Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you have a marvelous time on turkey day with your family and friends.
This last week was great! A really cool part of it was that I got to shake hands with Elder Nelson of the 12 Apostles because he came to the Battalion. It really demonstrated the principle that sacrifice brings forth blessings. Elder Nelson came in the middle of a shift change at the Battalion so the Missionary Sisters who were in the process of guiding a tour had to be relieved. There was only one tour in process and I was the one to relieve them. While I was guiding the tour, I was praying for the tour, for charity, and for peace of mind because I was so sad that I was going to miss seeing and getting to shake Elder Nelson's hand. When I finished the tour, Sister Stallings (a Senior Sister) grabbed me, asked if I'd gotten to see Elder Nelson, and then pushed me towards where he was. So I did get to shake his hands, and because I had to wait until he finished his tour, to meet him, I got to take a picture with him as well!
We also had zone conference today. Zone conference was so good! I have so much respect for my Mission President, President Clayton, and his leaders in the mission. The zone leaders took about an hour to talk to us and they talked about following the Spirit and relying on the Spirit to do all things. It’s so true that with the Spirit we can do all things, but when we're prideful and try to do things our own way the work does not progress at the rate that it should. The Spirit is just so important in everything. Every time President Clayton talks he talks with the Spirit. I love watching him, especially when he listens to other people speak because you can tell that he's going heavenward and listening with the Spirit. I have a lot to learn from his example. I also got a candy bar because we've cleaned our bathroom, vacuumed the floor, did our dishes in the last 24 hours and made my bed. Woot! I'm getting all grown up, ha-ha.
We almost got dropped, then almost dropped again, and then ended up keeping Torino as an investigator. It was definitely an emotional roller coaster. But he still wants to learn and he's willing to keep commitments and progress now. So we are most grateful for that.
We had a miracle yesterday. We knew that this week was going to require miracles and a lot of prayers because we are at the Battalion every single night this week, and nights are the most productive times for finding and teaching people in our area. Also, it’s Thanksgiving, so most of our singles ward members are away at home, but the Lord gave us a miracle. My companion and I were just walking down the street to contact a less active and as we were walking I saw a man that I wanted to give a Mormon Battalion card to, and then I thought to myself "This is ridiculous. Why am I not inviting him to hear more about Christ?" So I did. He listened, took the Book of Mormon, has a return appointment on Saturday, and kept looking at his little baby son, Anthony, with the hope that he can be with his family forever. It was incredible. We're passing him off to the Elders in the family ward, but I know running into him was a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father.
I am just so grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to share the Gospel with others, to teach and testify that families can be together forever. This mission has been the best experience on my entire life. I'm grateful for the Atonement and the knowledge and experience that I have so that I know and can testify that the Savior never leaves us alone, that he is willing to forgive us of any sin, no matter how big or small it is, when we confess and forsake it. I am grateful for you, and for your examples and love. I am grateful that I grew up the way I did with the experiences that I have had. I'm grateful for miracles.
I am just so filled with thanks for this Thanksgiving season. I hope you all are too. Keep looking for the tender mercies of the Lord.
I love you so much!
Keep smiling, keep going. You are the best. =)