The highlight of this past week was getting to stand-in on the confirmation of Mamie Dopoe. She is the third baptism of the year for us here and it’s so amazing to see that little family come together and grow. One of the coolest experiences was getting the opportunity to talk to Arthur’s mother over the phone! She called us all the way from Liberia to tell us, through her tears, how grateful she was for us. I’ll never forget that.
Well, today is transfer calls and we still haven’t received ours. Elder Bouwhuis is probably going to be leaving though. It’s been so nice to have a companion with so much experience in the mission. Between us, we’ve been on our missions for a combined 40.5 months. I’m really going to miss having him here to bounce ideas off of. We are currently re-buliding our area. We have two investigators that we meet with weekly, but both of them are stuck in their progression and have the hardest time attending church. After those two, we have about 15 investigators that are all pretty shaky. Needless to say, we need to do a lot of finding. We have been doing quite a bit the last couple of days and it’s been freezing! I’ve been using a golf ball to knock on people’s doors because it’s easier than banging on it with a heavy glove on.
Last night, the wind chill had the temperature well below zero, but we knew that we needed to go finding, so we went out by one of the high schools, picked a street, and started knocking. Man, when that breeze would really blow, I felt like I had goosebumps on my soul. Anyways, I’m not sure if this happens everywhere, but people in Iowa have this habit of cracking the screen door open just an inch in order to tell us “it’s too cold, try the next one.” So we’re both standing there thinking “yeah, you’re telling us!” What’s the best is when people wish us the best of luck and tell us that they hope someone will let us in. Anyways, we get to the end of the street and we can’t feel our legs. Anyone that’s been out for long in the cold knows that feeling where your feet feel like jelly and when you walk, it feels like you’re walking on stubs. Well, Elder Bouwhuis and I were so cold that we decided to race each other the mile or so back to the truck on our stubs. Worst mile I’ve ever ran. But, I beat him!
Well, I’d like to bear my testimony on the need for each of us to repent and re-build in our own lives. One of the best talks on repentance that I’ve heard was given by one of my former professors at BYU. You can find it at http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=2125 . We all fall short of the bar. Albert E. Bowen once said, “The sin that will cleave to all the posterity of Adam and Eve is that they have not done as well as they know how.” sometimes, we get really down on ourselves because of sins in the past. I’d like to testify to all of you that Heavenly Father does not enjoy seeing us sad, beat-down, and depressed. If you have sincerely repented and made things right to the best of your ability, drop the weight! Let it go! there is no need for you to continue carrying that burden. We aren’t meant to just survive here, we are meant to thrive. And one cannot do so while still carrying undue burdens on their shoulders. And if Satan just keeps reminding you of those things, I’ve got a quote for you. Id on’t know who said it, but it goes like this: “When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.” We are ALL meant for greatness. Rid yourself of the mediocre and bad. Rise up and take charge of yourself.
I testify of a living and loving God that cares about us and knows us by name.
I am a missionary of the Lord Jesus Christ and I bear witness that this Gospel is true.
Faith and Honor,