"Well, my first week in Arkansas has been awesome! The ward I am in is so cool!!! Our ward house is just like home so it is really weird ha. The ward helps out so much, we have a meal every night in July! Are you kidding me?! That is so awesome, I am so blessed :) I love Arkansas. I really do. But it is extremely hot temperatures ranging from 103 - 105 everyday... but I don't mind it to much. They banned fireworks because it is so dry. There must be a big heat wave goin' on across the U.S... I miss Pittsburg sometimes but I am happy for the change of scenery. Today we are going to go to an Indian Museum so I'm excited. We are right next to Bentonville so we have lots to do around here. Also, everyone works for Wal-mart out here ha ha we might go visit the "first" store. I hope you guys survive the heat in Utah and enjoy the 4th of July festivities... I sometimes find myself going "what? am I seriously in Arkansas on a mission right now?" ha I love it. It is so interesting to me how a mission just opens up your mind to the gospel and every point of the gospel just unfolds beautifully right before your eyes. I can't express my love for the Book of Mormon so I won't even try to right now, just know that it is true because it is true. The Plan of Salvation is so beautiful, to be able to rest assured that families can be together for eternity and that life continues when we die, how the Atonement works for everyone and is infinite "no one can sink lower than the light of Christ's atonement shines" the gospel is applicable to everyone of us because we are all sons and daughters of the most high God and that most high God gave us his son. His perfect son. For you. And for me. Because he loves us all and knows what we are worth and he sees us as his children and the sons and daughters he designed us to become. And he hopes that we will take that opportunity to do the small acts of faith he requires (repentance, baptism, receive the Holy Ghost, Endure to the End) so that we will live with him again. We have a Father in Heaven who loves you specifically and he sent his son to atone for you specifically. I can't comprehend the love he has for us nor will I try but it is unconditional and every synonym that goes with it. And it is free. All he asks is us to come to him with a "broken heart and a contrite spirit". There's a song by Paul Cardall I love that says "give up your sin and let him in, lose yourself and you'll find peace, take up the cross and follow him the one who died and with no sin he rose to give you life, the lord hears your prayers if you let him, God knows your name he is your kind friend, his love, runs deeper, than rivers, oceans calling you home" We see God's love in so many ways: a mother caring for her crying child, an elderly persons smile, the twinkle in a newborns eye, a father teaching his son, a toddler's prayer, etc. :)
Anyways I am grateful for my opportunity to serve :)
I love you all,
I love my family and am so blessed to be sealed to them for eternity,
An Elder trying to help the Lord's work move along."
Elder Hayden T. Blackburn