August 3, 2015
WOW! I thought this day would never come! I remember in my first area someone telling me one day you are going to wake up and be out for a year. I never believed them, but I guess it’s here. I feel like I have no time left on my mission. It is going to go so fast and I really don’t want it to end.
Looking over the year, I have seen a lot of growth in myself. Never before in my life have I looked so inward to help others - to become better myself, but not for my recognition, but to help God’s children. I still have so much I want to work on. We had a member of the seventy tell us, “This is the time. Now is the time! The mission is the best place to grow!” It really has changed me and I hope to go home a better person from when I started.
I guess looking back, I can already see how my mission has changed my life. Elder Holland said that no other young man was as changed as he was by his mission. All the apostles speak of their missions as truly the best two years of their lives. And I believe why it is called the best two years is not because there are not good things to come, amazing things to come, but because this sets the foundation for life. How you serve as a called representative of the Lord will determine your life. Sure you can change after, or not serve a mission and be a great person. But I am coming to understand the importance of the decisions I make now. And this is a turning point in my life, it’s now or never. I am sure you remember, Dad, how I hated making decisions back home! I don’t think I like making them anymore now, but I understand the importance.
The vision our mission president has for us is to become Preach My Gospel missionaries for life. This means a lot of things. But what I really think it means is letting ourselves be changed by our missions. Whether it is this full time mission I am on, or a calling, or being a mother or father, or any other call from God; putting our wants on the altar of sacrifice and really consecrating ourselves to the Lord. This is what it takes to truly be like the missionaries of old. Lehi and Nephi baptizing thousands, Parley P. Pratt serving missions for 25 years saying "I'll go where you want me to go". We are given the authority through the priesthood, by the laying on of hands, but the power of the priesthood comes by who we are, and what we do and say and think. This is when we can cause "earthquakes" in the lives of those in our stewardship.
This week the Lord blessed us with so many miracles. I don't even know if I have time to write and share all the experiences I have had. Just yesterday, we had some amazing experiences.
On my exchanges with the APs, I learned this really cool way to get our members involved when we are knocking doors. You ask them who they know on their street you can knock on and then you ask them if you can say a prayer that they will be open to our message and then invite them to pray while you go talk to them and keep a prayer in their heart and that you will come back and let them know how it went. If they don’t have a door for you to knock, then you ask them to pray to find someone that is ready for the gospel. So yesterday we went and saw a less active couple that our ward mission leader sent us to. We began talking with them and they told us they were on a spiritual path and that they didn't believe in organized religion. The wife was only baptized a year ago. They were very less active, and so we did the pray and knock thing with them (I call them MIK..Member Inspired Knocks). We knocked some doors and nothing really happened. And then we saw this lady smoking outside her house and went up and talked to her. She was a chorister for the Nazarene church in town and she was very friendly. We told her we would help her quit smoking and gave her a Book of Mormon and testified that Christ and his gospel could help he. She also gave us a referral! We went back and talked to the less active couple again to tell them how things went. The husband was so, so excited to hear about our miracle. He just lit up and couldn't stop shaking our hands. He was so excited and he said would come to church. Just as Joseph smith had Satan try to stop him during the First Vision, I remember that while we were on our way to the less actives house, I really didn't want to go see them. I almost didn’t follow our plans and wanted to go somewhere else. But I am glad I trusted in the planning we had done, and the Lord blessed us.
Then at church, the miracles just kept on coming! We have been meeting with a woman who lived in Utah for the last 20 years. She is related to Joseph smith III. She said she would never go to church or get baptized, but she knew everything about the church, so we called her the grand master! Well, we did a church tour with her earlier this week and had her pick out her seat and everything. And then for the first time in her life, she came to an LDS service and she loved it!! She loved Fast Sunday and everything!! It was so amazing. We went by her house after church and committed her to be baptized on September 5th and she was like, “Yeah that sounds like a good date.” It was so awesome!
And then the last miracle I will share was the one that was the answer to my prayer about the truthfulness of the church; the answer to my effort of having continuing revelation and that this is the restored church of Christ. We have been teaching another other couple at a member’s home and we have had some amazing lesson with them. They finally came to church. They are super shy, and so it was a miracle they came as they have canceled in the past. And they loved it! That night we watched the movie "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of The Restoration" with them at the members home and I felt the spirit so strong during the movie, bearing witness to me that joseph smith is a prophet of God. After the movie we talked a little bit and the testimonies that were shared were so powerful! I got teared up, that’s for sure! They said that they talked after church and that they really want to join!! They are getting baptized at the end of this month.
We have seen so many miracles and I am so grateful for them! It’s like Ammon boasting of his God again. It was really nothing we did, but it was all in our Heavenly Father’s plan. All we have to do as missionaries is strive to be obedient, work hard and have the spirit, and the Lord will bless us. I love my mission and Ii am going to just get better and better, and as my last year comes and goes, I hope to always keep this missionary spirit with me and pray that I can be an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord. We used to always say in football at half time "its 0-0" and that’s exactly right – it’s time to show my Father in Heaven that I truly love Him. Forget yourself and go to work. That’s my plan. I love this gospel with all my heart and I would never change the chance I had to be a missionary in the Nevada Las Vegas mission. I know this is where I am supposed to be! I love you all! If you have any doubts put them aside. "Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6)
|We went to a referral, but it had burned down.|
|A training I did about building our foundation in Christ and using his|
atonement to change our weaknesses into strengths. I had the bottom
person crawl out and we all fell!