Dear Santa Rita Ward,
Hello there good ol' Santa Rita Ward! Wow i miss you all! Being on a mission has been the greatest time of my life. At first it seems a little scary, you're not sure where you're going, not sure what language you'll be speaking, all that jazz. But once you get out there, and get going, you begin to realize that being on a mission is way more of a privilege than it is a sacrifice. You just gotta take that step of faith, and trust that the Lord has prepared the way for you. I stand out like king kong swimming in a kiddy pool here, its so funny! But the Philippines is amazing. I truly have grown to love these people. And the language is coming along good as well! That's another thing I had to struggle with at first, but through putting my trust in Him I've seen the miracles come.I just wanted to write specifically to those who are considering going on a mission! Stop considering, and just decide now that you will go. I promise you that through serving the Lord for those 2 years or 18 months will have such a great effect on your life and your posterity that you won't be able to even comprehend it, as i don't. For the greatest preparation, read the Book of Mormon everyday! Study it, learn it, live it, love it. Develop a relationship with Heavenly Father through constant prayer, and i promise you when the time comes to serve you will be ready! The Book of Mormon is the foundation of our testimonies, and combined with prayer is the most simple and powerful way to become built upon the rock of our Redeemer Jesus Christ. I encourage you with all my heart to begin preparing today to serve the Lord! Become worthy to lose yourself in the service of the Lord for this short period of your life! Like they say, it's the best 2 years. :) I love you all so much, and know that this is the Restored Gospel of the Savior Jesus Christ. As members of this restored church we must live the Gospel, we must become walking and breathing examples of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May the work of God go forth!Much love,
Elder DoanePS- The food here is great too.