|(This was sent near the beginning of Elder Fox's mission ... a little "personal" training from home.)|
Hey guys!! How's life going? Dad … how are you feeling? I can’t believe you tried to go to work when you had pneumonia. Even though you weren’t born into it, you’re definitely a member of the LeBaron family! At least you didn’t ask for a “sign” to go to the hospital … or to not go to work. That could have been bad.
Today is the day we find out about transfers!!! I’m kind of torn on what happens. I really want to stay here and I don’t want to be transferred because I really like this area. At the same time, I wouldn’t mind being transferred because I for sure won’t finish my mission here. Like I said, President isn’t having anyone end their mission as a Zone Leader. This is a “Zone Leader area” so I won’t finish here. I’ll either be transferred now or on the next transfer day because I only have two more transfers. I wouldn’t be too sad if I got transferred because if not then I’ll get transferred on my last transfer, get to a new area, work there for 6 weeks, and then go home. You barely get to know everyone in the ward in 6 weeks. It wouldn’t be too good to just get there and go home. I guess what it comes down to is whatever happens, I’ll be happy. Something that would be kind of cool about being transferred … everyone jokingly is saying they want to get knocked down to “Junior“. I’m kind of serious about that because as junior you don’t have to worry about anything. Just your area. What’s happening now is that this transfer, a lot of Elders are going home and very few are coming in. Also, there are a few American Elders that are waiting for their visas. We’re going to be suffering in numbers. In March, over 20 missionaries are going home and few are coming so we’ll be even worse off. President said that come the end of May, the numbers will be back to normal. His plan is to shut some areas down and have a companionship work two areas. Also what he is planning on doing, is taking his experienced Elders and putting them in these areas … but in a trio … as junior. That way there will be a senior that has experience, a newer Elder, and another junior that has lots of experience. This way they can divide with the members a ton. So I might get my wish and be junior! We'll have to wait and see what happens.
As for your comment Mom, on getting to know Christ. That’s been one of my goals since my second area. That’s why for my first Christmas I asked you guys to send me the book “Jesus the Christ”. (The book is amazing by the way and you learn lots about the Savior.) I had a similar impression that Buddy had. I felt strongly that I needed to get to know him better. I thought to myself, “I’m a representative of Jesus Christ. We're supposed to follow him. But how am I supposed to follow someone I don't know personally?” You know the stories. You know what he did during his lifetime. You might have felt the atonement in your life. But do you really know him? I kept thinking about that so I’ve been on that search ever since. Your comment also reminded me of something we learned in our training from Elder Craig C. Christensen, which was amazing by the way. I’ll talk more about that latter, but they opened up a time for questions. An Elder asked a question about how he could more fully understand the atonement. Something along those lines. I don’t remember the exact question but the response was awesome. There were two members of the 70’s there, our Mission President, and the Mission President from the mission Sao Paulo East (a bit of that mission was there too). They were responding to all of our questions, but on this one Elder Christensen asked his wife to respond. The whole time Elder Christensen was talking about how their wives are much better than they are and talking a lot about his wife. Well, her response blew my mind. It was so spiritual. She got up there, and in English asked, “Are you hungry?” (The translator was translating for her.) She then went on to ask, “Are you hungry enough to find out? If you’re hungry … go after it! Study it, pray for help to know Christ, and you’ll learn.” What she said was awesome! I can’t even begin to explain it without my notes. She brought such a strong spirit to the meeting. The big topic after the meeting among the Elders was … "I want to marry a girl like that!" haha
The meeting was really cool. He was talking about the huge number of missionaries leaving to serve (yet none are coming here). This will be the largest number of missionaries in the history of the world. He said the week before General Conference, there were a little over 400 calls sent. 3 weeks after, there were over 1,800 calls. It jumped up a lot. Then he went on to talk about the Sisters that are coming. He paused and said, “Get ready Elders … they’re coming!” Then he looked around and said, “Can you hear them?” Oh man. I got really scared. It was like a line from a horror movie. haha jk. But I looked over at an Elder that is going home with me and he mouthed, “3 more months! Be thankful we leave before that.” haha It made me laugh. On a serious note … he taught us on how to better the work in our areas, how to better the work for future generations, and tons of other stuff. It was way cool. He said what we need to do to better help the work over generations, that’s been faulting in the past years, is training from the older Elders passing their experience to the newer Elders. Basically what President Martins is doing. This way they start off better, can take what you taught them, perfect it, and learn more than you. Then they train newer Elders and pass what they have to them. It’ll keep growing and getting better. I thought it very interesting.
Anyway, I have to get going. I love you guys a ton! I miss you all! I hope everything is going good!