It has been an amazing week full of just about everything imaginable. From the pain of seeing those you are teaching struggling to finding those who are brimming over with excitement to hear more… I wouldn’t trade this past week for anything. For that matter, I wouldn’t trade any of the weeks that I have had out here for anything! And to think that I hit my 1 year mark this week… Wow.
As I near the halfway point on my mission, there are a lot of different emotions that come to mind. There are many things to look forward to doing after the mission… So there is some anticipation there… There’s some sadness that I only have one year left to be able to devote all of my heart, might, mind, and soul to this effort without distractions… But over all, the over-riding feeling is one of excitement and gratitude. I am on a mission! How grateful I am for all who have helped me get here. How grateful I am for my incredibly amazing, goofy, loving, Christ-loving family! How grateful I am for all of my friends that somehow put up with me back home and stuck by me (Alex…write me back)! How grateful I am for all of the crazy experiences I have had out here that have made me the missionary that I am! I feel like it has all been preparing me for this. I’ve learned the ropes, I’ve learned an incredible amount of the Gospel, and I’ve changed immensely as a person. All for this moment. Now, I need to go out there and put all of that to use!
As a District Leader (still have no clue why I am one), I have the awesome opportunity to give trainings each week at district meeting on what I feel like the Lord is telling me that our District needs to hear. For the past few weeks, rather than focusing on teaching/finding strategies or anything like that, I have felt very strongly like I needed to be training on different ways that we may cleanse our inner vessels and tap into our true potential: becoming instruments in the hands of God. I have done everything I can to infuse my enthusiasm into the district and they have done everything that they could to love, work, and serve the Lord and His people. The result has been spectacular. I hope that it doesn’t sound like I’m putting myself into the equation. I’m not. The Lord just has been blessing this entire district and zone so richly. We found 24 new investigators this past week in the district! Elder Deeds and I found 6 in our area and set another 2 baptismal dates! This place is exploding! And it is just so humbling to be a part of it!
I have SUCH a strong testimony that the Lord wants to use us as His servants. But in order for that to happen, we MUST be willing to forsake all else in the pursuit of the divine. Take an abstract view of what you consider your priorities to be and you may be surprised to find how little some of those things may matter in the eternal scheme of things. I testify of love. I testify of charity. I testify of the importance of good, hard work. I testify that the Gospel is true and that anything that stands in the way of us living it is not of God for the Gospel is how we get home! Nothing of God would impede us from returning to Him would it?
Satan has many ways in which he looks to defeat us. He tries to make us feel worthless, unloved, ugly, pathetic, and terrible. Those feelings and emotions are NOT of God! There is a difference between Godly sorrow and worldly sorrow! Godly sorrow leads to the better, the brighter, and the incredible! Rise up all of you children of God and realize your divine, eternal, God-given, inherited, beautiful, precious potential and birth-right! Stand up and live for something truly worth living for!
I look forward to another year in His service. And then after that, a lifetime of that same service.
Faith and Honor,