Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Elder Winters - January 17, 2012

Hey everybody, it's been a slow week here at the MTC, but life continues to go on and continues to be great.  With Becca's crew gone, there are just 14 of us Chinese-speakers in our zone, but we're all excited to welcome the 34 new missionaries that will arrive tomorrow.  The good thing about the older generation of missionaries being gone is that they leave all the stuff they would have to throw away at customs or just couldn't take the weight.  Needless to say, I have acquired several items, including new shoes, a great new jacket, new woolen socks, and a new huge bag of sunflower seeds. 
In other news, I got my first non-Becca hug as a missionary ealier this week.  Sister Douglas from my ward back home was walking down the hall the same time as I was, and when we saw each other she ran up and gave me a hug.  Still not used to giving up hugs becuase of Becca, I automatically reciprocated, and as a result, I got a lot of grief from the zone.  Just so that I can remain guilt-free, I can assure you all that it is nowhere in the missionary handbook that you are not allowed to hug people. 
In addition to me allegedly breaking rules, I am breaking norms in half with my new plan of giving up four square during gym time.  After very sincerely wanting to help one of the new Korean elders find his way into a trash can, I have decided that such feelings of competition and frustration should not be found in a missionary, therefore I will as of now strive to take away the source of such feelings, namely, four square.  It will be rough, and I am expecting withdrawals, so please pray for me.
In spiritual news, I have been thinking a lot about the commandments God give us.  Some people think they are bothersome because they keep them from things they want to do, but as we sincerely strive to follow every commandment that is given to us, we will come to see that they are not bothersome rules to limit happiness but rather incredibly convenient and helpful instructions on how to gain the most happiness.  I can see more and more that keeping a commandment that our loving Heavenly Father has given us will always result in us having more happiness and protection than from not keeping it.  Therefore, I would encourage you all to look for a commandment that you may indulge in not keeping, and resarch how your life would be better if you followed it completely. 
Thanks everyone for your constant support.  You all are awesome, and I love you.  Have a spectacular week.
Elder Winters

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