May 6, 2013
So, in case you didn't know, I have enjoyed a freak Springtime incident in Gig Harbor, Washington. We haven't seen rain in 2 weeks, and the sun shines at 75 degrees right now. WOW. I don't even know if Utah weather is this good yet. It makes everything quite pleasant here!
Thanks for your letters, corey and Mom! And the email updates, as always. To my BYU and college going friends, with the end of the semester, I don't have your current addresses. Send me a letter to let me know where you live and I will write you :)
No news on the Visa at present :) I am loving Washington though, and am letting go of wondering when. I'm a bit of a control freak, and I didn't know how much until this unknowing time period has happened. For now, I have fallen in love with the beauty of Gig Harbor!
Some misadventures this week: Our toaster had a short or something, and caught my pop tarts on fire--six inches of flame! I began frantically unplugging the machine and dashing outside with it in my hands, to keep our little blue house from catching afire as well. The flames were soon extinguished and our house kept safe :)
Sister Brown went to shower Thursday morning and found the most gigantic house spider I have ever seen in my life! Half the size of a tarantula, I kid you not. See pictures!
Came home to doorbellditched sidewalk chalk art and donuts from a young family in the ward. We are loved! It made me think of my sweet kids camp kids at home, and lots of super-secret spy missions my freshman year of college.
Trampoline--our house has a lot of funny little items that have collected from the Ulsh family who own the place along with previous missionaries. One of them is a mini trampoline. Whenever we get sleepy during study, we pull our the trampoline and give a couple jumps to get alert again!
The highlight of my week: Thursday morning, our Mission President (pres Weaver) and his Wife took us to the Seattle Washington Temple, with a third of our mission. We got to ride a school bus, about a 1.5 hour journey from Gig Harbor. I only wish I could describe what a wound was filled in my heart that day. As the spire of the temple came into sight, as I entered the doors of the temple, as I changed into temple clothing--a warmth enveloped my broken heart.
Sister Weaver shared with us, later, that Elder Holland had visited several Mission Presidents in Washington, because he and the other general authorities are so concerned for the missionaries. They want to see how they are doing. Elder Holland expressed that his heart is breaking--and our hearts are breaking, as missionaries--for all of the sin that we see in the world. All these good people wallowing in the mire of Satan's tricks, searching for happiness in places they will never find it.
My heart felt broken as I rode to the Seattle Temple. Sister Brown and I are working with several members and investigators who are heavily addicted to smoking, coffee, and other harmful substances and habits. I see the anguish and the pain they endure, countenances fallen from grace--souls starving for something of greater worth. A panic, a sadness in their eyes! I realize now how blessed I have been, how apart my life has been from the pain so prevalent in the world. The beautiful, blessed home in which I was raised. Mom and Dad, I can never thank you enough.
As I entered the doors of the temple, my heart was overcome with love. I felt swathed with joy and goodness I cannot describe in simple words! All the worry, the hurt, feelings of inadequacy and weakness and the heartache and grief I had been feeling was banished in the light that engulfed me. I have not felt so overcome with the spirit ever before in the Temple of our God. Warm tears spilled openly down my cheeks! I felt jubilant! Memories of the people I love the most (aka, y'all reading this email) and the blessings I have been given filled my soul. This beautiful edifice is God's. I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it! In the celestial room of the temple, over 70 missionaries stood. Young men & women, along with Senior couple missionaries. We looked like an army.
After our trip to the temple, our band of missioanries enjoyed a lunch and a miniature devotional. Together, we all sang amazing grace. I wish I could describe the gift music is to me, especially in that moment. On came the waterworks again. Tears spilled!
My sweet family, do all you can to be worthy of a temple reccommend! I cannot emphasize it enough. My young brothers and cousins and friends, never lose sight of the temple. NEVER! Satan wants so much to keep us from God's house. He wants us to be miserable, and sad. I went to the temple a LOT before my mission--37 times between Dec. 12th 2012 and Feb 27th 2013--and never did I feel so whole, so complete as I did on Thursday. There are things about the temple I didn't understand first attending--and, heck, things I still don't understand. But keep going. Keep attending. In time, more and more will be understood. And you will receive blessings beyond measure! I want all of you to feel as I did on Thursday. After leaving those doors, I was strong. I knew that with God, all things are possible. It was a tremendous and beautiful feeling.
There is a lot of darkness in this world, and I can't fathom what it would be like to be in High School and in Junior High right now. I only graduated 3 years ago, and already the world has taken such a darker turn. I see it every day in the lives of these people in Washington. Never forget who you are, boys. You are sons of God. Remember the names you hold and who you represent. You represent the Borens, and you Represent Jesus Christ.
Whew, well . . . Some other things for this week :) Josh, our sweet 10 year old, has decided he wants to be baptized. I will be celebrating Kylie Mae's birthday, May 18th, with my very first baptism. I think it's a tender mercy that my first baptism will be a child. I am excited for Josh and his decision to join the church!
We haven't met with Elanor this week, but we have 5 other investigators (all from different families, and all adults) that are progressing and we've been teaching. Perhaps most unexpected was Darren, a 40 year old man who randomly came to Church last Sunday. I can't explain it! He is engaged to a Member who hasn't attended church in years, and she and he both decided to come to church. We've met with them twice this week and he told us (on the first lesson) that he wants to be baptized. Sister Brown and I are elated!
Also, we offer service every other week at an Alzheimer's care facility called ClareBridge. What a neat experience this has been :) We sing and I play piano for these gentle old folks. It reminds me fondly of my volunteering with Utah Healing Arts at Provo Rehab. I don't have my guitar, but I have my voice and a piano. They don't say much, but they do listen. One sweet woman named Emma always comments after each song. She says, "I love it! Do you want to know why? It reminds me of Mom!"
Well, Mom, have a marvelous mother's day! I'l talk to you then. Corey Joseph, have a marvelous 13th!!! Love ya bud! Boys and Dad, can't wait to talk to you Sunday. And I'll bet the yard is looking great!
Love love love,