Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"The Sabbath Day is one of the best days of the week."

Dear family:

 The ingrown hair is finally gone and the inflammation that it left behind has decreased, which has brought me a lot of relief and has been a great reason to rejoice. Yes, any kind of medical assistance or medication that we need is well taken care of, seeing that all the missionaries have a tendency to fall sick quite often.
I didn't buy the guitar, rather, it had been bought and then handed down to me by a missionary named Elder Jorgenson who had returned home with Elder Bailey. It has been wonderful having a guitar and it has well prepared me for my return home.
 Okay, well, I hope that Sarah is still doing alright and that the hole in her heart hasn't been causing her any kind of physical pain or too much emotional grief for her impeding surgery. Please let her know that I'll be praying again for her all throughout the upcoming week.
 I'm happy to hear that you had the opportunity to go to Adam's Canyon for a family night activity. If there are two things that I sincerely miss, it's family night (with my own family) and hiking (on a mountain side rather than a horizontal, dirt and sand covered flat every day). Family home evening is one of the best parts of the week for its a great means by which the family can become more united, have fun and experience great joy, create and share many great and wonderful memories, and develop more of and reinforce one another's testimony and faith. Never take family home evening for granted!! I miss it so much and it has helped me to draw myself closer to each one of you.
 Thank you for giving me some feedback about the new bishopric!! Wow, that's super exciting!! I'm super glad to hear about that and I'm very satisfied with the new bishopric that has been called and set in place. To think, yet another one of my young men's leaders who has played a key role in my conversion to the Church has been called to the bishopric. I'll have to make sure to give Bishop Hansen a hard time for that once I get back!! 
 Ah, the routine. I know it well. Perhaps not to the extent that you do, but I've an idea of it nonetheless. It's certainly difficult to get used to, but there where incentive, purpose, diligence and determination are found, the fruits thereof consist of happiness, satisfaction and true joy, no matter how tired we may be as a result. However, that is why we are given the Sabbath Day! A day during which we may rest from our day-to-day labors and focus ourselves on the Savior and our spiritual needs. However, what are the things that we can do during the Sabbath Day to increase or strengthen our faith? Thanks to lds.org, we can find the answer to said question. Here's something that I found today as I was browsing through the Church's online Library that I felt inspired to share with you: https://www.lds.org/blog/80-ideas-for-more-satisfying-sundays?cid=HP_FR_26-8-2016_dOCS_fBLOG_xLIDyL2-1_  . Perhaps this upcoming Monday or whenever you're able to hold family home evening, you can go through these ideas in order to find what you can do personally and as a family to make the Sabbath Day more satisfying and fulfilling.
 Often times we feel as if the Sabbath Day is hindering and doesn't permit us to do anything; however, I've found that the Sabbath Day is one of the best days of the week, especially during my senior year of high school. Through out my senior year of high school, more particularly towards the end of the year, I would stay up from midnight to four in the morning in order to complete my homework almost every day during the week. The reason why I had to do this was because I worked during the week, I went to Track after school every day, and I was taking College classes which often required more time and effort to keep up with.
 By the end of the week I was so exhausted that a break from my worldly responsibilities was an absolute blessing and relief. Sometimes, I still had to go in to work but I avoided it as best as I possibly could. However, if I couldn't get work off, I still went but made sure that my mind and my thoughts were continually centered on our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and that I served others with kindness, charity and respect in an attempt to become more like him. As for homework, I had decided to no longer do it on Sunday, even if it was due the next day. Instead, I chose to either do my homework during the week end or to wake up early Monday morning so that I could get it finished, that way I could more fully focus on the more important things: our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, the family, my friends, my scriptures, etc. 
 There are many things to do during the Sabbath Day and we should always do our best to make it a gift of praise, remembrance and thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know that if we invest our time in participating in activities that increase our faith, testimony, knowledge and spiritual strength during the Sabbath Day, we will come and feel closer our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we'll be filled with satisfaction, happiness and long-lasting joy, the family will come closer together and the Spirit will reign within our home.

Well, the cyber guys are kicking us out again so it's time to go.

 I love you all so much and I hope you have a great upcoming week!!! Continue to read from the scriptures (especially from the BofM) and to pray every day on your own and as a family and continue to hold family night as you do for it will be a great and wonderful blessing for all of you in very many and specific ways!!

Love, your brother and son,
Elder Gonzales

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