Well, I think the subject line gives it away, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU TOO ABBY!! What a day. Yeah, it seems pretty weird that we are in May and that you guys are celebrating you birthdays; it means that time is flying! How I love you guys and I wish I could tell you in person, but email will have to do. Family is the most important thing and I love you guys more than Helvetica could ever convey. (which is impressive because there are some really well worded things written in Helvetica and maybe even more in Times New Roman!)
You guys are my happy. You make me happy, and all I want is to live my life to make you and my Father in Heaven happy. I guess that's the plan. Plan with a capital P.
So I'm not sure who my email reaches, the internet is pretty expansive, and I wonder if all of you know my father and adorable little sister very well. And so I want to depart from my normal format for a second and share with you some awesome things about the two of them.
I have the coolest little sister in the world! Abigail Rose is the best person I know and really is a hero to me. I used to love it and laugh when my older sister would say "I want to be like you when I grow up" , you know, because she is older than me, but I really mean it for my little sister. I want to be like her when I grow up! I don't know anyone more kind or caring, or aware and concerned for the feelings of others. She has crazy curly hair and of course has her moments of excitement, and I love her all the more. She is a great dance partner and taco maker and is the craftiest person I have ever met. (She can do things with a hot glue gun that would make you wonder) I love her and her cowboy boots and how she loves a'merica like I love a'merica (I add the apostrophe for accent!). I love how much my baby sister is growing up. I'm scared I won't recognize her because of how grown up and mature she'll be, but I know that'll I'll always know her because of her good heart. She is one of very best-est friends and I hope she has the best birthday in the world!! And a note to any boy who might be reading this. Yes, I know she is turning 16 and that means that now you can date her, but know that I'm still super protective even though I'm in Asia! So I would like the first boy to take her out to send me a typed resume, maybe a letter of recommendation. I promise to process it by the next preparation day. ^^
Dad! My father! Pops! I love you dad! And I hope you know that I don't know anyone who is a better father than you are. I don't know anyone who loves his family or his kids more than you! You are the best example for me and I hope and pray that one day I can be a dad like you. I think I better start taking better notes. . . Dad, I want to thank you and express my love for you. In my life I can't remember one time where you were angry at me. I've been scolded and received just punishment for some of my "less than finest moments", but I can't remember even one time where your voice was raised to me or you spoke to me in anger. I cannot tell you what an amazing example you are to me. You've taught me that love is and always will be the best motivator and that showing love is the most important. I can always feel your love and I'm glad that I finally appreciate all of the pictures you take of us kids (and now grandkiddos) with your phone. Thanks for sending them to me---you're the best! I appreciate so much your amazing work ethic. I can't remember how many times I woke up to find you already up and out and working on the lawn or how many times I woke up and found a note saying how you couldn't sleep so you decided to go put in some time at the office or you got a head start on the shopping or garden or were out getting something for those screeching chickens. You always seem to be going going going and then when you take time to pause the first thing you ask to do is some sort of 가족 활동 or something. . . (That was family activity for those of you who aren't up on the latest 한국말 ^^) I love you so much, and I hope that you have the greatest birthday! You're old, Dad! But I love you!!
Just for a final note I thought I'd include a little bit of my email to Pressident Shin this week. I learned a lot this week and have done a lot of reflection as I've been reading Preach My Gospel. That book is inspired. I love you guys and love this mission. I know that Christ lives and that He called me here to the Korea Daejeon Mission. I am so excited for my fabulous cousin Glade and the awesome times he'll be having in the Mexico Puebla South Mission. He will be the greatest missionary because he is one of the greatest people and one of the greatest friends I've ever had. Anyway, I have to go. I love you and have the merriest, happiest birthday ever!
"My calling is to preach His gospel by the spirit not to teach the five lessons. To me this means that I invite all to come unto Christ through the process of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I need to build relationships and trust with my investigators and I really believe that through testifying and trusting the spirit to help me and my companion recognize how the gospel is pertinent to their lives, the people will come. They will like us if we spend time with them and make them feel good, but they will respect us as servants of the Lord as we teach them truth and help them know how they can have lasting peace, joy, and a hope for a better world. It comes out again and again in PMG how we are to testify of the message of the restoration. For me it seems that testifying of the restoration is hard. In sharing the gospel there is so much of what we share that is the same with the rest of the world, there is so much common ground. In my attempts to find people I have so often searched for what makes us the same so that they feel comfortable. I think this is good--but I think what is better is what I'm learning in trying to better proclaim with power and authority that which makes us different; our unique message to the world is the restoration. I have been feeling that stronger and stronger as I've been reading Preach My Gospel and I know that that is the Spirit teaching me truth. So, that is what I've been studying and pondering lately, I wanted you to know. And now the hardest part is application. . . but I'm working on it and I know I'm not alone!
Thank you President for all that you do. Thank you for your trust and love and for leading us through revelation and by the spirit. We are always praying for you and Sister Shin. Know that we love you guys!"
Onward and Upward