N's email 8/4/2015

area: Jennings Branch (Welsh, Louisiana)
zone: Orange
companion: Elder Hobbs (a second Elder Hobbs)

Jambalaya is officially my new favorite food! SO GOOD!

Anyway, this week was great. We were able to get a lot done even though Elder Kohler was being transferred and both of us becoming trainers. (Elder Kohler went to Broadway 1 South, it's covers part of my Broadway 1 West area. I'm so happy for him! Going from growing up in the country and spending the first 6 months of his mission in country and now going to downtown Houston! He's so lucky!)

On Monday we got the Area Book Planner App and we're still trying to figure out how to use it. It does make keeping track of people a lot easier but we have to enter in all the information ourselves and that's going to take a few months.

Wednesday I got the chance to interview Tyson (one of Crowley's investigators) for his baptism. He's only 16 but he really believes it and the other youth supported him a lot. On Saturday he was baptized and he looked so happy! He's usually a very calm kid, and he was on Saturday, but he just seemed to smile a little more and more sincerely than he did before.

Yesterday we went to Transfer Meeting, and we got permission to go by the Crofts (family in Kingwood 2 Ward) to get haircuts! I was so excited to see them again! Then we went over to the church in Kingwood and all of my old companions, except Elder Six who is home, were in the meeting for trainers! I've had such good companions during my mission and that's such proof of that. My new companion (who is also my "son" because I'm training him) is Elder Hobbs. Yes, I've had a companion named Elder Hobbs before, this is a different one. He's super awesome even though he's from Utah... I also met a new missionary at transfers from Nephi, Utah who knows Todd and Kristy! (uncle and aunt)

I love being a missionary! It really is the best thing in the world! I love the excitement that Elder Hobbs has to be a missionary.

Story Time:
A long, long time ago, before we lived here on Earth, we lived with our Heavenly Father as spirits. He loved us so He created a plan to allow us to become like Him (Roman 8:16-18). Part of this plan was to come to Earth to gain a physical body to house our spirits like Heavenly Father has (D&C 130:22). All of Heavenly Father's spirit children had the choice to accept or reject this plan. For those who rejected it, they lost their chance for progression and will remain as spirit bodies for eternity. But for those who accepted it, they got to come to Earth, essentially, all of us.

In this life we gain a physical body, we learn faith, and we do our best to seek out God's commandments and live by them. When we die, our physical bodies and our spirits separate; our body returns to dust, while our spirits go to the Spirit World.

Those who gained faith and lived accordingly go to a state called paradise (Alma 40:12 & Luke 23:43). Those who did not have faith and did not act accordingly go to a place called prison (Alma 40:13). Many of those is Spirit Prison never got the chance to learn about Jesus Christ here on Earth, so they will be taught and have the opportunity to accept it there (1 Peter 3:18-20). But all these spirits are left with a problem, they do not have a physical body like they once had and like our Father has.

But because Jesus Christ performed the Atonement, through His Resurrection, so too will all people who once had a body be resurrected. And because Jesus Christ suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, we are able to be forgiven and overcome our past sins. After every spirit child of God has had a chance to live on Earth there will be a final judgement.

At this time we will be resurrected with a perfect physical body and be placed in a Degree of Glory; the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:40) The Celestial Kingdom is for those who were baptized and lived according to the promises made in that sacred ordinance. The Terrestrial Kingdom is for those who were not valiant in their testimonies of Jesus Christ but still lived good lives (D&C 76:78-79). The Telestial Kingdom is for the wicked people. There is also a place known as Outer Darkness for Satan and his followers.

Let us all choose to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ, learn what it means to be valiant in that testimony and live accordingly! The promise of doing so is more joy than we can find anywhere else.

I love all of you! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.