Note from Zoe's mom: Zoe wanted me to include this hand-written letter to her blog, however, I cannot figure out how to get it on here! So I'm typing it.
March 16, 2015
By the time you get this letter, it will probably be like two weeks later. But I'll just send it anyways. I'm sorry for the last letter I sent. I kind of had a panic attack these first couple of weeks. Being on a mission in the states is hard, but I obviously needed to face a very difficult challenge to learn and grow and change. I'm learning how to better use the Atonement. We had a zone training last week, and they invited us to fast to know what we need to change in order to be better consecrated missionaries and then once we learned what those things were, we decided to "fast" from those things for 40 days. The day we started, I carried a sticky note around with me and wrote down all the things I wanted to change about myself that I noticed throughout the day. Things that negatively influenced me such as negative thoughts..thinking that there's no way I'll ever learn Chinese, or getting mad and frustrated every time we have a lesson and I walk out of the room feeling like I just missed out on an entire lesson, or allowing my weaknesses to overtake my strengths, etc. Whatever it was, I found a lot of things I needed to change. And that's when I realized what we use the Atonement for. These next 40 days will consist of a lot of trial and error, a lot of mistakes, a lot of "fresh new starts", and a lot of prayer. When you make a goal, and you mess up, it doesn't mean that you can't ever achieve it. It just means you need to work that much harder, and rely that much more on the Lord. He will comfort you. He will guide you. According to His time. Ever since realizing this and forgetting about myself - I have grown a lot and seen an immense difference in myself in one weeks' time. This is not my mission, nor my time. Everything I do and say has to be for God, and His work, and His children. I have to sacrifice all selfish wants and desires.
I know that it is only through Christ and His Atonement that we can find joy in the journey, and the strength to change and become who He wants us to become - which is our true best self.