Friends and Family,
I leave on Monday! I'm so excited to begin serving the people of Madagascar! My Malagasy isn't great, but I'll be able to get by until I learn by immersion. I've loved the MTC and I've learned so much about my purpose as a missionary, the type of missionary and person I want to be and how to teach. Through learning Malagasy I've begun to love the people of Madagascar and I can't wait to meet them. I will miss all of you at home (and those of you serving missions around the world) more than I can express in this email, but my focus for the next 23 months will be serving the Malagasy people. Thank you so much for your support to get me here, I'm so glad that I made the choice to serve.
Remember that there is a danger in the word "someday" when it means "not today" (Eyering). My challenge to all of you is to think about who you would like to be and then become that person. No excuses.
Next time I write you, it'll be from beautiful Madagascar! But first I have over 50 hours of travel ahead of me...
P.S. I like this picture because I think Elder Soper looks like a missionary version of Uncle Sam (note the waving US flag in the background)
For my thought today I want you guys to study John 6. I'll share verses 66-68.
Remember that our gospel is the most important thing in our lives. We shouldn't go a day without thinking about our ultimate purposes in life multiple times a day. You are responding to the Lord's question "Will ye also go away?" in the way that you live your lives. Simon Peter understood life well when he responded. He kept the big picture in mind. The apostles realized that no matter what happened to them in this life, the most worthwhile thing for them to do was to follow the Saviour. We can and should come to that same conclusion.