I can be pretty dumb sometimes. News flash, I know, but I would like to reinforce that common knowledge. I am pretty dumb. Why? I have now served over a year as a full-time missionary and for some reason I think that NOW is a good time to start staying up late. After three consecutive nights of midnight or later bedtimes, I was pretty much exhausted on Sunday. Good thing today is P-day. I wasn't even doing anything important - talking to my comp, writing letters, reading newspapers, etc. I just stayed up late. I will NOT be doing that again this week. I repent; wickedness truly never was happiness.
Anyways, it was kind of a normal week for me. We put four new baptismal dates (all for the 24th), but only two of them I feel confident about. Not that confident, but kind of confident. Good at the very least. We have a new rule in the mission where every missionary has to invite somebody to be baptized every day. Not every companionship, but every missionary. I love it. It used to be so hard for me to bring up baptism in the first lesson. Now I just walk up to people and say, "Hey we`re your local missionaries and we're her to baptize you in the true Church of Jesus Christ!" And the surprising part is that people are just like, "Okay, I'm cool with that." Works like a charm.
So we've mostly been inviting people to baptism. Elizabeth, an investigator who had been dropped by the previous missionaries now has a date. She pretty much got there by herself. After explaining why it was necessary that we have a true Church here on the earth in the first lesson, she's been pretty stellar. She dropped coffee by herself when her non-Mormon friend told her that Mormons don't drink coffee before we even taught her the Word of Wisdom. So, on Saturday, after we brought her to a lesson with Leydi (it was a fun, joint lesson for a recent convert and a progressing investigator), we started talking. We asked her if she was still praying to know if the Church was true. She said yes. We asked her how she felt. She said yes, which, as you might have noticed, is not your typical response to the question, "how do you feel?" So we asked her, "yes what?" And she said, "Yes, I'm going to get baptized." So we put the baptismal date. It was super easy and the highlight of my week (although going to Jalapa for the second time on divisions was fun too).
I also had to make a quick trip to Oaxaca on Wednesday (quick being ten hours there and back in a bus). Don't exactly know what happened, but I had to go do visa stuff again. It was a pretty routine thing, but the best part was seeing some of my old generation buddies. Elder Graves is still just as happy as ever. I love that guy.
I really can't comment much about the election since I'm not there and no longer have an informed political opinion, but let me tell you what I think: I think you are over-reacting. While it may be true that Obama is changing quite a few things and it is possible that the wrong man won, I guarantee that I will not be returning to a socialist country. The fact that Obama won again neither surprises me nor makes me worry for the state of the common American's psyche. This was, from what I heard, an incredibly close race. And, just so you know, the incumbent almost always wins when he decides to run again. In the entire history of the United States, in only two occasions when the incumbent has decided to run for a second term has he lost. 2 occasions!!! That's incredible! Mom, I don't think Romney lost to Socialist America. I think Romney lost to inertia. That's why we still use window's computers instead of a Mac in our family, why Andy Reid is still coaching the Eagles, and why Oaxacans think that constructed houses out of large pieces of aluminum is a viable option for a family. It's hard to change the direction of a large group of people. And the larger the group of people, the more likely they are to stay the same. That's why Romney lost. And that's why Obama's not going to change as much as you think.
Let's think about this: In his first four years in office, Obama changed some things. He pulled us out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He changed the healthcare system. Gay Pride has taken a step forward. And so forth. But has he really changed that much? We're still in wars. What's the difference between Libya and Afghanistan?
Healthcare is still expensive, but our family can still afford it. And it still works - ask Aunt Kris if you want proof of that. As far as Gay pride goes, well, the states may change the laws, but God won't. And in the end, most guys are still gonna like girls. They are far too pretty for that not to be the case. So don't overreact mom. We are a nation of more than 300 million people that don't change that much. Obama's not even solely in charge of the government. In the words of Winston Churchill, no single man or women can "hurt they world. They can't even seriously distress her."
Keep paying those taxes, putting America on your Thanksgiving thankful list, buying those groceries, and casting that ballot. Life will go on. Democracy is here to stay. I guarantee that I will change more lives in my two years than Obama will in his eight. Just think about that.
Love you, love the Church, love the commandments, love prayer. I love this mission. It has taught me so much.
See you in a Year!