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Monday, July 29, 2013

I miss Elder Reiley

What a good week we have had.  They are all good weeks though. In the words of a priest we took out last night, “When you put the Lord first... you receive a TON of blessings.” It’s so true. As I have been trying to put God's will before my own, things really do work out. And I get a SICK TON (about 17 times the size of the British metric tonne) of blessings.  Thanks this week for your prayers. They really do make a difference. It kind of sounds silly if you haven't felt the power of prayer, personally, but it does make a difference. 


This morning I was studying a talk by Hugh B. Brown called ‘the Profile of the Prophet.’ The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to me, is really the only thing that makes sense. Again, like it is almost every day, I find myself pondering about how perfect God's plan is. We are his children, he loves us, he wants us to be happy. All he asks is for us to be humble enough to want to feel his love. That's really the key that I've learned on my mission, if someone wants to know, they will; whether it’s a testimony of Joseph Smith, or the Divinity of Jesus Christ, or the reality of God.  I dunno. I think it’s awesome. That's all kinda of word vomit but last thing to puke up is something I think about during almost every street contact. Once we have a proper understanding of God and his character (or we are at least on the right path) everything else falls into place. Read the ‘Lectures on Faith’ for a little more info I guess. aannnnnyyyway.
It’s been a SICK WEEK!
One last thing, compliments and offers to help go a long way.

MONDAY! As I said, Ryebread [Elder Reiley] left us. He has been missed quite a bit. But that night we taught 3 back to back lessons. What a blessing. I think if I were to read back to my emails from 6 months ago there wouldn't be too much teaching, but now, I get to teach multiple lessons and people daily. It rocks. It’s something that I've taken for granted a little bit. I love every second of the work but I am here to teach, not just to try to find. I'm telling y’all. Prayer has played such a big role in our success this transfer. By begging for the miracles and doing everything I can to make them happen, they do. I definitely don’t have room to receive them. A mission (if you do it right) is a great place because miracles become something more than you read about in the scriptures; they become part of real life. The best part (other than helping bring others to Christ) was the member we brought with us. He had never been out with the missionaries before and he did so awesome. He is a shy guy but once we got to teaching he testified with power. It was so, so awesome. We dropped him off and he was beaming and ready to come out another time. It got me even more pumped. He was worried about what to say and we just told him to say what he felt, and he felt like testifying. It was so good. He felt the Spirit and he was happy. So we were happy. 
Pause. So.... please go out with the missionaries. Please make it a daily goal to share the gospel with someone, somehow.

TUESDAY! We helped out with the transfers in the morning. My district got moved around. Elder Smith (who I think is so awesome) is now in a different district. I now have Elder Andrews and Elder Beyer and Elder Borden and Elder Hilliard. I don't know much about them yet because things are so busy and DM [district meeting] isn’t till next week, but they all seem cool. I know Elder Andrews from before, but that's about it. Elder Gunnell and I got to spend part of the day together. We had a district leader training meeting that was really awesome. Elder Fischer and Clawson gave the training and I look up to them so much. But being with Elder Gunnell, that was cool; reminiscent of like 9 months ago when our companions went to the same meeting. Whacko huh? That night we contacted 3 referrals/potential investigators and got 3 return appointments. It was incredible. We had a lesson with Amelia and Leo and Gissel. It was cool because Gissel is so excited to get baptized. Her friend from high school is so surprised, but repentance is real and Gissel is changing her life.

WEDNESDAY! We had a lesson in the morning with just Gissel and her friend. It was cool because she is now set to be baptized on August 17th! So pretty soon! We talked about repentance a lot. She said she's excited but she feels like it’s a deadline. We asked what she meant and it was super cool. She said, “Well I want to do this and I want to do it right. I feel hypocritical but I want to smoke and drink a few more times before I get baptized. I feel bad saying that but it’s true.” We talked about it with her. We were careful not to tell her what to do but just to see how she felt and what she wanted to do. At the end of the lesson she said something like, “I know it’s going to be hard, but I can do this. It’s what God wants me to do. If I’m going to live it after, I should probably start now.” Boom. Dad - it was kinda like that lesson you taught to the priests. That was like the beginning of her covenant making. Later we had a cool lesson with a mother who was struggling with her son. We talked about prayer and the Book of Mormon with her. She seemed to like it but hopefully she will act upon the things we invited her to do. 

THURSDAY! This was like maybe one of the hardest days of the mission. ummmm, not really. But it was hard. I think we had 6 appointments and 6 members. All cancelled but 2 investigators and 1 member. We taught 2 new investigators about the Book of Mormon and they loved it. They asked so many questions and said that this is what they want in their life. How’d they get interested? The good example of the family of one of their friends and then the family just invited them to hear the gospel. They did because they wanted to have a family with as much happiness as the members. Good stuff.  They are awesome. The investigators are so sincere. After that we taught Andres (the 9 year old) about the Sabbath day. The member’s daughter was playing in the dog food and Andres turned and said to me, “Classic, classic.” It was so funny. 

FRIDAY! We taught another lesson to the couple we started teaching the day before. It was bomb. We testified of the power of the Book of Mormon and they both wanted it in their life really bad. They had another huge bunch of great questions. One was about the purpose of the Book of Mormon. He said, “I hear everyone connect Joseph Smith and the BofM. Is the purpose of the book to prove Joseph Smith was a prophet? Does it talk about him in the book?” It was a cool question. I’d never thought of it before. It started a really good discussion. I love discussions. Las charlas. We taught Gissel a sick lesson about the PoS [Plan of Salvation]. Such good quotes from her. Here’s one – “getting to the celestial kingdom seems hard, it’s going to be a lot of work, but I know I can do it.” That was cool. The other one was “this means I need to get ready to go to the temple.” Another sick comment. That night we taught Martha the PoS which went really well. She’s become so much more open since a few months ago. The elders before, in this area, planted some really good seeds. That night we didn't teach a lesson to Amelia and Leo so much as we just helped them cook dinner. That was pretty cool. I love their family so much. 

SATURDAY! We taught Percy which was bomb. He's the guy from Peru. It was a good lesson on the restoration. When people are open, it is so, so powerful. We did our studies on Saturday again because we had lessons on Friday. We taught a cool lesson to Amelia and Leo that night about the Atonement. 

SUNDAY! It kind of hit me as I was writing my journal entry. I have less than 11 months. That's no time at all. The Lord is hastening his work and it feels like he's doing the same with my mission. I've got to catch up. No time to lose!! Church was interesting. All the youth bore their testimonies. It’s a branch so it’s not that many but they all took like 10 minutes so we didn’t get out of sacrament meeting till like 10:50. Sunday night we were scrambling to find anyone to come out with us when we got a phone call from a priest in the ward (one of the highlights of my mission). He says, “Elder Anderson. I'm at home right now and I got to thinking, it would be way better if we members called you missionaries than if you called us. It’s our job to come help you, not your job to try to find people to help.” It was sick to hear him say that. That's the attitude I want to develop. Well that I’m working to develop; not what is not a bad choice, or even a good choice, but what the Lord would have me do. That's the kind of disciple I am trying to become- in one word, consecrated. It’s a process though. When we asked why he had that revelation (I think that's what it was) he started to quote D & C section 4 and I felt the Spirit so, so strong. He did too. It was an incredible experience.

The church is true.
Each of us are children of God with divine potential
and I love you all so much.
That's all for now folks!
Love,
Sam

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