The Power to Become

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine as children do.  It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated  from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson) During his Senior year Nathan would write a quote on our dry erase board that hangs in our kitchen every week.  This was one of my favorites – but I loved reading all of his quotes.  It gave me a glimpse of the real Nathan.  Now I feel that I get to see inside of Nathan when I read his emails.  I have to admit that this is harder since we can’t sit around the dinner table discussing what he wrote for the week.  Well, at least not with him – the rest of us do discuss what he writes.  I think that is why I like to ask him so many questions.  If anyone has any questions they would like to ask, let me know. 

Dear Family and Friends,
     I will answer questions first, “for agency is mine, and this I choose to do!” (Boyd K. Packer said that about prayer)
1.  We eat out rarely.  We have had a member take us out a couple of times, but it is more common in other areas.  But, in December Subway has $2 6-inch subs, so its $4 footlongs.  We will probably do that a lot. But I went to Whataburger once, its right by our house, and KFC once.
2.  We have a card that they put $115 on every month and we buy our food and personal items, like shampoo and stuff.  It works out to around $25 a week on food, so not much room in the budget to eat out.
3.  It has rained once since I have been here, and it was for about 5 minutes.  So no.  It is still in the 80’s but they say it’s unseasonably warm.  And no I haven’t used a rain jacket yet and Elder Barker left me another one so I am all set.
4.  I do have a Christmas wish list:  Socks (not church socks, just a couple of pairs of athletic socks), a tie rack, ties ( I have probably 15 or 20 more than when I came out), one of those mini hymnbooks, Crayola Twistables (for scripture marking).  and that should do it for Christmas this year.  A family already reserved us over for Christmas.
5.  I remember receiving my call pretty well.  It was probably around 6 months ago.  I remember thinking it is a little close to home, but really regardless of your geographical location the experience is NOTHING like home.
6.  I have heard of a lot of missionaries losing a ton of weight and gaining a ton of weight.  I took a picture of the scale after thanksgiving because I busted into the 150’s for the first time ever.  Back down 10 lbs or so now though.
I have seen 8 people I have taught be baptized and those were all happy occasions for sure, but nothing made me happier than seeing T. . .  at church yesterday.  For the past 5 or 6 weeks we have sent a ride over to his house and he wouldn’t answer the door but he came this week – it was great!  That means it is possible he can be baptized on the 22nd, which he really wants to do.  The only problems are that he won’t read, come to church and he has a hard time grasping what we teach him.  One member joked we need hand puppets to help him understand.  We just have to teach him incredibly slowly, because having 2 strokes and years of drug use make it a lot harder to use your noggin once you get older.  He did quit smoking though – I would never have guessed that would be the easiest part for anybody.  Another highlight of the week was on Wednesday.  We were in a lesson and sickness just hit me like a train.  My whole body was achy, my head was pounding and my throat was super sore.  When we got home that night, I thought about taking some ibuprofen, but thought instead that I would try to rely on my faith (which was hard when I was feeling that badly) and ask for a priesthood blessing.  He blessed me that I would feel better in the morning, and I woke up and felt good enough to go play some ball.  By the time we were done weekly planning, I was completely better.  Definitely a miracle, I would not have wanted to go out and work feeling like that.  I have gone on 2 exchanges in the last couple weeks with Elders going home, plus Elder Barker everyday.  I think it will be really hard not to get trunky when I get there.  Elder Barker is fighting it hard, but it isn’t easy since he is packing everything up today.  I got probably 15 ties from him though.  Anyways, back to missionary work, we are going to start teaching a couple tonight who asked how they can get baptized.  They are living together (unmarried), she smokes and he drinks so they basically have every complication possible.  They may take a while.  No updates with the Assyrian family yet and J. . . was sick all week but we will keep teaching them this week hopefully.  D. . ., the member referral from last week, is awesome.  The only word I can think of to describe her is elect.  She has a super strong desire to be baptized and accepts pretty much everything we teach.  She is evidence of how much better things go when members find people for us.  However, we are struggling to help them see that.
    For the first time since I have been out, I feared for my safety on Saturday night.  We were talking to a guy who was pretty drunk in some not so good apartments and a guy came up to us, clearly under the influence of some kind of drug, and started rambling stuff at us.  He just had a crazy look in his eyes, so we took off.  The drunk guy was originally mad at us for being out so late (7:45 or so) but by the time we left he said he would go to church.  He didn’t though.
Love you and miss you all,
Elder Nathan Wainwright

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