Oh, my goodness. I don’t even know where to start. This place is just too great and I don’t EVER want to leave. Well, here’s a few things that happened this week in good ol’ Quincy:
-Elder Deeds and I put a huge focus on talking to everyone, and contacted 74 people on the streets, and we have seen some cool things come from that (lessons, return appointments, handing out invitations to Pageant…). We have also put a huge focus on member-present lessons, and the ward is responding exceptionally well! …as are the investigators!
-We had a new family just plop into our laps basically! A large family was being fellow-shipped by members of the Nauvoo Pageant cast, and they expressed interest in joining with the church! The father has already read the Book of Mormon three times! This is every missionary’s dream!
-A part-member family in the ward is now having us over for lessons! The father (the non-member) has been thinking about taking lessons for the longest time, and has now decided to! They are all active, and he even holds a calling already! He even took us golfing a couple of weeks ago, and we will be going golfing again next P-day!
-We’ve also made huge inroads with some of the guys from “the hood.” haha. We’ve been trying for a while to teach people down there, and we’ve started getting in finally, and they are loving it! It’s the best feeling in the world when someone, at the end of the lesson says, “Man, I can feel that spirit! That felt good! Let’s do this more!”
-A couple that we have been teaching for a long time has made huge steps towards baptism, and it’s incredible to watch. The entire spirit of their home and their very aura have changed. And they tell us that it has as well. They are currently picking out what temple they want to get sealed in, and we will be setting a solid baptismal date with them this week.
This is what I have been working for my entire mission! Life is SO good right now! We have people progressing, the ward is on FIRE with missionary work, I feel like I am the best missionary that I have been on my mission, and the Spirit never leaves! Transfers are next week and if I have to leave, I’m going to bawl. I really am. I hope and pray that I get to stay.
I would like to bear my testimony to all of you that there is no happiness like that found in the Gospel. It is the most complete, fulfilling, beautiful, thrilling, exquisite feeling of wonder, that I have ever experienced. NOTHING compares. Worldly temptations, falsehoods, lures, and replicas all pale in comparison and can be thrown on the dump heap for all I care. We must choose between God and what the scriptures deem, “the natural man.” We also learn in the scriptures that “no man can serve two masters.” We must choose whom it is that we shall serve. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (quickly becoming one of my favorites) said it best when he said (not a direct quote) that for us to “put on the armor of God,” we must first put off the natural man. The armor of God will not fit if we do not first put off the latter.
The personal kaleidoscopes of our lives may be shaken at times, but as we look at them through the lens of God, we will still be able to see divine design.
Stay strong, stay true, stay faithful.
Honor without compromise,