Another week in Ottumwa! First off, I need to apologize for not emailing yesterday. (The library was closed for Labor Day.) But I’m here now!
This past week was a tough one. We went from teaching 12-16 lessons a week to 6. And we had 9 appointments cancel, and both of our investigators with baptismal dates have dropped off the map. My only progressing investigator right now is myself.
It’s at times like these that I am so glad that I have so many different sources to draw strength from. I think of my family and how incredibly and eternally grateful I am for them. I love and miss them more than life itself. They have always been there for me whether in my times of trial or success. My dad: the rock. Someone that you could lean on at any time. That coach mentality of keeping your eyes on the goal has really helped me through all of my trials in my life. My mom: the warm, loving cheerleader. Always there for me. I could talk to her about anything and I always knew that she cared. If I ever needed anything, not only would she be there to help me, but she had probably already thought of it. My sister: the fun-loving sister. Man, I miss you, Miko! Though we may have gotten on each other’s nerves every now and then, I don’t think that we ever questioned the fact that we loved each other. I miss you a lot, Stinko!
Another one of my strengths: my 2 wards! The San Bernardino 4th and the Provo YSA 115th! Hearing about the missionary work in the 4th emboldens me. It gets all of us fired up out here, honestly. Because we know that we can achieve that. And we are working hard to see the sort of missionary activity that you see at home out here. And then the 115th. If I hadn’t gone to BYU for a year…who knows where I’d be. I hear about missionaries missing home and I just start thinking…if I went back to school, it would be boring because everyone left on missions! All of them! What? Do we have like 85 of our 120 out in the field now?
And then of course, the Gospel. This is His work. The prophets of old? They saw what was going to happen in the future. They knew that in their time, the Gospel would not be fully realized and that their respective dispensations were doomed to close with apostasy. This time…it’s our time. The Gospel will go forward and nothing can stop it. “As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven…” (D&C 121:33). All of the hard knocks that come along with it? So be it.
My favorite missionary companionship has become Peter and John from the New Testament. If any of you get the chance, read Acts 4-5. They were getting tortured for preaching the word of God, yet continued to get up each new day and go teaching. And they did it with a smile on their face knowing that they were doing it in the name of their Lord. My Lord.
I have had some crazy experiences out here and I feel so much older. I see people much more as the Savior does. I see them as my brothers and sisters. I see them not for where they are, but what they can become. We all have divine potential within us. We are destined for bigger and better things. Do not waste your life away. Get up. Be a man. Stop worrying about how tired you are or how somebody said something they shouldn’t. Show some REAL strength. Push through all of the hard and unfair things of the world without condemning the world for it. Look for those that stand in need of your help and then lift them up.
I love you all and will update you on the different events more next week! Unfortunately, I used up my time while I was up there on my soapbox (see previous paragraphs).
Basically, I love my job.
Faith and Honor,