A Quarter-Pounder

I mean, a quarter of the way done. (It's going waaaay too fast!)

Dear friends and families,

       How in the world is everyone doing? It has been forever since I last e-mailed, I am sorry for running out of time to e-mail on preparation days to write. An hour is not enough time to get all my scattered thoughts and memories in a letter that makes sense. So no promises that what I will say from here on out will be noteworthy, okay? There you have been warned.

       First, off--- I love being a missionary. I'll be honest it is the hardest thing I've ever done, and a few of you can attest to that, but once you truly forget yourself and get to work, you just fall in love with it. I wake up excited to see what the new day will bring. Talking to random strangers and loving the people you serve has never been more exhilarating and sought after. I'm no longer worried if the person will either smile back or spit back. All that matters is that I share my testimony of the divinity of the work and the role that Jesus Christ has in each and everyone one of our lives. An eye single to the glory of God qualify us for the work. It is so true. Me and all my inadequacies, weaknesses, and slue of other things I cannot meet the expectation of doesn't matter! If you have faith, all things are possible. If you have faith in Christ, you will prevail.

         Okay, jumping off my soapbox. So it has been a total of 7 months of waking up tired, going to work tired, biking tired, teaching tired, eating tired, and sleeping tired--- in the best place ever! I am still in my first area, yes... this Elder is still serving in Clovis California with the wonderful members of the Peachwood Ward. I prayed and fasted big time to stay another transfer and my desires were granted! Woohoo for prayer! I am not sure if I'm mentioned my second companion in previous letters: His name is Elder Shepherd, 19 year old from North Carolina. Quirky but I love him! Last transfer we had 30 quality lessons each week--- yeah, hence the tired in all aspects. The work here is steadily increasing with people coming out of the woodwork. Nothing beats missionary life--- eat, sleep, breath the gospel and not worrying about the "real world" is very nice, to say the least.

         Alright, you ready for this one? Last paragraph, I promise--- So last week, or actually, two days ago literally hit the both of us like a ton of bricks. My companion, friend, and brother was hit by a car who failed to yield at an intersection. No worries, he is okay, he is a tough Elder. Miraculously the only injury he sustained was some swelling above the knee and slight pain in his left ankle. His bike on the other hand is done for. We have been instructed to stay home for a couple days and I've reflected upon the accident and how blessed we are to be here. As strange as my companion is at times I would like to share what he told me as he laid in bed recovering, "Elder Jalla--- find me some crutches, we need to get back out there." What fortitude of character, what sheer will and determination. Barely half an hour before a car almost took his life his first inclination was not, "poor me, why me..." rather, let me be a voice of reason, let me help someone come closer to Christ. I have pondered upon his reaction to this and realized that because of our knowledge of the plan of salvation we have no fear of death, not to say we welcome it, but we are at peace with whatever may come our way. Our mission is to give that same hope to those that are scared, that are fearful, saddened, discouraged--- in essence, those who are hopeless. Our hope and faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we represent. If people knew of the joys that could be experienced and the scope of the eternal happiness that lays before them, oh how better this world would be. That's why I'm out here. I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who saved me from the gulf of misery and the jaws of hell itself. Others need this, others are seeking for it.

I pray that I may be a means of bringing to pass Heavenly Father's work and glory. I pray that all of you who have ever donned the badge remember the covenants that you made, the 2 years or 18 months was to change you forever, BE that change for others. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not building a religion it is building a relationship with God, the Eternal Father and His Beloved Son. May we strive to diligently do as the Savior has done and stand still to witness the majesty of God in our lives.

I love and care and miss all of you deeply,

Your eternal brother, friend, and fellow missionary,

Elder Jalla

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