It has yet again been a great week here in Bozeman, Montana! I absolutely love it here, and although it is hard, it is so good as well. I am really grateful to be here. Last week was really good, we had some opportunities to serve and on Thursday we served at the Foodbank like we always do. I seriously love it there so much. The people are so friendly and come from all over in such different circumstances. I love just hearing people talk about their days and I love marking cans and putting them out on the shelves even if it makes me want to wash my hands because I don;t like germs of any kind. But it is good for me, especially because eventually i will be in some places that aren't too sanitary.
Anyways, I keep on switching in my thinking of when my visa is going to come! Part of me thinks that I am going to leave like next week, then sometimes I think I am leaving in six months! Either way I love it here and I know I will love it there so I am a happy camper. This last week we were able to teach M's husband and her about the Restoration. It went so incredibly well. It really touched their hearts and R (NOTE:we aren't publishing names for privacy purposes) committed to baptism when he really receives a confirmation that these things are true. They have a little ways to go as they both smoke a lot and drink, but as we are working with them we are seeing such a positive change in their lives. They said they feel more happy and more at peace, which is so cool to see them experiencing the gifts of the Holy Ghost. I love teaching the first lesson about the Restoration, it is such a great lesson and message with so much power. They didn't have to work on Sunday and so they said they would be at church and were determined to do so, and then they didn't come. We were pretty devastated. We still had two other investigators at church and that went well but last night we stopped by to see if they were ok and it turns out thtey had had a really hard day so we expressed our disappointment and were able to talk about blessings that come through obedience and related the story of Job. M started to cry as she said she felt like she could do some hard things for the gospel and God because she believed they were true. It was humbling to see as we talked a little bit about tithing and to them she realized that might mean being unsure of where the food would come from for her kids or her husband. It was so cool to see her talk about how she felt and that she thought she would be willing to do that and to have faith that God would provide. I shared the time when you and Dad payed tithing and Aunt Bonnie sent that money, she really appreciated it.
B is in the process of moving, but she is still progressing really well. We have come to realize that she is really separating her Chinese culture and the Gospel. We gave her a chinese Book of Mormon, but we found out she is still reading in English and she is also praying in English. I really believe those questions were inspired as we then challenged her to read and pray in Chinese. I know that as she reads and talks to God in her native language she will more fully feel the Spirit and communicate better, not because God needs to hear it in Chinese, but because she needs to focus less on the English and more on the Spirit. We really received help from the Language study chapter in Preach My Gospel, so I don't ever want to hear that missionaries not learning a new language can't use that chapter, it can be just as inspiring as the rest.
We had some really tender mercies happen last week and I truly felt like they were at times directly to help me feel better. On Saturday the first counselor in the mission presidency came to our zone and interviewed all of us, and man was that a needed blessing. He was so inspiring and helpful and I was able to talk with him about some of my concerns and that was really needed. HE also said something super nice, when I first walked into the room after we had all met with him together, the first thing he said was how much he loved my smile and that he could tell I was a good missionary. It seriously made my day, haha then he asked if I smiled all the time and I told him my favorite quote was "I just like to smile; smiling's my favorite" from Elf. Haha it was a good interview and it really helped me and gave me good ideas to work more effectively with those around me. I loved hearing form him and his wife, they really helped a lot.I was really grateful for that, I truly know that God loves me and cares about me. I have a testimony that I am a son of God, and that he knows me better than I know myself. He knows my needs, my desires, my concerns, my weaknesses, my strengths, and how I best can be a tool in his hand. Oh, one other tender mercy is we got the Ensign magazine last week, they come late since the mission has to distribute them so we get them about a month later than they come out, but I read an article called "1000 things to be grateful for." While I was reading it I had the idea - and then felt like it would really help me be patient, loving, more grateful, and more Christ-like - to make a list of 1,000 things that I am grateful for during this week. I started on Friday and will end this next friday, and man am I grateful for this list so far. I have over 500 right now, and sometimes it is genuinely really difficult, but I have felt the Spirit as I have done so and felt myself be given the greater ability to see all that God has given me in my life. So if you feel like it would benefit you, it is such a good challenge and would encourage everyone to do this, I am receiving a lot of blessings from doing this. Haha I am also trying to do this while I am not doing other things that are more important like my studies, calling people, and especially teaching, and so I am trying to squeeze it in between things and before I go to bed. Haha so that is awesome, I am really enjoying doing it.
Congrats to Booboo on his race, it sounds like he is getting back and getting stronger! Also I didn't get the package you sent, I am wondering if the mission home is holding it for transfers, if they are too big they won't forward them, or they often will just wait for a van or someone going out the way someone is to send them something. So I am sure I will get it eventually, I appreciate it! What else, oh Katy I loved hearing about Madi tearing up the bills, it cracked me up! Haha I wish I could write all of you emails but I have like no time! I love you all so much, and Dad way to be awesome! We have such a good ward mission leader here and I know that you are even better which makes me really happy and grateful for your example. Love you all so much, and I am seriously loving it here! Haha I said the other day if I had to stay here my whole mission I would be really bummed, but I could totally do it. Maybe I'll just serve two years in Brazil and then come back and serve two more here?? What do you think Mom? Yes? Yes. Haha love you all!
Elder Danny Carney
Mom's note: he thinks he's funny!! I'm already counting months until he gets home & he wants to add 2 years!!