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Monday, April 15, 2013

Ugghhh. Idk. My life is gooodddd. Reall good.

Oh ho ho. What a bomb week! So many good things happened. I grew a lot, spiritually, not just waist-ically. Life is good. There was something I wanted to highlight but I don't remember what it was. This wasn't it but this is something. To all of you prospective elders (and sister missionaries too)- and this means anyone who plans on serving a mission. For example - you BH boys – Race, Andrew, Sean and anyone else who reads this; prepare now. If you're 18 it’s not too late and if you're 8 it’s not too early. I ask you to ponder why you want to serve a mission and what kind of missionary you want to be. Think about what you want to accomplish and who you want to become. Then set goals and make plans to get there. The MTC is an inspired program but it will not make up for proper personal preparation. You must prepare long before they give your name badge. It is hard work to prepare right. But so is a mission. It is supposed to take effort because you are changing your very nature, from the fallen carnal man, to the man of Christ. It will take devoted study of the scriptures (standard works and words of the latter-day prophets) and Preach My Gospel. It will take concerted effort to improve and create your relationship with your Father in Heaven. It will take all the strength and will you possess to resist temptation and quench all the fiery darts of the adversary. It will take introspection and meditation. It's not a cake walk. Young men and young women get ready. You are all like sponges. You are now saturated with many things but you've got to squeeze out the things that don’t matter and then even some of the good things that are taking the room of the better and the best things. AH!!! I can't explain this properly or get my emotions across over email. You must set your eternal goals now. Sit down in a quiet place and read the scriptures. Drink deep and savor it and plan for yourself what you want to become. Be active in your own life. Use your agency. Choose to have faith. Don't let life pass you by without making sure that you are getting everything out of it that you can. If you can't testify with the same power as President Monson or Elder Holland or Moroni or Sister Dalton, or whoever your church heroes are, get there. If you don't have a church hero, get one. I study and plead and ponder everyday to get there. I'm not perfect, or anywhere close, but please, if you want to serve a mission and the Lord (and especially if you don't) prepare yourself. Don't just read the scriptures, study and apply them. Don't just go to church, worship and grow at church. Don't just say prayers, talk to your loving Father in Heaven. Live the way that the Lord wants you to, the way he has prepared for you. It's happier. gaahahahgg;gakgahgggagfw3gw3poa. I sound dumb. I hope you get the point. All of that, I guess, lets you know that I'm learning and repenting and learning to repent and repenting to learn. I just wish someone would have grabbed me by the ears and told me I was being a turd so I could be getting better faster. Mom and Dad you did. But I didn't listen too well.

Soooo! This Monday was good! Just a regular p-day - except we didn't play sports which made me bummed. Everyone was too busy. But today we're gonna play so that's bomb. We went to the Schwenke's and had a grand ole time as always. Then we got together to practice a musical number for our Zone training meeting on Tuesday. I wish I would have stayed with music...

Tuesday was a great day too! I love training meetings. They help me so much. I learn and grow and come out of them with new ideas and a new fire to be a better missionary and disciple. This one was one of the best I've ever had and I learned a lot that I need to improve on. It’s like a staircase, as I improve I just get a better perspective about how much more I still have to do and change. But it’s awesome because it helps me to pinpoint more things that need improvement. We had an interesting dinner. It was with a recent convert and her non-member son. He was so interesting. He was friendly and funny and liked being around us a lot. As we talked with him he told us about his daughter and his life. He seemed way older than he said he was, 19, but he wasn't mature as he should have been especially with a 6 month old baby. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's true. In a lot of ways he is still a little kid (so am I) but he has one of the most sacred responsibilities on his hands, raising a child. He is a good kid but you can tell that he is in over his head. He has gone through a lot of bad things and is pushing himself out of the bad crowd and bad things he used to do to be a better father. He wants to be a good dad to his little girl but he knows that he has a long way to go. He would be able to progress a lot faster and be a better dad if he'd have just waited a little bit and if he'd have the support of the mother. It's a complicated situation, but when we shared a spiritual thought at dinner he loved it. The other Elders started teaching him and he is loving it. Life is good for those who work for it. Then that night we went to visit Marlon. We talked with him and his mother and then watched Elder Bednar's law of chastity talk.  It's bomb. Marlon loved it. 

Wednesday was awesome too. We had district council session about how we can better work with the members and the leadership. We got a lot of good ideas and we've been applying them and seeing the benefits. If you don't know the missionaries, please reach out to them and invite them into your home to help you become missionaries. Our ward coordination was pretty good today because we were super focused. We are helping the ward build up the necessary infrastructure to become a missionary machine. As President Monson says, missionary work is the lifeblood of the church. Then we did English class which was good. I love teaching. Sister Stephens asked me if I was going to be a teacher and I laughed and said I've always wanted to not be a teacher, but I think it's where I might end up. 

Thursday was a good day. EG was super sick so I had a lot of time to study. We tried to visit people but no one seemed to be home all day. We followed up with a Family Mission Plan with one of the families in the ward and it was awesome. They are already applying the things and doing missionary work and seeing the benefits already. It was cool to hear their new testimonies of the blessings of sharing the gospel. They try to do a different missionary activity each day. Then we got free ice cream from an ice cream truck driver who I had taught at English class a few weeks ago. Pretty cool! English class that night was awesome too.

Friday was planning and we helped a sister fix her garage. We had a good visit with a recent convert, Dominga. We talked about the last chapters of Mosiah and grace. Then she told us that the stake president has been mowing her lawn for the last 8 years without her asking and without pay. That's a servant of the Lord! Then we presented a mission plan to a family and they loved it. The (priest) son shared some spiritual experiences and it was awesome. 

Saturday we taught Aliaha the Ten Commandments. We walked in there and they were watching Snakes on a Plane.  We had an awesome lunch at the Velasco house. Then we had an awesome dinner and a super spiritual lesson about the restoration. Then we taught another lesson about the Book of Mormon and prophets and faith and it was 200% by the Spirit. It’s an incredible experience to discern and teach by the Spirit. 

Sunday was a good day. We were on exchanges, me and Elder Alvarez, and Elder Guzman and Elder Slik. We ate 2 dinners which was a lot, especially because we were on bikes and we biked like crazyyyy. We shared another family mission plan and that family loved it too. They wanted us to follow up and keep helping them help their friends. Then we talked with another family and tried to help a less active young woman go on a mission. She says she's going to go. It’s gonna be bomb if she goes. 

AHhhh!!!! No time sorry.
KK everyone. Thanks for the support and prayers. I can feel them and they help me to do what I do.
I love you all so much
Sam

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