Okay, I have a lot to tell you in this letter, so if my sentences aren't up to their usual grammitical standards of glory, please know that my apparent ignorance is more the result of quick typing and not actually me forgetting parts of the English language, which I swear untruthfully is not happening in any way whatsoever.
First, to Colton: Happy Birthday! I promise I actually remembered your birthday the day before and had a plan to send you a letter on your birthday. I swear that very truthfully. What I will admit to you is that the letter did not get written nor sent until today, so I apologize for the lateness of its arrival. Anyway, happy birthday bud and I hope you are enjoying the realm of music that has been opened up to you.
Next, Mom: Okay, to answer some questions. First, I haven't done anything to my Dwills yet. Here is the problem: I wear my p day clothes to laundry. I only have one pair of p day shoes (dwills). I cannot wash and dry the dwills while they are on my feet. Thus, I am left to hide the smell in my closet (which I'll admit isn't as bad anymore, but still present nonetheless) and use copious amounts of fabreeze in order to not offend my roommates. Next, I did get the package. I appreciate it quite a bit, especially family photos. Indeed, I also picked up on your subtle hint to wear mosquito spray in Mexico, which I am not sure I have. Finally, I have heard about my visa. Last week (or maybe a week and a half ago?) They called me down to the travel office and assured me that I had, in fact, screwed up my visa photo. So I took a new one. Also, they said that my signature did not look like my signature enough, which meant I had to resign it, but I still don't believe it. I have signed everything the same way since 8th grade, which is to say, I scribble. My signature is a blob. How can I screw that up? Apparently, I underestimate my own incompetency.
Dad: Good luck with everything. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now and I do not envy you. However, trusting to both the Lord and your own dependability, I am confident that everything, from cars to computers, will turn out okay. I believe that. Also, both you and mom referenced Elder Payne's scripture quote, which is very good. I'd like to couple that with what I've learned here at the MTC. What I've learned is something that I probably should have learned a long time ago, but that is that prayer is not a unilateral act. What I mean is that prayer is not just asking God for answers or solutions, nor just asking God to verify the things you have studied out in your mind beforehand. He sometimes does that, but that is not a prayer of complete faith. Faith is an action, meaning to pray for faith is to ask for the guidance, direction, comfort, etc. that you need in whatever it is you are doing and then moving forward with your plans with confidence that the Lord will protect you from supreme adversity and/or redirect you to a more proper action through the Spirit. Faith is a hard thing, but we really should be consecrated all of our actions to the will of the Lord and move forward continually in faith. That's the big picture of what I have learned recently.
I don't really want to leave with so serious a note to end, so instead I'll fill this section with some funny stories (at least, I think they're funny) of my district. First, while waiting in a large crowd of people wearing suits on a hot August day in Utah, I heard this conversation between Elder Swenson and Elder Jones (hereafter S and J):
J: "It's hot out"
S: "Lets hug"
J: "That's not an appropriate response"
J: "Try again. It's hot out"
S: "I like your shoes"
J: "Better. Again. It's hot out"
S: "I like butterflies"
J: "Getting worse. Try again. It's hot out"
S: "Your tie really brings out the color of your eyes"
J: "You're hopeless."
I love my district. They are awesome. Elder Butler, legitimately unaware of what he was saying, asked this week "What's that song called that goes Because I have been given much?"
Finally, the quotes of the day for the past two days: 1. (slightly edited) "It's not about the dog in the fight. It's about the Lord"
2. "Faith is like marrying your fourth grade pen pal"
It's great here and I'm looking forward to a wonderful two years. I love you all!