Lance hasn't received his package containing his voice recorder, so today was a regular email. I'm hoping I'll get more details from him once he doesn't have to type!
Yesterday was Father's Day and my husband's 50th birthday. It's times like this that we really notice Lance's absence. I'm not sure if people really understand what it's like for the missionary and the missionary's family to have limited contact for 18 months to 2 years. But, by the grace of God, we all seem to do just fine.
Lance's Chinese friend and new convert is doing wonderfully. He shares that she is a very talented musician and is composing her own music now. He and his companion are teaching many lessons on the streets. They met one man who, at first, attempted to argue with them over points in the Bible. But Lance says that they were able to help this man's understanding through corresponding concepts in the Book of Mormon and through their testimonies. The man graciously took a Book of Mormon home to read.
In our family, we practice positive affirmations. This, Lance says, has helped him immensely during his mission. He states, "...words are more powerful than we know and that negativity in any form, whether it is sarcasm, pessimism, or straight up negative words, it's strong and one of satan's greatest tools!" He goes on to say that there is a fine line between negativity and "being realistic" and that missionaries can fall into this trap frequently. I would have to add that it is a trap all people fall into. And the comparison he makes between being realistic and being negative is an insight I learned some years ago. It isn't necessary to focus on the negative to be in touch with reality!
Lance shares that this work he is participating in is very important. He says he loves the Gospel so much. He believes that God created this world for us to gain eternal joy. He mentions that he believes temple work is powerful and "beyond definition". I reminded him that we pray for him and his companion everyday to have a wonderful experience and to help bring the love of God to those who are seeking it. He thanks us for our constant prayers and support.
He closes by suggesting we read a few great scriptures...Helaman 5, especially verses 40 and 41.