It's the year of the Gospel! 2015 will be the year that I get to look back on when it is all said and done and say that I spent the entire year in the Lord's service on a mission! It's going to be great!
An interesting intellectual note: The word happiness relates with other words meaning in happenstance, or fleeting and seemingly random. Happiness is not permanent. I discovered a better option and that is to have joy! Joy lasts and it follows that joy is what we strive to help people gain through our message, which is one of "glad tidings of great joy" So, I am grateful for the joy I have in my life, and that which does not fade, but is strengthened over time.
Also, we are teaching a couple who are members of the Church, but the husband works in Colorado a lot and doesn't make it to Church often and the wife's name is Joy! She is a joy to be around because of her love for the Savior and the changes she has made in her life based purely off of that powerful love of Him. Whenever I talk with her, I am reminded of how the Savior told us that we need to be humble as little children in order to enter into the kingdom of God.
It was a good week. We still worked on New Years Eve and Day. People were obsessed with their Boise State football bowl game and other games, but we were able to still contact people. I was able to reconnect with the other new missionaries and their trainers this past week in a meeting we had. I left spiritually uplifted.
During the training, one of the assistants had written "Be Bold' on the white board and asked me what it said as part of him making a point about being bold in doing missionary work. I responded, squinting slightly at the board and remarked that I couldn't tell if it said Be Bold or Be Bald, but that either one applied. I've found self-deprecation to be the way to overcome all negative feelings toward my receding hairline. Of course, I was also able to see E. Bradley, who I was companions with in the MTC and rejoice in being reunited. A problem I had in the MTC in practice teaching scenarios was laughing and it was because E. Bradley's manner of speaking is downright hilarious to me. Through prayer, I was able to overcome giggling (is it even possible for me to giggle?) fits by the end of my MTC stay. However, in this recent meeting, I started to relapse in a practice teaching scenario with him, but was still able to rein it in.
Also this past week, we went visiting some people who had told us earlier that we could come back. This one house, a high school kid had told us to come back, but since they live 5.5 miles away from the main part of our area, we rarely get out to their neck of the woods. Finally, we committed to return and his dad answered the door. After accepting a return visit in the future, he told us that he was going to be leaving for his work the following day and wouldn't be back for several months. We were about to leave a little while later, but I suddenly felt prompted very strongly to give him a Book of Mormon. I told him he could read it during his trip when he had time and he gladly accepted it and said he would. It was a small experience, but one where I clearly saw the influence of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you each have a great week ahead of you!