1) What is the best part of being a missionary for you?
2) Are you able to share your testimony with someone (or more than one person) every day?
3) What have you learned about the atonement that you didn't know or understand before the mission?
4) Have you heard from any HS friends who have already returned home? Meaning Wyatt/Kevin/Spencer, etc?
5) Is there any message you might have for me to give Christine? She gets home on Wednesday.
1. Well. How do you expect me to answer that? The best part of being a missionary, for me, is knowing there is nothing better I could be doing. Because in all honesty, I don't love everything about being a missionary. It's not easy for me to be with one person 24/7. It's not easy for me to work out for 30 minutes on land every morning. It's not easy for me to talk to strangers. It's not easy for me to teach people about the Gospel. It's not easy for me to love everyone I meet in an instant.
But what is easy for me is to know that I am "about my Father's business". I know that He is pleased with what I do when I follow the Spirit. I can know He's pleased when I can feel the Spirit, because the Spirit "doth not dwell in unholy temples" (Helaman 4:24). I know that I am on God's team and that with God, I truly can do all things (Alma 26:12). I know that this Gospel is true, and that is one of the greatest gifts my Father has given me through this mission. My conversion to my Savior and to His Gospel has grown an hundredfold. I've seen what life is like for those who do not have the Gospel, and for those who have it yet do not follow it. And I know firsthand what life is like when we have the Gospel and follow it to the best of our ability. God wants to bless us, and He will--if we will just keep His commandments. All blessings come according to the heed we pay to the commandments of God (D&C 130:20-21). If we will but keep the commandments, we will prosper in the land (1 Nephi 2:20).
2. Yes! Even if that person is only my companion or another missionary (there aren't many days like that), we always always always share our testimony, even just our feelings about the Savior and His Gospel. A testimony doesn't have to be shared over the pulpit on fast Sunday. We can share our testimonies with everyone around us by simply living what we believe and being willing to defend those beliefs verbally and kindly, just as the Savior would.
3. First off, I've learned that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can help me do things that are hard, such as exercising. That is honest truth I have learned as a missionary. But I've also learned that it's more than that. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can literally give away all our pain and anguish. In the moments when I have absolutely no desire to work in unity with my companion, He can give me His love and we can keep going, working together. In the moments when I have no desire to talk to that person across the street, He can remind me of my own blessings and help me want those same blessings for that random stranger. In any moment where I do not reach my full potential or when something is lacking, He can supply what is necessary. Of course it does require work. A person can't just up and decide in a moment that Christ's grace is sufficient for them to gain eternal life. We are still required to prepare ourselves for eternal life. He made it possible for us to inherit that gift, but if we are to be ready to receive it, we must be prepared. And because of Christ's Atonement, we can become prepared to be in the presence of God--and feel comfortable there. I know that I want that reunion to be joyous, so I will do everything I can to be worthy of all the Father hath.
4. Not particularly. I think just one actually, Kent. No one else though.
5. ...nothing comes to mind, other than tell her I love her.
Well, I don't have a whole ton of time and I don't know what to say about this week. Literally everything that could possibly happen has happened, I feel like. This week has felt like an eternity, but we keep moving forward.
We're helping one of our investigators prepare for baptism in October, but she just needs to come to church. We're hoping to get her to women's conference this week because we feel that will be a really important experience for her to have.
We also finally got in contact with our investigator who went to his country for a week. He told us he was coming to church the next day but then didn't come. So it's a little frustrating sometimes, but we'll figure it out. He'll realize this is salvation on the line some day and then he'll want to keep all his commitments.
One thing I have learned this week is that I am SO grateful for my parents and my childhood. Of course we had our struggles, our ups and downs, but I truly am so blessed. Shout out to my parents who, despite their imperfections, were able (and still are able) to work together for a common goal: an eternal family. I am so blessed to have loving, faithful parents who have lived the standards of God to the best of their abilities. And I know I'll do everything I can to be like them in that regard.
The Gospel is true. It's the only way for us to be with our families forever, but it's available for every single child of God. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and only through daily study of that book, combined with daily prayer, will we be able to withstand the temptations and afflictions of this world. If you are not currently studying it every day, I challenge you to do so. Even for one week. Put God to the test, and see if He will not bless you more than you think possible.
Con Todo Mi Amor,
1. Found this coat in a hidden closet in our house. I felt like I was ready to serve in Russia!
2. Our branch president's wife recently got a Camaro. What a smooth ride....(minus the multiple chins)
3. We took our recent converts to a lesson and it went totally not as planned, so we were trying to keep the nine year old entertained. Since the camera is about the only entertainment on a Church-issued iPad, this is what happened.