Dear Beautiful Family,
I LOVED talking to you guys on Saturday night!! I didn´t know I made that many faces until we talked, and now I am noticing that I do that with EVERYONE, and that might be one of the reasons so many people stare at me, besides the fact that I am a tall Gringa. WHY DOES SCOTTY SOUND LIKE A MAN??? That is not fair. And I can´t believe that Lindsey is almost as tall as Mom, and that Kate has really long hair! Derek still looks and sounds the same, but he will probably change when he gets his call. Mom looks more blonde, and Dad more grey ;) Hna. Rajapakse and Hna. Cook made AWWWW sounds when I showed them the picture of your guy´s wedding ring at the temple. They thought it was pretty cute.
This week we had interviews with president and I learned something really cool. I have been a little worried about how some people have been judging both me and Hna. Raj because we laugh all the time and are happy! I expressed these concerns to President, and I love his reponse. First, he said we are amazing missionaries because we are obedient and love the mission. Second, he said that we need to express ourselves as people, laugh, be happy and joyful, because that is what the gospel is all about!! JOY!! Third, he said as long as we are striving to have the attributes of Christ, we are trying to become like Him and nothing else matters. He said we are people and we were made to have joy. We were also meant to weep and experience frustration, and tiredness and excitement! We are people with emotions and expressing them does not mean we are disobedient. I love his answer because it is exactly the thing I am striving for in my life and striving to help others achieve here in the mission, and that is to become like Christ. I read Ether 12 today and LOVE verse 41. In Spanish it says ´´buscar a este Jesús´´ which is like search after Jesus. We should always be striving to be like Him and I LOVE it!! To work to be like Him and follow His example is the thing that will bring us the greatest happiness in the end. That is why missionaries who serve with all their HEART, MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH, are filled with light and joy, because they are becoming like Him. That is why I am SO excited for Derek to go on a mission, and that you, Derek, have taken this decision. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life, but it has made the happiest ever! I want to tell you to just be yourself as you prepare to serve a mission. Be your goofy Derek that makes jokes, laughs, and likes to make other people happy. Also, grow in your love for the scriptures and for the Savior! With this will come a love for the people and love for the mission and love to live life to the fullest! I am SUPER excited for you to get your call and go on a mission. You will never be the same, but you will become someone better than you could ever DREAM!
I love you guys TONS! I feel so blessed to have an amazing family that supports me from so far away, and that I get to talk to every week! You guys are an inspiration to me, and keep me going when times get hard! Stay strong in the faith and stay close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They are the best!!