This letter I asked her some questions that I really wanted to know as her father about her health - physical, mental, etc. Missions are hard and I can't see how she is doing in person. This was her response:
Thank you for your love and concern. It´s hard sometimes to remember that you can´t see me physically, so you don´t know that I´m okay. I´ll try to answer your questions the best I can.
First of all, my health is great. My mission president gave me permission last week to go running in the mornings so we´re going to start doing that this week. I try to eat a balanced diet as much as possible--it´s kind of hard because the main meal of the day we eat with members, so we have to eat whatever they give us, but all the same I try to eat enough to be satisfied but not so much that I make myself sick. Mexican food is delicious, but can be really bad for your stomach. But luckily I´ve never gotten so sick I haven´t been able to work. Sometimes there´s indigestion, but all missionaries deal with that, especially the Americans. Our mission president gave us pills last summer to de-parasite us that you´re supposed to take every six months but they haven´t given us another one yet. But I´m going to ask him or his wife this week and if we´re not going to get them soon I saw that they sell them in the pharmacy, so I might buy myself one. I haven´t gained or lost weight, I drink lots of water and use lots of sunscreen. I´m always tired at the end of the day and you know that I´ve never liked getting up in the morning, but I´ve been able to get up at 6:20 every day for almost 11 months, I can survive 7 more.
As far as my emotional health goes, yes there is stress related with the work and especially with being a STL, but it´s good stress, the kind that motivates you to work hard. I probably don´t write you much about how I feel because I feel a million emotions in one day--tired, content, stressed, frustrated, grateful--but overall I am really happy. I write in my journal (in English) every night, which is a good outlet that I have for my feelings. There are still moments when the natural man in me doesn´t feel like working, or wishes for a second that I was with my family or friends, but those moments usually don´t last too long. I do love you all and love communicating with you on Mondays, and I´m so excited to see you on Mother´s day. If I don´t tell you how I feel about everything, I guess it´s because like I said, overall I am doing really well and am very happy.
I do worry sometimes that I take things too seriously and don´t enjoy myself as much as I could. From what I´ve heard about other missions it seems like this mission is extremely strict on obedience to the missionary standards and hard work. Actually, I know that´s true- the mission president before the current one was a very hard but good man (think Captain Von Trapp from Sound of Music), and was that way because when he arrived the mission was very disobedient. So I know that something I need to work on -- and am working on -- is enjoying myself more in the mission.
We had interviews with the mission president this week and he told me that the Lord is pleased with my work, and that I can still do more. I´ve grown a lot in this transfer and am trying to work harder to find and teach the people who are ready to accept this message.
I hope this letter answers some of your questions, and that you can give me some advice based on what I´ve told you. There´s a quote in PMG about how the secret to missionary work is work, and if a missionary works he will get the spirit, find people to teach, and be happy. It´s true. You taught me how to work hard, and I´m trying to do my best and make the most of the time I have as a missionary.