This week Elder R**** and I spent a LONG time looking for new people, and we have really been blessed with amazing new investigators. We found a guy and his sister whose defunct brother had been baptized--they had a 1980s edition of the Book of Mormon in their house, and have been receiving us rather openly. The only problem is that they do a lot of talking for so little doing. We also had a young adult come to churchout of the blue. She is a neighbor of our Ward Mission Leader and has been reading in the pamphlets we left her. We also talked to the mother of our Young Men's president, a lady who acted like a total skank until we decided to cautiously accept her invitation to come by and visit (we brought our ward mission leader with us--as soon as we got there she proceeded to express her belief in God and how the street life had ruined her and how she wants to change), the father of a family of former investigators who wants to come closer to Christ and overcome the obstacles currently in his way, and a few other new people. I had my first Mission Leadership Council (AKA zone leader council) and gave (with my companion) a presentation about resolving companionship unity problems. It was good, because we really needed it. We have been able to notice many things that we are both doing wrong that we can fix to be better friends. We are two very different people, Elder R**** and I, but we are striving to get along, and we haven't let any problems get big.
E****--I have been wanting to give you a huge hug for so long and tell YOU I'm sorry for all the times I ignored you or brushed you off. You are SUPER cool, and I was way too lost in myself to realize it. I did that to certain degree with all of the family, but I feel like I did it most to you. Can you ever forgive me? I forgive you for bugging me, of course--that's part of growing up together with an age gap! Even though I will be away at college, I hope to spend a lot more time with you when I get home. Being away has helped me realize how much i have been missing.
J*****--I wish you and the team the best with Mock Trial. It will be hard, but I really enjoy the competitions--you finally get to take things 100% seriously. As far as discouragement, the biggest help to me out here has been reading about the Atonement, ESPECIALLY from Jesus the Christ. I would highly recommend you read it before the mission field--although you'll understand it way more out here, it is a great testimony-strengthener. It looks super long when you start it, but it sucks you in as you go. Anyhow, back to the topic, one of the biggest parts of my testimony is and has become that of the Atonement. I love reading in Alma 7 and Isaiah 53, and in general going to any scripture that mentions the Atonement when I feel down. I can always feel the Spirit so strong when I read how Christ descended below it all (D&C 122:5-8).
E***--CONGRADJERLATIONS! I hope you come to enjoy driving as much as I do; it is one of the biggest things I miss out here. I haven't sat in a driver's seat in 16.5 MONTHS, MAN!
Mom--Thank you always for your love and support. Thanks for your quotes and commentaries. I feel like I needed the bit on adversity this week--we haven't found hardly anyone who can be baptized this month, and we are slacking off as a result. I need to up my obedience in little things again, because I am falling in old ruts that I thought were long gone. It is frustrating how even though Satan hardly ever tries anything new, it takes so long to learn to resist temptation and so little to stay in bed an extra 5 minutes and break 6 months of good habits.
Dad--That is very true. At first, I have to admit that I was doing a lot of things in the mission field for others, because I felt I needed to impress or be an example or gain trust or whatever. I have come to realize that missionary work is only effective and fulfilling when you do it for the Lord and for yourself. I have come to love my Savior more than ever before, and to trust even more in Him. I am nowhere near where I want to be, nor even where I think I should be, but I am far closer than I was before the mission and than I would be had I not come out here. I feel so blessed that the Lord has given me a desire to learn and to be obedient, because that desire has carried me through the times when I thought I had no more reason to be out here.
I wish I had more to say, but seeing as I just woke up from my first p-day nap in MONTHS I am a little drowsy. I love you guys so much! I can't wait to spend more time with you again. I have to admit that I feel trunky already, but i am NOT DEAD YET. I will sprint to the end for sure. Keep me commited on that one, alright? ;)
Until next week,