Monday, September 14, 2015

Week #9--September 14, 2015

(Sigh) Yes everyone. I have heard about the BYU games. There are Mormon's down here too. Showing up to ward council with everyone wearing BYU ties and full of life at 7:30 in the morning usually means I missed something. Haha, I don't want that to sound super bitter. That's not the intention. And for those of you who did send me the info about the games, don't feel bad and I'd love to hear more of it! But needless to say the Ward was buzzing about both games. And you'll be happy to hear that even though I was offered by multiple people to watch the replay's I turned them down!

But now onto this last week. It went really well! We got our new companion, Elder Acox, and he's been a fun new dynamic. Elder Russell was big on not using any Mission Culture in our discussion, or vocabulary. Things like just calling people by their last names, or calling Investigators 'Gators'... Things like that. Elder Acox is a big fan of mission culture. I'll leave that be. 

But it's been nice to have a third witness to everything we say! He adds a different dynamic to the companionship.
Neil is doing well. He is frustrating us to no end but he's doing well. He's a riot, and every time he reads the Book of Mormon he has the funniest commentary on it. "I got really happy when this Nephi guy wanted to obey the commandments and show some mercy on the drunk dude.... But then good ol' wrathful God whispers 'No, kill 'im'" Or last night when reading about the Brother of Jared: "This guy seems really important... And he doesn't even get a name? Someone must have said something and offended someone. Jared's probably the one writing this! And nobody even knows who Jared is!" Maybe that's not as funny to read as it was to live but we got a good kick out of it.
Unfortunately he's Catholic, and doesn't want to change from what's comfortable for him. He told us if he could get baptized Mormon and keep going to Mass, then that would be the ideal scenario.... It's an adventure. 
But we'll keep working with him
Lisa is progressing like crazy! She's the one who works for Disney Channel and was a Jehovah's witness for 39 years but always felt empty. And she comes to church every week and keeps getting emotional about how happy it makes her, and how she's so sad that she was missing out on so much for so long. It won't be long until she get's baptized, we're sure of it.
Then we met a young couple, one's a Less active and the other isn't a member and they're super interested. They actually called the mission office and asked for missionary's to come teach them. Those are the best kinds of days.
So those are the big 3, sorry I rambled so long.
Oh! Also, Elder Fallabela came and visited the mission. And that was amazing! He's a member of the Seventy and had such an incredible spirit about him. I was also asked to arrange and put together the special musical number for that conference. So I guess that was cool. It only took 6 weeks before they figured out about my skill set and informed me "Yeah, you'll probably be doing most of these special musical numbers. 
I'll send the audio to that when I get it. It's not great, but it's pretty good.

Anyway, Elder Fallabela. He talked a lot about the Atonement and how powerful it was. It was such an amazing experience because we walked through the process of conversion and the Atonement's hand in every phase. He had us study Alma 17-22 and Mosiah 2-5 in preparation and we discussed the points of conversion and the signs of conversion. It was cool to sit with 80 or 90 missionaries, each one with different things that stood out to them. Thing's I wouldn't have noticed at all were brought up and were so cool.
Then my favorite part was when he talked about people who know the Bible. He said (And this is not word for word, just the jist of it) "You will come across many people who know the Bible a lot better than you. They will know their references and facts a lot better than most of you ever will. And it may be discouraging when they yell and counter everything you say and believe. But you have something they don't. You know about the Atoning Sacrifice of your Savior Jesus Christ. They don't know anything about that. Ask them! Watch them stumble! And then bear Testimony. Because again, another thing you have on them is you have the knowledge of the fulness of Christ's Gospel and a very personal relationship with your Savior. And there is nothing they can say that can beat that." 

Now that was cool to me. I love my Savior so much. He has done everything for me. He is everything to me. I'm grateful for this opportunity that I have to immerse myself in his teachings and his love. I encourage all of you to continue/start feasting on the words of Christ and crying to him in fervent prayer.
I am SO happy here. I honestly can't imagine what life would have been like if I would have made the decision to stay and not come out here. BYU games and dating and board games and naps and theme parks will still be there when I get home. I'm learning that a little more every day. And 2 months are already gone from my short 24, so I plan to make the most of every possible second. Even if it means I continue to be exhausted and sore and tired and sweaty everywhere I go. I encourage any of you, my friends who are considering whether or not to go on a mission, to just do it! You will realize it's hard work, and it's brutal emotionally, physically and spiritually, but it is so worth it.
Wow that was a novel. If you honestly made it through the whole thing, I owe you Ice Cream or something. I love you all, I miss you all. 

Church is true!

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