Dearest Family,It has been a wonderful and blessed week! We have more set appointments than ever before! We are teaching Karen, Nancy, Teresita, Maria, Pauline (and maybe her mom), and Alyssa, oh and someone named Sarah who I haven't yet met because we were on exchanges. I love them all! Each has such a different perspective on religion and God and on the message we have to share, but what they most definitely have in common is that God loves them and is guiding them and desperately wants them to receive the blessings of His kingdom. There are many other people who we are "close" to teaching, people that we are developing friendships who say they aren't interested in the gospel, or they just don't think they are.
Something I have pondered a lot on my mission from day to day is the meaning of happiness. I want happiness. We all want it. I sometimes question why I'm not happy every moment. I am a member of Christ's Church. I have a wonderful family. I am in good health. I know Jesus Christ lives and loves me. Am I supposed to be "happy" all the time? yes...and maybe no. I have thought a lot about Joseph Smith. He had a glorious message to share with the world. And for it, he dealt with persecution beyond belief. Surely Joseph Smith was not "happy" in the sense that I think of happiness. He was doing God's work, but he and his family suffered so many heart-wrenching things. How could he have been "happy" throughout it all? God hasn't promised us joy or happiness in our every moment on this earth. We are fallen beings. We suffer from sin, we suffer from trials and tribulation. He knew, and we knew, before we came here that this would be the case. Our joy is not rooted in the fact that in every moment we are as "happy" as can be. Our joy is rooted in the promises that God has given us, that one day we will receive a "fulness of joy" and we can live forever with our families, and we can be with God. Joseph knew this, with all his heart, with all his mind, and all his strength. We are not condemned for not having a smile on our face in each hard moment, but we are expected to trust God. He loves us immensely, infinitely, as does Jesus Christ. We can have complete confidence in that.These are just some of the thoughts that have been formulating in my head for the last couple months, so take them with a grain of salt. My witness of this may not be as deep as that of Joseph Smith's (not nearly), but I do know that it is true. My confidence and happiness lie in God and in the promises he has given me. I am weak, but He is strong.
I love you all! I miss you all! Have a fantastic week!