Monday, October 7, 2013
Week 44 in California: One-Year Mark ... Scary!!
Hello family and friends. So as the title indicates, I hit my year mark this week. So ya, I have lots of thoughts about that going on in my head. Have I done half of what God called me to do? It's been interesting thinking about questions like this. I need to step it up, or "rise up" as Pres. Uchtdorf described.
So conference was absolutely amazing. We're going to get personal for a second here. I had two questions. Here are my questions and the answers that came:
1 - Now in this period of the hastening of the work, how can I as a missionary help the members catch that same vision?
Elder Ballard basically took care of that one for me. I will be tearing that talk apart like there's no as soon as the text is available.
2 - I have a tendency to use just my own strength and understanding. Essentially, I am not living Proverbs 3:5. How can I make the switch to trust the Lord when trying to solve my own problems? How can I combine my strengths and understanding with the power of God to solve the problems I face in life?
"Rather than solve the problem himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel his love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. It is His glory as well as His work." He also talked about the brother of Jared and how the Lord was involved in helping solve his problems. I will be doing a deep study on that story . I admittedly was so blown away at the specific nature of this answer that I didn't get it all down until today having the chance to listen to it again online.
So ya, conference was awesome. I loved President Monson'stalk. The Gospel really does have all the answers for us. And not "the Gospel" in terms of all the teachings of the church, but "the Gospel" in terms of the Doctrine of Christ as He defines it in 3 Nephi 27:13-21. Loved it! I think there is a cool companion thought that goes along with this talk. It is the Mormon Message "Men's hearts shall fail them" by Elder Nelson. It's really cool if you haven't already seen it.
We found a super awesome lady named Claudia this week. I might have mentioned her before. Elder Smith and I found her back in July, but we were finally able to get in. Her husband, Erick, is a member from Guatemala. His records aren't on our lists. I needed to use the bathroom really bad, and I knew they were close and super nice, so we swung by. When I came out, they had chairs set up ready for a message. My mind was blown away. Our first lesson was all about what we teach can help them and we asked them what they needed help with. They said they wanted a stronger marriage. We testified that praying, reading, and going to church would invite the Spirit into their home and therefore help them improve their relationship. We focused most of all on prayer and invited them to pray with us that night as a family, and to continue praying daily. We went back later in the week and spoke with Erick. They have prayed morning and night as a family since. He said the difference they've seen is obvious. It will be a little tough to coordinate schedules to get Claudia and Erick at home at the same time, but they both seem very serious about getting on track. They have a daughter, Genesis (6), who is the center of their lives. Great, great family. Oh, and a side note. Claudia read most of the Book of Mormon about 10 years ago. The missionaries were dropping by, transfers happened, and she was lost in the mix. Really excited about her.
Last bit of good news. I'm finally moving closer to my area! We still are outside our area, but now we will be about .5 mile outside instead of 3 miles outside. We'll be living with an English-speaking member. I'll post the address next week.
Love you all and I hope that all your questions were answered too!
P.S. I saw Raul and Rosy yesterday. They are doing SO good. In between sessions I went to a baptismal service there at the stake with them. They knew the songs. They were saying, "ah, I love this one." They have gone to do baptisms for the dead TWICE. They're super solid.