This has been an incredible week. Thank you for your email. We are definitely doing all that we can to help NS. He is doing okay, but is struggling to give up his addictions, obviously. What is wrong right now is he is trying to find every single possible way to just dodge it and say that it would be okay for him to continue drinking and smoking and still be baptized (and then not go to church anymore.....it's complicated). He knows the Bible inside and out and has been testing our knowledge of that pretty good. haha :) Luckily he also loves and believes the Book of Mormon, so we just help him through both of those incredible volumes of scripture. I pray that you always continue to have your gospel knowledge improve. Don't be content with a Masters degree, or even a Doctorate degree in the gospel. Learn absolutely everything that you can. You will become that much better of a tool in the Lord's hands if you do. :)
I thought about what you said about preparing (when the time is right, obviously) to transition into being Tanner again when I came home, and I wanted to share a couple of things. The first thing is that I am grateful you have that perspective. I think a lot of people forget just how important that is too. Second, I feel like I have learned more than anything on a mission (even more than how to be a good missionary) that living the gospel is something that you just have to do, and it is regardless of your calling. I love being a missionary and having the time that I do to study all sorts of things, but more than that I am grateful for the habit of gospel study that I have gained from it. I know that one of the reasons that I came out on a mission was to learn how to be a real servant of the Lord. And that is with a tag or without a tag. Being a disciple of Christ is not a two year contract. It is a lifetime journey. I know that for sure. I am also super grateful that I have such an incredible family to go back to. I know that you will help that transition be super smooth. :D Having Jenna there as a support is also going to be an enormous blessing and motivation. haha ;D
However, more than just the transition from missionary to non-missionary, what you said made me think about eternal perspective. How often do we think about our decisions from the perspective of eternity? Do we really take the time to do that? Think about it: If you knew 100% that you were going to receive an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom, and that knowledge was always in the forefront of your mind, you would never sin. Why would you ever give up that much glory for one second of worldly pleasure? However, if we can gain that perspective, we gain an enormous tool to fighting the devil. So how do we gain that? Naturally that is the question that follows. I believe that the answer is actually quite simple. In fact, you hear it every single week. It is to, "Always remember Him."
Do you remember the Savior always, Dad? I know that is definitely something that I need to work on. I am definitely doing my best, but I make mistakes and I stumble and fail every single day. But, if we can really do this, then the very powers of hell will be shaken. I believe that this is the point of ponderizing. I've heard that went pretty big on Facebook and things like that. :) haha It was a really good talk. I hope that you take the time to ponder, Dad. Every day. Ponder the Savior. Ponder what He did for you, what He DOES for you. Do not forget Him. Remember Him always.
I hope that together we can get better and better at having an Eternal Perspective. Thank you so much for bringing that up with me. I love you so much, Dad. Thank you for everything. Keep working and pushing hard with God behind you. :)