Monday, November 29, 2010

The Forty-Sixth Letter

November 29, 2010
Dear Family

First off, thank you for all of your letters and all of the wonderful things that you said in them. I really can't tell you how much they mean to me. I feel the spirit so string when I read all of them and I learn so much. Thank you. I will come back to that though and I'll tell you about my week first. This week was pretty crazy for me actually which doesn't happen very often! Monday was a pretty normal P-Day and Elder Sanford and I went Bowling. That was a lot of fun. But we went for like two hours cause it was really cheap and I was way sore the next day. It's so funny cause we can seriously walk forever and not get tired, but when it comes to anything more than that, we just die! Even if it is just bowling. So, that was funny. Tuesday was pretty normal and there isn't anything to say about that day. But on Wednesday we got transfer calls. I was expecting Elder Sanford to probably get transferred, but I wasn't sure what to expect other than that. Elder Cooke was going home and he was the district leader here in Kaunas, so I knew someone would need to fill that calling, plus there were three new missionaries coming in and they needed trainers. So, I thought that maybe one of those things could go to me, but I didn't really feel ready for either of those. That's the perfectionist in me... :) So, if I were going to get either of those callings, President Dance would call me on Tuesday night to let me know, cause that's usually what he does, and I knew that. So, I was way nervous all of Tuesday night and watching the phone to see if anyone called. So, I guess there is something to say about Tuesday night cause I did get that call and President Dance called me to be the new District Leader here in Kaunas! My life as a missionary just got a lot more stressful. But I am grateful for the calling and will do my best to serve. Some of the things that I will now have to do are; every week prepare a 2 hour district meeting for our district. So that will be some work. Then I will need to conduct exchanges with all of the missionaries in my district (except with the sisters of course. I will just do interviews with them). Then I will need to take care of rent for the teaching center and put in all of the ads for our English classes in the newspaper. Also I will work a lot with the Branch council and the Branch mission leader. So, lots of meetings on Sunday and I already had those yesterday. Plus I need to call to get all of the numbers for the week from all of the other missionaries here. Oh and I get to do the baptismal interviews with investigators that will get baptized. And there are a lot of other random things and paper work that I will need to do. Intense, huh?! But I am glad to do it and just hope that I can do well and know how to help and strengthen my district. So, that is a big thing that happened this week. Obviously I am still here in Kaunas, so that is good. Elder Sanford did get transferred to Klaipeda too. We had a lot of fun together, but transfers are just a part of being a missionary. My new companion is Elder Rich who was in Klaipeda and he has only been out for two transfers. So, he got here in September. He is from Boise, Idaho and is a way cool guy. I can already tell that we will get along really well and have a good transfer or more together. So, that is it for transfers. Transfers were on Thursday and that was Thanksgiving too. So that night we all went to the Morrells and they cooked us Thanksgiving dinner which was really good. It was pretty much everything that we have at home. They even managed to make a pumpkin pie cause they knew that I love them. So, they made it from a real pumpkin and it turned out really good. The food was really good, but I still missed your cooking, Mom... I can't wait to have that again. And I Love that popcorn stuff, so totally send some if you can. I would love that. I am trying to keep up as many traditions here as I can. :) Anyways, Thanksgiving dinner was good. The rest of the week was pretty normal and we just worked hard to find some new investigators. It was kind of a crazy week, but it was good. I am excited to be the District Leader here and hope that I can do a good job. Pray for me!

I also wanted to thank you guys for all of your comments on covenant making. The things that I learned from Elder Schwitzer were great and I am glad that you guys learned some stuff too. I have tried to implement the things that I learned and hope to keep making meaningful covenants with the Lord for the rest of my life. I wanted to tell you one of the things that I already did to maybe help you have faith that you can do it too. When I first got here to Lithuania, President Dance asked us to read the Book of Mormon in our native language in the first two transfers in the field. So, I started, but it was way hard and I didn't understand anything. It took me like fifteen minutes to read one page! So, I eventually lost steam and didn't get very far... So after a few transfers I just started reading it again and just took it slow and told myself that I would finish it eventually. When we had that conference a few weeks ago, I was in the middle of Alma, so I still had a read. But at that meeting I felt the need to finish the Book of Mormon in Lithuania, so I made that promise to the Lord to finish it before the end of the transfer and that gave me a week and a half. I made the promise but didn't realize how hard that would be. But I knew that I could do it with the Lord's help. So, I spent pretty much every bit of time that I could get reading it and I finished it on Tuesday night with a day left before the end of the transfer. I was only able to do it because I had the Lord's help. And I know that because I made that covenant with the Lord to finish, He helped me to do it and helped me to be able read fast and understand most of what I read. And because of finishing I now have that guilt gone and I don't have to worry about it anymore. Plus I know that I can do hard things now. I hope to keep making covenants and making myself even better. I know that we can all make covenants with the Lord to change and be better. I can testify of that! Anyways, if you guys want to change how the family does things, than just do it and make that covenant. He will help. The last thing before I go is about BYU of course... Haha, Elder Morrell told me about the game at church yesterday and I was way sad to hear that they lost just barely. I'm glad I wasn't there to see it though cause I would be way upset at home. I think that being on a mission is helping me to learn to detach from the game when they lose. I would get way depressed when I was at home, but I want to be able to control that a lot better when I am at home. Anyways, I'm sad that they had a heartbreaking loss, but that's great that they played so well. They should do great in their bowl game! Go Cougs! I love you all so much and I hope that you all have a great week. I'm glad that you had fun over the weekend celebrating Thanksgiving. I will miss you all so much this holiday season, but we will be together before long. I will maybe be back for Christmas next year actually. I found that out. So, I will be home either the week of Christmas or the week after I think because of getting back in time for school. But we'll see. I'll be happy even if it's the week after Christmas. Well, that’s it for me this week. I will be praying for you all and I hope for your success in all that you are doing. Don't forget that the Lord loves you all so much and that He can help you do what you need to do. The church is true! I love you all again!
Love, Elder Leishman

320 days down, 410 days to go!