Mom: "How are you doing personally, Cade?"
Cade: "I'm doing well...I don't know if I told you this in my letter last week or not but I sort of had a breakdown where I was just not happy at all.I don't know, I guess I was just kind of angry at the world, but I'm definitely doing a lot better now. I'm starting to learn what makes me truly happy and what doesn't.
Dad: "It's good to hear that you're getting through it, Cade. One of the messages that keeps sticking out in my mind is the teaching of the Savior where He teaches that we have to take up our cross "daily" and how all of life, but especially a mission, seems to be needing to conquer your attitude, thoughts, and everything else over and over again on a daily basis. It's amazing how you could be flying on top of the world spiritually and emotionally one day and the next you're not doing so well, huh?"
Cade: "I know it's crazy! It's like we're always supposed to be so happy and jolly because we're missionaries and we're serving the Lord...but serving the Lord 24 hours a day is HARD!! It's definitely a battle to fight every day! I was actually reading about that scripture a little while ago and it's super powerful!"
Mom: "I'm glad to hear that you are learning so much about yourself. Isn't it easy to see, now that you are on your mission, how a mission can truly teach you so many things about life and about yourself. It definitely opens your eyes wider than they've ever been before. We love you so much and are proud of the great man you are becoming."
Dad: "Remember also that Satan is desperate to disable you because you have so much potential to harm his kingdom. So it's best to quickly recognize where those thoughts and feelings are coming from and to cast them out as quickly as you are able and to not let them linger."
Mom: "It's normal to feel the feelings you are feeling, Cade, so don't think there's something wrong with you. It IS hard to do what you are doing. Remember the quote, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." The longer you serve, the more you will understand and appreciate that concept."
Cade: "Yeah I totally agree! Everyone always says here that "it's not just about the mission" because everything we learn here is for ourselves. I mean, yeah we're helping other people and we're doing our best to give them some of the happiness that we have, but I think missions are really also for us! All the stuff that I'm learning I can trace back to an instance where it'll help me in my job or with my family or any number of other things!"
Mom: "Yep, you're definitely right. My mission definitely helped mold me into the person I am today. (This is Mom btw) I look back and am so grateful for ALL of the experiences I was able to have...the good and the ugly. The hard times especially helped me grow closer to the Lord and to learn to have more faith in Him. It helped me realize who really is in control down here on earth and that we need to just show him that we are willing to go through what he has in store for us. This, I think, is the best way of expressing our love for Him."
Cade: " Yeah I totally get it now! Gosh...we're gonna have so much fun telling all the weird stories I have when I get home! Which reminds me...I was just thinking about this the other day and I think it would really help. Something that I think that you and dad could do more is tell more stories of your mission and what it was like with all of your companions and all that. It's something that I wish I'd asked you more about."
Mom: "You're so right Cade. We DO need to take more time sharing our own mission experiences with all of you. When you first left on your mission, I read my journal alot because I wanted to remember the things that you are experiencing now. I've left my journal out on the coffee table in the family room for anyone to read at their leisure but I don't think they have. Dad just said that maybe they think they SHOULDN'T read it because it's a "journal". I guess I never told the kids that I left it there for them to read! Duh!! But you're right. We are going to do that. If you felt inspired to tell us that then we know it came from the Lord. Thank you for that advice Elder Stafford. That means a lot to us."
Cade: " Thanks so much you guys!! I love getting all of your guys' little words of encouragement. They mean a lot! I love you."
Then a few minutes later he added this:
Cade: "Hey it's me again! So I think you knew that you were going to be getting this email eventually but...I'm gonna throw it on you a little sooner than expected. So....a couple of my slacks that I bought before the mission (my black suit slacks aren't bad but they're getting pretty tight) don't fit anymore so I'm down to only like 2 pairs. Plus my jeans that I brought don't fit anymore and I also need a few more items of winter clothing including winter boots that I still need to find. So, if possible, could you please send me some extra money this month so I can have some comfortable clothes to wear? Sorry! I'm getting fatter faster than expected!! :( ....Ahhhhh!"
We thought this was pretty funny because for so long before his mission, Cade tried to gain weight. He didn't like being super skinny. So he would eat and eat and eat and drink protein milkshakes by the gallons with no luck. I guess he's finally getting his wish!! Ha ha!