I'm glad Adam had the best birthday ever. I still don't know if Jake tasted the toothpaste in the mint oreo cookie.
I'm stoked for Victoria's wedding, Stephen Moses is a boss. Evidently Carson Evans is engaged as well now. I met his fiance when he was visiting his Mom in the ward here. They're going to do well.
Karrie is doing much much better now. She was just kind of at a tipping point last Sunday with all the stress from her family's rejection of her decision to join the Church, her friends turning on her for it, and the neighbor abusing his ex-wife next door and everyone telling her not to care about it.
We really wanted her to meet more sisters from the ward so we invited her to a Relief Society Activity on Tuesday we showed up after it ended and she talked with those women until past 9. She really enjoyed it and felt like someone in this world cared about what was going on.
Her family is starting to be more receptive to it now. Her parents are happy that she feels free from all of the guilt and that she's happy now, and her relationships with her children are improving.
She had a very good experience on Sunday again, met with the bishop and enjoyed Sunday School and Relief Society.
I'm getting about 8 hours of sleep a night now, which is a miracle. It's just been since last transfer since that started happening. Just in time for getting home haha.
We were tracting on Saturday, and found a young couple, Byron and Elizabeth with a one month old baby. Elizabeth has had LDS friends go on missions and Byron has gone to Christian churches before but doesn't currently attend or prefer any one denomination. She asked us what we believe and we taught them part of the Restoration and set a return appointment on Saturday.
We got to go to the temple today, the feeling you get after you finish a session is just incredible. There's something very special about the temple that leaves with you. When the Savior washed the disciples feet and pronounced them clean from the blood of that generation, he promised them that even though they had to leave His physical presence he would send His Spirit, even the Comforter to be with them and to teach them and bring to their remembrance all things (John 14:25-26).
I was praying at one part of the endowment, expressing my sadness to leave and my desires and willingness to be as effective as possible these last three months in bringing souls to Christ, I felt deeply impressed that I had completed my mission and it was time to come home. I felt so much sorrow to leave this great work, to literally be a messenger of God and an instrument in his hands to bring about much good in the lives of His children.
That might sound presumptuous to some for us to claim that God would use 18-24 year old missionaries to be His emissaries to call the world to repentance and faith. But God prefers to bring to pass great miracles by small means. When mighty manifestations are required to produce belief true and lasting conversion to the Lord is not possible.
Thank you for everything, I have seen spiritually how the Lord will use my mission to bless the lives of His children and I am extremely grateful. I am reminded of Ammon's expression of the nothingness of his own strength and wisdom, but eternal gratitude to the Lord for using him however unworthy to bring to pass that great work. I know that similar blessings await those who humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in the mission field, help friends and family receive the fulness of the Gospel and who help prepare youth for full-time missionary service.
My fullest love and devotion, your son and brother,
Elder Joseph Szendre
Pic: temple trip. The Spanish Elders ditched us before we could ask for a ride. Jk they had something with the Cassia Spanish Branch and had to go. I've been in Sister Tauiliili's district 7 out of her 12.5 transfers and in her zone for one more. She keeps following me.
From left: Sister Bawden, Elder Thompson, Sister Tauiliili.