Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hello again! Sept.29,2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009
     This week has been an interesting week so far. There have been many ups and downs but I think I have finally been able to learn to count on the Spirit for everything, not just for teaching and I'm so grateful for that ability to do so. This week I got sick, the doctors don't know yet but it shouldn't be swine flu, so don't worry I'm fine for now. But I've been praying for strength and energy to get me through the day since my body is working against me. 

     Anyways this week has been another very inspiring week and I can't wait to be able to learn more about the scriptures and the spirit. Tuesday I got the opportunity to go on splits with my district leader, Elder Lovelace, and we had a great time getting to know each other. We even found out that we have a good friend in common, Christian Bateman, so that was cool. We had an appointment around noon with Robert Ochoa, who was a referal at the time, gave me one of the best compliments that I think I could ever receive as an ASL missionary. I was really nervous because I have never really been in control of the lessons so this was my first time being in control and with having no help that got me really nervous. But I told him that this lesson would be different because I would be the only one teaching and he said, "why are you nervous? you sign like a deaf person." I was so uplifted after that and it gave me confidence in what I was teaching. We taught him about the restoration and then commited him to be baptized on October 18th. and surprisingly he said yes. I'm so happy that I got the opportunity to notice that I can be a successful missionary all by myself but most of all that I got the power of the Spirit with me each and every way.

     Wednesday we had zone conference and we got the opportunity to hear from Elder Pace, from the First Quroum of the Seventy. He was such a great speaker and I have learned so much from him. He gave this quote from President McKay and I thought that I would share it with you as well, he said, "whatever thou art, act well thy part." Elder Pace said that he wasn't denouncing this great quote from President McKay but to apply that we also need to ask ourselves "are we acting or are we becoming?" That hit me so hard because as missionaries we can't just act but we have to obtain a testimony and to do that we must become the gospel. Later that day I was reading in Jesus The Chirst and it was the chapter of the Sermon on the Mount. He came to describe the scripture of Matthew 5:13, which says, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." To become the salt that doesn't loose it's "savour" we must become a pure salt. We must fulfill our purpose and we must become like our Savior Jesus Christ. I challenge all of you to ask yourselves, are you acting or becoming? Are you becoming the salt that our Heavenly Father wants us to be or are we becoming one that looses its "savour"? I think that it is important not only to act but to become because if we become, we act what we have become, and that is all that the Savior wants of us. Anyways I love this zone conference and the ability to hear from a General Authority that has been called to his position. 

     After zone conference I got sick and it progressively got worse. Friday came around and I had to call Sister Blackburn and she told me to stay home that Saturday. But that night the Zone Leaders asked my companions to give me a blessing and what I wonderful experience that was. It was my first sick blessing and it was my first blessing in ASL. It was weird at first because I had to keep my eyes open but then I felt a different kind of Spirit, not different but I felt the Spirit in a different way. But either way I felt the Spirit and I felt a lot better for awhile. Saturday came around and I felt terrible but luckily I got to stay home and Elder Lovelace came over to do splits so my companions could go and do some work.

     Sunday came and I was feeling a little bit better. I had my first baptism today and that was an experience that showed a lot about deaf culture. First Brother Venegas forgot how to hold David Turner, who was being baptized, so to show him we had to literally show him. So that took about 5 minutes and then David got scared of going backwards in the water so the first time he got baptized his foot flew up. haha. So that took another 10 minutes to baptize him again. Definitely a funny but spiritual experience.

     Anyways it has been a great week so far. I can't wait for the week to come, and most of all its great to hear from all of you. Don't worry I'm fine and I will get better soon. I should be going to the doctor this week but who knows because we are so busy this week. Well I love you and miss you tons and I hope to hear from all of you soon! Take Care!

Elder Leavell


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