Good morning! Hope you all are having a great week.
Well, this week was pretty normal. I got to go on exchanges with our district leader Elder Gibbons, and that was super awesome! We got to work super hard. Also we got to do service with Elder Paxton which was a lot of fun. (Quick side note, Elder Paxton and I were in the MTC together. It was Elder Golden, Paxton and I that came to this mission. Elder Golden and I were companions and Elder Paxton and I have now served in the same zone for almost a whole year, so we've gotten super close, and it's fun to see how we both have grown and continue to grow as the mission progresses).
I think this week was proof to me that sometimes the mission is slow. Sometimes in the mission very little (besides discouragement. There's always plenty of that) happens. But as long as we remain humble and teachable we grow!
Dan is still on track to get baptized THIS SATURDAY! If you can't tell, I'm extremely excited. I love that man so much. He is only the greatest ever. I feel so blessed that I got to be a part of this. SO BLESSED.
We also had a ward activity and had a good turn out, including a less-active named Matt (I will talk about him in a bit) and had a lot of fun! Matt texted afterwards and thanked us for inviting him because he felt very loved and accepted. It was a horseshoe tournament between the high priests and the elders and Dan ended up winning against our Ward Mission Leader in the final round!
Matt, (a less active that we've been meeting with) has recently sworn off church. Someone offended him during his re-activation experience and he said he was done. We had one of the most frustrating meetings on my mission. He kept talking about how he needs to get this 'state of the art treadmill' and lose a bunch of weight. Then he's going to get a face surgery that he needs to take 20 years off of his face. Then he's going to have to marry a young lady and after all that he'll be good enough to come to church. We tactfully evaded those comments and asked him if he's still been in touch with some members of the ward (including President Kirby in the Stake Presidency) and how they've been doing. He commented about how it seemed they were just always happy! They had good jobs, happy families, they were good people etc. And he wished he could have that.
At that moment I shared what has become my favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon: "for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought to know also, that inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence. Now this is according to his word."
I love that scripture because of how simple it is. Keep his commandments and you're happy. Things work out in the long run. You get what you need. You can survive any trials. If you don't keep his commandments God doesn't have to keep the promises tied to those commandments, and you're on your own to succeed and progress. And even if you succeed by worldly standards you will always feel empty. "There is never enough in this world of that which does not satisfy."
I hope I can remember this when I'm off my mission! I hope all who have experienced these blessings can hold to the knowledge that God keeps his promises! I hope all who want to experience that which I have experienced, and that which many of you have experienced and that which millions around the world have experienced, WILL experience it by following the simple steps of faith we learn from the prophets ( both ancient and modern) and come to Christ with full purpose of heart! Nothing else bring permanent lasting happiness.
I love you all and encourage you to pursue Christ. He will make all the difference in your life IF YOU LET HIM. For those who feel unworthy of his love and of his blessings, remember President Uchdtorf's talk from this last General Conference. The sheep is worthy of rescue from the Shepherd, not because he is worthy of it, but because the Shepherd's love for his Sheep. For his lamb. For you. He loves you. And because he loves you he wants you to be happy. He wants you to find "peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come" even though you may "know not where to find it"
So come to him
I love you all
Church is true!