Most of John's letters that I have included here have primarily been excerpts of the funny things the children say or do. However most of his letters to her are filled with faith, hope, and wonderful spiritual insight. I haven't included those portions because they are a special part of their relationship and too sacred to share in an open forum like this.
As I read last weeks letter I thought it would be a lovely example of who John is (in the most simple form) and yet still preserve the their privacy. John even let me snap a few pictures of him Sunday morning. I love this wonderful husband!
I love you very much. Work is going fairly well, and I am doing well--busy, doing lots of things in the service area of the business right now. As far as Italian goes, we will have to work on keeping it up together. It may not be feasible to speak Italian around the family, but we should definitely come up with some kind of plan to speak Italian together regularly. I also would like to have some more scripture study. I have been working more on my commentary lately. I lapsed for a while, and Genesis 6 was difficult. There is a ton in that chapter.
Hebrew is such an intense language. I definitely think it is the closest language there is currently to the pure and undefiled language of Adam. Everytime I study it I find very symbolically meaningful words, constructions, and even letters themselves. As one example, the word for sign in the creation is a three letter word with the first letter being the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the last letter in the word being the last letter in the alphabet and the middle letter being the letter that as a one letter word means "and". So, literally this Hebrew word means Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, or in other words the Hebrew, even at the letter level teaches that signs testify of Christ. Another example is the Hebrew word sabbath, which is a word that can be viewed as being made up of two shorter words meaning "return home", which is full of significance as it is considered in the sabbath as a day to return home from the fields, the sabbatical year, the year of jubilee, etc.
I have also been thinking a lot about extricating myself and our family (as much as is desired by family members) from the market economy and into the subsistence economy. As I read the Book of Mormon, subsistence economy principles are always extolled, and the market economy always leads to bondage and suffering. In the next life in the celestial world there will be no market economy. Yesterday we had a subsistence economy Saturday as we made a ton of apricot jam. Other items of food production I (we in some cases) am planning are a ton of salsa, peaches, continued sauer kraut, and a lot of fermented pickles. Also, the boys have learned to fish, and we will be doing more of that. I think the milk cow is still a ways off, but I think that will be a big component of the plan. Anyway, Subsistence Economy Saturdays will grow and grow in frequency and effectiveness. I still at some point want to do the green house with the fish pond attached on the north to a bakery and shop complex. I am looking into geothermal, and solar is getting more and more reasonable.
Right now as I write I am listening to the Cinema Paradiso theme songs. How I love Italians.
I am trying to think of funny things the kids have said, but nothing comes to mind. I think you and Loaf will have a great time with her having had another year and a half of young person development. She is a lot of fun, although very sassy. She regularly calls me Daddy Doo Doo. Last night she gave me a spa night, which was a lot of fun although at some times painful.
Well, life is a wonderful thing. I have been thinking a lot about simplicity and love. David O McKay said, "There is one responsibility which no man can evade; that responsibility is his personal influence, a silent, subtle radiation...This radiation is tremendous. Every person who lives in this world wields an influence for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is... Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other man. He cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others." I have been thinking in terms of this--of being free, joyful, loving, kind, befriending others, and being full of knowledge, even if unspoken that emanates hope and a desire to exercise faith.
Well, I love you so much. You are such a wonderful person, and the above thoughts describe who you are and your influence in Italy well. You have such a great influence over people who are looking for meaning in a difficult world. I pray for you always.