We received a handwritten letter today from Palmer! This is only the second one of these and it was great! We also received a picture of him as well.
So tomorrow we are going to the temple so I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to write you guys a letter and send you the last two mission newsletters we got. I know you probably can't understand too much of what they say, but I thought you'd like to look at them and I know that Mom keeps them for scrap-booking purposes.
Well anyway, what is there to say? I imagine Mom is probably reading this letter to you guys in Family Home Evening or something right now. (Thanks Mom for your awesome story-telling skills!) But I just love to hear everything that goes on week back at home (Peter destroying people in wrestling, Lucy dong awesome in all sports, Eric becoming slender man and doing great in cross country, Andy lighting people up in football, Emma going off to college, of course, I love seeing my favorite nephew with Lauren and Matt. Audrey off living the good life in Cali, Mom off to school again, and of course Dad becoming a millionaire.) I miss you guys a lot, but thanks to the Lord I can focus on the work a lot and not suffer from homesickness.
But anyway if I could convey an important message to you guys right now that I've learned recently it would be about judging. There are two converts in this area: Jeison and Geraldo. Before Jeison met the Gospel all he wanted to do was be with girls, out n the street, and doing concerts sometimes. I was able to come into this area right when he was meeting the Gospel. Even his family has noticed the huge change in his life. he's told me that his desires to go live his past life have completely gone. But sadly enough after Jeison got baptized various people came up to me with concerns about why we baptized Jeison. They told me their judgemental comments about how they knew Jeison before and how we should not have baptized him. It almost seemed as if they didn't believe in the Power of the Atonement.
Geraldo had a similar life before the Gospel, just that he's only fifteen years-old so he didn't have problems with girls or alcohol. HE was just kind of a punk. When I got to the area had had about a month being baptized. He still kind of wanted to live his old life. But instead of judging him for what he was doing I decided to love him. I found that as I really cared about his salvation instead of a number that he started going to church consistently. There was a temple trip coming up and he didn't really want to go. But instead of gossiping about him for not wanting to go to the temple, we spent more time explaining the blessings we receive from the temple. He went and he loved it. He can't wait to go again. Now he shows up early to church with a white shirt and tie and passes the sacrament every Sunday.
If one looks at the world's view of these two people before their life in the Gospel you might say, "Oh he's a street guy, he doesn't care about God" or "Oh that kids' a punk, he won't listen to you guys." If Jeison and Geraldo were looked at like that, they would've been two precious souls that lost their opportunities to receive the blessings that they now have because of damaging judgemental comments.
Judging is a sin and if we use to hold someone back from the Atonement of Jesus Christ it's an even more serious sin. We should completely avoid looking at people how the world looks at them, and instead look at how they can become or how the Lord wants them to be.
I love you guys so much. Thanks everybody for being such great examples for me and helping me come on this mission.
There's also a picture of me in there at a river in San Rafael.