It's quickly rising in temperature now, and we haven't seen anything below 80 in 2 weeks. It's so crazy to think that we're headed into summer again because I feel like summer just ended. It's so true that days feel so long – to the point where it's a struggle to remember what you did first that day when you're trying to plan at night. I swear I'm writing all y'all every other day. Missions do crazy things to your sense of time. I've almost been out 11 months now, which blows my mind. I never ever want to come home! I mean I love all y'all and all, but Louisiana is just the best. :) I ate gator for the first time this week. I had gator sausage actually. It was really good. Now I just have to try turtle, frog legs, and boudin, and I think I've gotten just about all the typical Louisiana foods. Also, if y'all want to know what Houma is like, go watch the show "Swamp People." Not sure what channel it's on, but people around here talk about it all the time because it's filmed here in Houma. It will give you a taste of the people, landscape, and craziness we deal with here.
This week was so much fun. We did a lot with Relay for Life through the American Cancer Society. On Wednesday, we helped sort thousands of t-shirts for the groups that would be participating in the fundraising, and then we helped on Saturday to set up the "luminary" bags all around the track, each one purchased and decorated in honor of someone who fought/is fighting cancer. We got to meet a ton of amazing people who just wanted to help out and make a difference. I've gained a huge appreciation for service projects on my mission because not only is it a great way to serve for a specific purpose, but it's also a great way to just get out in the world and get to know awesome people that you wouldn't otherwise meet. Here is an unpaid ad for justserve.org- DO IT! Go look on it and there should be tons of projects for your area. I want to be more involved in the community when I get home, and get more involved with BYU's service programs as well because there's just no feeling quite like serving other people. Plus, I just love talking to people and learning about their lives and beliefs.
Saturday night we went back to see the whole event put together and there were thousands of people there. It was amazing! We got to talk to a lot of people and just hear their stories and share a little bit about us as well. They did a luminary ceremony where they cut all the lights except the candles in all the luminary bags, and then they had a guy playing "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes and everyone was silent. It was incredible. Then, they had a couple slideshows with people's pictures on it, followed by fireworks. Throughout all of it I just kept thinking about God's plan for all of us, and how grateful I am that I know there is a bigger plan for all of us, and that this is not the end. It's always so sad for me to hear of people who think that this is the end, or at least that this is the end of their families, because it's not true. I know that families can be together forever.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I really do love my mission. Every day is a blessing and I can't even begin to count how many miracles we see every day. I love this work so much, and there is absolutely nothing in the world I would trade this for.
I love you all so much! Have the best week ever!