Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekly E-Mail Update

I'm leaving out about half of Ian's e-mail but here's the part I can share:

"Dear Family,                                                August 6, 2012            
While it sounds as though our week doesn’t top yours in busyness, it was still quite a week. On Monday, we left for Iguassu Falls (the city, not the falls themselves) with President and we got there about midnight. We had our last specialized training for leaders there on Tuesday and I think that it was probably the best of the three. President had to stay there doing interviews for a few days so on Wednesday we got a bus back to Londrina which took 9 hours. We only got back to Londrina 9:30 at night and we didn’t have time to get back to our house so we slept at the secretaries house. The next day we went to Cambé which is a little city that is just a few miles outside of Londrina...It is hard to stay focused but I am fighting every day and trying to do my best. I want to keep progressing until the very end...Basically we spent the whole week out of our area. We left on Monday and we only came back on Sunday. We traveled about 700 miles, went to 4 cities, and had one busy week. This week we have Zone Leader council meeting.

I love you all and I want you to know that I know that the Church is true. Mom thanks for the encouraging words, be assured that I will do my best."

That last paragraph was in response to part of my e-mail to him as follows...

"I am happy to hear that you are happy about your your extra two weeks in the mission. That said, I expect you to take full advantage of those two weeks. I expect that you will put your heart and soul into working hard and in being a strength and support to your mission president, in being a help to your companion, in being an instrument in God's hands in doing this very important work, and in serving those you are called to serve. One of the missionaries bore his testimony today. He said they were told that there are two names on their missionary name tags. One is their last name and the other is the name of Jesus Christ. He said he was reminded as he looked at his tag today that he is a representative of Jesus Christ. He talked about what that meant and it was very touching...It's been the Olympics again on TV  this past week. It's been so interesting to watch. Whatever the race is, participants all start out eager and in earnest. None of them think about dropping out of the race. They have looks of determination and focus on their faces. I saw one gal drop out of a track race the other day. The announcer said, "So and so just dropped out of the race." He was dumbfounded. He didn't know why. Then we could see that she was limping. None of those that achieved medal status "dropped out" of the race. Those that win...actually pour on the steam during the bell lap or the last leg of the race. One long distance female runner "shot out of the cannon" so to speak as she heard the bell on the last lap of 25 laps! I was blown away. She ran and ran and ran with the rest of the pack until she knew it was the end of the race and she ran her best lap at the end of her race...it was amazing to watch! Son, I'm ringing the bell for you. I expect you to run your best race now. I expect you to forget everything except for this race that you are running right now. It is the race of dedication and service to God and your fellow man. Keep your focus. Keep your sense of "Duty to God" like your father and Mark Benson (the man who passed away last week). Keep your sense of being the instrument God needs you to be. The last thing He needs is a missionary who "drops out of the race." Finish this race strong like the Son I raised you to be and the man of God I know you are...I love you Son. You are in my prayers. Work hard. Serve God and your fellowman. Nothing is happening here that should be of concern to you."

Miss him. Miss him. Miss him.

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