I did get your package, and I was super happy with all the food I found in there! Yes, the Cranberry drink did arrive safely, and we thoroughly enjoyed the pumpkin bread. It was really good to have that
little slice of home. I'm glad everyone had a great thanksgiving, and that you all got to spend time with your side of the family. I also forgot to tell Spencer happy birthday! How was his birthday? We spent
Thanksgiving with the Efigenio family and a visiting returned elder who served in Far Rockaway. We also went to a less active family later on and had a great night.
Things have dramatically departed from their usual cadence this week. Elder Payne has been having some problems with his heart, and is currently at home in Homedale, Idaho for surgery. He should be back in NY as my companion in about a week or so. For now I am with Elders Ko and Opfar in the nearby English Belle Harbor pool. My time in the English pool has really shown me how much I love the Hispanic people and the Spanish language. I love the people, and how much they love me. Overall, I'm not too happy with the arrangement, and I really just want to be in my own pool making a difference in peoples' lives, but I'm content with learning what I can from Elders Ko and Opfar and
waiting until Elder Payne gets back.
I gave a talk in Spanish Sacrament meeting on Sunday. It was on the restoration, and afterwards everyone said that it was one of their favorite talks they had ever heard. The visiting RM said that he was so happy Far Rockaway has missionaries like me to take care of it. I felt pretty good. I had a huge headache after Spanish church, but I went on to give the Gospel Principles lesson in the English branch on Eternal Marriage. I had to take some painkillers after dinner, but it was overall a good day- despite 6 hours of church. Espanol is far better than Ingles.
On top of this, though, I think I've got some minor depression. Satan's been trying super hard to discourage me, but it's more than that. Over the past few weeks I've had some self-esteem issues, I've
felt like I'm an awful missionary, I've been irritable, frustrated with myself and other missionaries, melancholy, and I feel like I don't really have any missionary friends. I depend on the members and
investigators to feel socially fulfilled, and now I don't really even have that for a week. I feel like literally everyone is criticizing me super heavily, and that I can't match up to the increasingly higher expectations. It's weird, because I know in my head that I can do this, and that these expectations are great, and everything, but in this state it's just so hard to believe my head. I don't always feel like this. I've found that working, writing, reading letters and emails, and spending time with members help mitigate it, and make it so I can cope, and I never feel depressed at night, but after I wake up and before we go out to visit people, I just feel awful. I thought it would go away after a week or two, but it hasn't. I don't know what to do.
That's pretty much my whole week in a nutshell. Not the best week, I know, but I'm hanging in here, and I have a feeling that things will start to turn upwards again soon.
I actually do have a request for my grandparents. I want to hear about my great grandparents. What were they like? How about you, mom and dad? What do you remember about your parents and grandparents? Uncles aunts and siblings? There's just been a push to start using and doing family history, and I want to find out more about my ancestors.
Elder Richard Brandt Hull