Another week! This past week was AWESOME! For a few different reasons:
First off, we had a mission conference in Iowa City with Elder Robert C. Gay (of the First Quorum of the Seventy), and it was amazing! Just to let you know: it was from 9 AM – 4:30 PM…and it could have gone on for another couple hours, and I would have been totally fine. One of the best meetings I have sat through in my life. (I’ll talk about what he said at the end of the email.) It was also really great to see the rest of my MTC District! Well, part of them anyways. Our mission is pretty large, so there are two mission conferences, one for the East-side and one for the West, so I was only able to see those that are currently serving on the East-side with me. I even found out that one of the Sisters from my District is already training! Scary…
Second, we got to go to the Fairfield Branch and go on exchanges with our Zone Leaders who are assigned there. It was great to work with another Elder because you learn from each and every person you teach with out here. Don’t get me wrong, I love my companion. It was just cool to learn from someone else, too.
When you’re a missionary, it seems like all of your weaknesses and faults get played in front of you. I’ve been working really hard to try to make myself better. A better person, companion, and missionary. This last week was just really awesome because I feel like I am starting to make some progress! 🙂
Some more exciting news: our baptismal date that we had set for Oct. 19th is still a go! YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!! We are also beginning to make headway with our other investigators! We now have 3 progressing investigators (we had zero 2 weeks ago)!!!
So, this is a little interesting, but the Baptists here in town can’t seem to decide on what they think of us. The different Baptist churches seem to say different things about us, and it’s kind of funny. One of them actually holds classes on how to argue with us. One of them actually came up to us, on the street, and told us that we were both going to somewhere…not very nice. —There’s nothing I hate more than hate. All of you reading this, please be kind to those not of your faith. Really.— And then, one of the other local Baptist churches here feels the exact opposite way about us! A member of the congregation, that goes to that one, told us that their Pastor got up and told everyone that the Mormons are the nicest people that you will ever meet! Haha… I just laughed and told her, “We try.”
Elder Robert C. Gay taught us something that really hit me hard while we were at mission conference: we are bringing people home. This Gospel…it delivers us. The First Vision is more personally relevant than any of us realize. Before the light came, there was darkness. Satan tried to stop Joseph from praying. But Joseph pressed on in pleading for the Lord’s guidance and direction. Our lives are much the same. I may have not felt the “darkness” that each of you might have felt, but I have felt it. The night I woke up to find my legs paralyzed. The night I received a phone call saying that I wasn’t going to be able to serve a mission. The night I was told that my grandmother may be passing away and I wasn’t going to be able to say good-bye to her. The night I said good-bye to my bestfriend and sometimes only friend of 10 years (my dog) as she lay dying in my arms. I’ve been there. In each of these cases, it was night-time. I felt like I was in the dark. But as you push on and persevere, putting your trust in the Lord, morning comes. This Gospel delivers us. Christ paid the price for us that none of us could. There IS a way home. And as a missionary, it is my duty to share it with everyone.
I love and miss you all more than you know, but I’ve got a job to do. I try to make you all proud in everything that I do, think, and say.
Faith and Honor,