Hello to friends and family and the like! I hope you’re all having a grand week, and I hope that in some way I can make it even grand-er.This week was a good one for me. Mitch and Des are doing well. Like I mentioned previously, they’ve got a lot to overcome, but they’re both taking steps toward discipleship! It breaks my heart to see them struggle and hear what they — particularly Des — have gone through. Des agreed to be baptized in September, and she’s been telling us how excited she is and how she thinks it’ll bring her closer to God and help her feel clean. She’s struggling to give up her addictions, but I have hope for her. What’s amazing about all of that is that God still loves her just as much as He loves everyone else, and that she can still be forgiven and be healed through the Atonement. That forgiveness and healing are available and accessible for each and every one of us. I’m so grateful for that. I’ve really been able to feel Heavenly Father’s love for each of us as I’ve been able to feel this love and concern for Mitch and Des. I’m grateful for the perspective, but it’s just a little bit disheartening to think of the sadness Heavenly Father must have felt when he saw me making a bad decision. I know I’m going to continue to make mistakes, but thanks to this experience I’ve got even more motivation to repent consistently and try to be right in Heavenly Father’s eyes.Went and visited Bill this week. He’s doing well. He was happy to see us and we’ve got a great relationship. We didn’t manage to see Noelle, but we’re hoping to see her this next week and do some service. When we did play cards with the other residents, I won both games of Crib. Sorry, old folks, not even you can quell the competitive fire. Also, old people have some of the best smack talk. If they dish it they’d better be able to take it.We had some unique experiences this week. We went out to do service for a member with a bit of land, and when we were finished he said, “Oh, it looks like we’ve got time for you guys to check out the bees.” So he took us to a little bit of land that he has where he lets some people keep their bees. We got all geared up in the beekeeping suits and checked them out. I don’t know what it was, but it was one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. I just kept geeking out. It was nuts to be able to have them just humming around you and be totally safe. We looked in the box hives and everything! Amazing. I totally want to keep bees when I get home. I’ll make sure I’ve got some land first.
Another cool experience was that we volunteered at a zoo! We were staining some buildings, and it was a great time! The best part was after we were done serving. We got to go hang out with some animals! I held a baby arctic fox, a baby lynx, and a baby cougar. The cougar was getting really feisty, though, so we couldn’t get a picture. I got pictures of the other ones, though! I also got pictures with a bear. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to cuddle with it.
I love my mission. I’ve really felt more invested in the work lately, and I want to keep improving and doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do. Max, congratulations on your successful farewell, and congratulations on your successful jokes at my expense. Hopefully you end up looking like Chancho so you can give me some material. So happy for you and so proud of you. Lucky Mexico.Thanks to all for reading and thanks to some for writing! You’re all wonderful people. Prayers are answered, so give it a shot! I promise it’s really fun. Until next week!Keep the faith,Elder Eli
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