I got my first bad Arizona sunburn. This morning, some Elders and Sisters, and us went on a pretty intense hike. We hiked from 7 in the morning to 12. We reached one of the highest peaks in Tucson! It was awesome. But... I forgot to wear sunscreen. It's not too bad, but I'm pretty red. It was weird, this week there was a lot of overcast and rain, and it weirdly kinda made me home sick! Haha! One of the Sisters I serve with in my ward, Sister Fuller, is from Portland, and she said she felt kinda homesick too. Haha!
Man, what a week! Elder Jones and I worked sooo hard. It was exhausting. I probably worked harder this week than any other week on my mission. Which, fortunately, we were able to see the fruit of our labors, cuz we hit double standards - which is cool, but seriously, we worked reeeeeeeally hard this week. It was just tiring. haha! idk If I can do that every week! Haha! Elder Jones is a funny kid. He is just like one of the old guys on Duck Dynasty. The one that doesn't have a wife! Haha! He talks just like him, and sounds just like him and thinks like him. He even has the southern red neck drawl. Haha! It's really fun to listen to. He calls everything "Big ol' this and big ol' that" And says "get up on in there" when he gives investigators a verse to read. Haha! He's such a good kid.
Thank you so much for the Easter package! It was awesome! I've been using the double sided coin a lot. Haha! SO cool!
Anyways, I was thinking of a spiritual thought I could share with y'all. (Jones's southern draw is rubbing off on me haha). So today, we were on a really intense hike. We had to rock climb a little, the paths were extremely steep, and we had to make our way around thorns and cactus. And on the hike it looked like at the top there were three levels. And being missionaries we were all like "hmm kinda like the three degrees of glory!" Haha! And of course, we wanted to make it to the higher level, to enjoy the beauty of Tucson! It was going to be harder than getting to the other levels, and steeper, with more thorns and cactus, but we KNEW it would be worth it. So as we were going along the path, we sometimes pick out with our own eye another path other than the one that was created, that seems to us to be a better choice, that would lead us away from all the rocks and thorns and cactus. But as we went through those other paths that we thought would be safer and easier, led us to more thorns and cactus and rock. And the further we went, the more dense and dangerous the terrain got, and eventually it looked like it was leading us to one of the other two levels, which wasn't our goal. One missionary, Elder Butterfield went so far off the beaten path, that he went to a completely different opposite side of the peak we were shooting for. He went to "outer darkness" haha! So after exploring the dangers of not going on the path, we decided it would be best if we continued to go on the path prepared for us, which yes, it was steep and hard with thorns and cactus and rocks on the way, but we knew it would lead us where we wanted to go. The Celestial peak. Once we got there, the view was unbelievable! I got some pictures, but pictures can't really describe the wonder and awesomeness of the top peak. It was incredible. I knew the hard path was going to be worth it. It's the same in life.
We think we know a way to find happiness other than the gospel of Jesus Christ that was prepared for us to go to the Celestial Kingdom with Him and Heavenly Father, but in reality, what we find on those unbeaten trails are heartache, sorrow, and regret. It is much better to GO BACK to the beaten trail, which undoubtedly leads us to our eternal goal, which is a fullness of joy and happiness. There is always a chance to go back. It is a better choice then to keep going on the unbeaten path which leads to dense thorns, cactus and rocks, and eventually so dense, it is nearly impossible to escape. I love you all and have a great week!