with you all. We were walking down a road that we frequent (it's in a neighborhood that we're building up) looking for someone to teach as many appointments had just fallen through. Suddenyl we hear, "Élderes!" We turn around and see a woman waving at us and calling us over. Frankly, no one in Angola uses the name "Elder" without knowing exactly who we are. Confused (but excited) we walked over to her and greeted her. She told us that her name is Beatriz, that she was a Mormon, and that her brothers had served missions. She wasvery nice and asked us if we'd eaten lunch. We had... But I felt like we needed to get in that door and talk to her more and help her out a bit. We said that we had and she asked if we could eat more. Score! We ate a bit, spoke with her and her husband, Bruno (a non-member), and set up a time to go back. The lesson was really cool. She had all sorts of good things to say about the church. Her husband said that he was on the search for the true church and would love to talk with us. We'll be going back on Saturday and I'm really excited for it. She also told us that she's looking or guidance in her life and she's not sure exactly where to find it. Pray for her? Please?
My mind is everywhere. I'm in a really strange mood and I apologize for the poor construction of this letter. Ema was baptized on Saturday (with 12 other folks--7 in our branch) and confirmed on Sunday. It was really special. She was very happy and is going to be an awesome missionary.
To anyone waiting on letters (specifically Heather, Anna, Jessi, Krista, Shayna, and Terynn) I should have them in the mail by the end of the week. There's been a little problem with the post office, but it's being fixed. I'm super sorry for the delay. Mom, I got the package. Thanks a ton! It's just what I needed/wanted and I couldn't be happier.
To all of you have offered your love, support, and kindness I offer my thanks and let you know of my love for you. It's more appreciated than you all can know.
I love you tons,
Elder Cody R. Eckman