Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Hey guys! Whats up!? It sounds like you guys had a really fun week! I bet you are stoked for Thanksgiving this week! We are! We are going to visit two families... one I don't really know yet and the other, I have met a few times. It's going to be a really fun day. Most of it. We have a zone activity in the morning to play ultimate frisbee.. so that means I'll sit on the ground for a couple hours.. but after that  the day will be sweet! haha 

Next Thanksgiving I will be there! That's weird.. but normal at the same time. I don't know. I always talk about not wanting to come home because I like being on a mission.  I feel like that's kind of a faithless attitude so I'm trying to be more excited to come home... don't get me wrong, I miss you guys and I can't wait to see you... but it really is good to be a missionary. haha 

You guys will have a lot to be thankful for this year. I saw something in a member's home once. One night for fhe they pulled out a giant piece of paper- like a really big one, three by three feet or so. They hung it on the wall. Then they all wrote things they are thankful for on it until it was full. I invite you guys to try it! Thanksgiving week! Hang up a big piece of paper in a place in the house that gets a lot of traffic, that you pass a lot. And put a pen next to it. Then every time you pass the paper you have to write something that you are grateful for until the end of the week. I guarantee you guys could fill a paper that is like ten feet long... but for the sake of time, it doesn't have to be that big... haha Then you can count your many blessings at the end of the week. yay. 

Brother K left for Florida on Friday. We met with him a lot before then. He is on fire. Tuesday, we taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. We were on exchanges and I stayed and one of our zone leaders elder Ferrin came here to work with me. We had a great lesson and talked a lot about repentance, we have covered a lot of the other subjects and repentance is going to be a big thing for brother K to understand moving forward. The good news is that he already has the desire to make these changes in his life. All he needs is a little doctrinal push to motivate him I think. I think that he will be able to do it. While we were teaching the gospel of Christ, we were at the B's home. A member in our branch. Brother B joined the church later in his life and he shared his story about how it all happened. It was an awesome story and brother K loved it. Then bro B invited brother King to be baptized on the 20th of Dec.  It was sweet. Brother K is praying about it. He is really looking forward to it. 

Oh, yeah... so we are in the ward choir here, right? Well, we sang in sacrament meeting this week. The song we sung was in Spanish... haha I didn't even know how to say all of the words... let alone sing... ... We have been practicing it in choir practice every week... well... sometimes I was on splits.. .and then I don't go to choir.. haha But yeah. You would have laughed seeing me up on the stand singing in Spanish... I don't think anyone heard my voice out of the choir because people kept saying we sounded great. That may be the first and only time that people compliment my singing. haha So, check that off the bucket list. 

It was a pretty good week. and to top it all off I find out today that Federer and Wawrinka won the Davis cup for Switzerland! whaaat!? I am sorry I missed  that. It is not often that you meet people who follow Davis cup - but I did! haha So I hadn't heard any news about the ties except for what you told me last week... so that was a sweet surprise! haha I'll have so much to catch up when I come home... and a ton of time to do it too. haha

I have been thinking a lot on gratitude this week. And last two weeks since they asked me to speak about it kind of. As I have pondered that, I think the things I am most grateful for this year are things which give me hope and things which have helped me become more converted to the Lord. In my mind, there are many things which stand out. A couple of those things are the book or mormon and the atonement of Jesus Christ. The book of mormon is something that I treasure. I've definitely felt the power of the book of mormon. It teaches us true and simple doctrine. It is full of invitations for us to act and promised blessings. When ever I read the book of mormon it renews my hope for the future and refreshes my view of what is going on around me. I have found so much needed direction in the book or mormon when I needed it. I remember my last semester in school I was having a difficult time. The more I have learned the more I see how I could have handled the situation differently. But one thing that I did right was turn to the book of mormon. I remember making it a priority to turn the pages of the book of mormon daily and read the word of God. I know that is one thing that really helped me out then and has continued to help me as I strive to be an effective missionary and go through life. I know that the book of mormon is true and it is the foundation of everything I hope for. If the book of mormon is true than I believe I have a great future ahead of me. If it is not, then I do not know... the good news is that I know it to be true. And that witness which I have received through the power of the Holy Ghost is something I am very grateful for. 

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the work he has done and is doing and has promised to do in my life is something else that causes me to be grateful. I look back on my life and see that I have not always been the person I should have been. I am not yet the person I want to be.  I know of the work the Redeemer has done in my life to help me. It is because of Jesus Christ that I can look back and say - I am better than I used to be. As I reflect on that, I am filled with gratitude. I know that I still struggle to be who the Savior and I want me to be, but because of the gospel of Jesus Christ I am hopeful that I can and will continue to improve according to my faith, diligence, and obedience.  And life will be good. 

Reading your letters today is also something I am grateful for. I have been blessed to have a great family. I love reading the letters you send me. And it is quite a blessing to be able to email every Monday. I enjoy sharing my experiences with you guys and I enjoy reading about what's going on with you guys. I am really grateful for all the support that you guys have given me as I have been serving a mission especially. It is nice to be able to talk to you each week and hear your reports of the week. I am excited to talk to you guys on Christmas and it will be fun to come home and hang out with you guys this summer. I have met a lot of people in the last eighteen months... haha And I often find myself recognizing that we really do have a really cool family. If you guys were members in my ward, I would love to come to your house. haha You guys would be the favorites. haha 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!! 

I love you guys! 
elder Hinkle

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