Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another week down

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 0
So this week went by pretty slow for some reason but none the less a lot of things happened and, of course, we were crazy busy.

Unfortuneatly, I may have failed to tell you all, I got really really sick two weeks ago and I haven't been able to get over it. The doctors don't really know what I have so we will see what happens with that. Anyways, the reason I mention that is because everyday has been a struggle but the Lord has blessed me in my efforts as we went out to work. On tuesday I went on splits with my district leader, Elder Chambers, and it was awesome! We went out tracting for about 2 hours and (literally) everyone was home. It felt like a saturday. Elder Chambers and I worked really well together and it was evident that the spirit was with us because everyone wanted to listen to us and was also participating, which never happens in this area. Looking back I think that was the first time that I enjoyed tracting. Haha. After that we did some service, which by the way was my first time being out of the ASL program. Overall, those splits were some of the best splits that I have had so far on the mission. Elder Chambers kept making the joke that he was looking at a future zone leader haha (too bad that will never happen :) well...probably not).

Other than that there was not much else that happend. "The fam" from Elder Lovelace's area are doing great, I was so excited to see them again and they were too, which made it even better. Chris, although not my investigator, talks to me a lot and he said that he is going to get baptized soon so I'm so excited for him. Gosh. They are so great and they have made some big changes in their lives and are becoming more united despite all the hard things they are going through right now. To me they have strengthened my testimoy of how the gospel blesses the families.

Funny story, on Sunday, Elder Gishie and Elder Welling were busy and "the fam" wasn't going to come to church once again and Chris was suppossed to come but he got lazy. So...I took my splits companion and drove overthere and busted in the house and started looking for Chris. Chris was in his bedroom, "sick" covered in blankets and so when I walked in his room I ripped them off and told him to come to church haha. Funny thing was that he was ready, sort of, but didn't want to walk there by himself, so I walked with him and my splits companion drove along side of us. Yeah a lot of people got mad at us :) haha oh well people need to be happier and they can do that by going to church. So quick recap: Chris wasn't going to go to church, we drove over there quickly (not spoeding), ripped his blankets off, got him ready, and walked him to church=good times on the mission. Haha.

Well I hope everything is going well with all of you. I will try to be more consistent with my letters but the mission is getting pretty crazy, so you will have to be patient with me. I love and miss you sooo much. Hope to hear from you soon!

Elder Leavell

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Another Great Week

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 0
Hey everyone...sorry that I didn't write you last week. It's been a crazy time out here in the mission and I guess I was REALLY surprised when I heard that Elder Burrows pasted away, so yeah it's still surprising and I don't think it's hit me yet. Ummm...this week has been another eventful week and we have been finding some people in our area to teach, sadly our area has been a dead zone for a really long time, so it's been difficult picking up all the pieces. BUT today I want to really just talk about the things that I have learned so far because I feel that it's important to tract our progress and see how we have grown. So here it goes:

Over the past couple weeks I have caught myself staring into the night sky whenever the opportunity arises and it has left me thinking of the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father, which leaves me with a question: how could this help me?

The theme for my spiritual thought comes from a scripture that I have read countless times, it says: "And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may STAND AS WITNESSES FOR ME HEREAFTER, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions" (Mosiah 24:14). As we all know we are children of a loving Heavenly Father who has asked us to stand witnesses of Him and therefore has established His everlasting gospel to further aid us in our quest to perfection. We can witness this through a moral law that has been established from the beginning of time. C.S. Lewis said, "There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. It tells you to do the straight thing and it does not seem to care how painful, or dangerous, or difficult it is to do." Even Jesus Christ, our Savior, counseled His twelve apostles on a similar topic, that this life would be no easy task. He said, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." So where do we find comfort through this seemingly challenging life: through our divine lineage and the promise that we will be saved after enduring to the end.

We are currently living in a time where challenges and adversity is thrown at us right and left and more often than sometimes we face it with a discouraged face. Sadly, I am guilty of this as well. Elder Dallin H. Oaks once said, "Consider the power of the idea in our beloved song 'I Am a Child of God' ...Here is the answer to one of life's great questions, 'Who am I? I am a child of God with a spirit lineage to heavenly parents. That parentage defines our eternal potential. That powerful idea is a potent antidepressent. It can strengthen each of us to make righteous choices and to seek the best that is within us. [Once we have established in our minds] that [we are a] child of God and [we will be] given self-respect and motivation to move against the problems of life." God made us to live off Him. He is the fuel for our spirits and until we put ourselves with that power - it is after that, and no second sooner, that He will begin to fill us with the energy we are meant to run off of. To do this we must think of the one who was sent to make everything alright, Jesus Christ. I take great comfort when I read the teachings of the prophet Isaiah, he said:

"4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Though we may be bombarded with an onslaught of tribulation may we stand strong against the adversary in knowing that we are a child of a loving Heavenly Father and that His "work" and His "glory" is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." That's us. His single desire is to bring His begotten children back to Him, just as any earthly father would want his wayword child back into his loving arms. I know that if we never forget that we are children of our Father in Heaven and never let the adversary convince us that we are somethig less, such as children of man, that we will be patient during our afflictions because we know the Lord's peace doesn't come without pain, but while we are in pain. So let us do the things that He would want us do with a joyful heart, for I also know that we cannot and will not be happy if we don't want to do the things that lead to happiness EVEN IF we are doing those very things and that's because it's based on our attitude. I love this gospel more than anything and it's my prayer that we all may find the comfort and peace in really knowing, not just believing, in our divine lineage. So the next time we look at the night sky let us think of the eternal glory of our Father in Heaven and say "I will be His witness at the last day."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Elder Burrows a Fine Missionary Indeed

Monday, February 8, 2010 0
"A Highland man who died while serving an LDS mission in Romania was remembered Sunday as a dedicated musician, missionary and friend.
Twenty-year-old McKay Choy Burrows died of asphyxiation Friday from a natural gas leak in his apartment. His companion, Jace Edwards Davis, of Logandale, Nev., also died. Both were serving in the LDS Church's Romania Bucharest Mission.
Burrows had completed about eight months of his mission, said family friend Patrick Hendrickson.
"He was an exemplary young man, very talented, caring, sincere, dedicated," he said. "He was doing what he wanted to do."
Burrows graduated from Lone Peak High School and attended Brigham Young University on a scholarship, his family said in a written statement.
In addition to playing piano "with a concert pianist's skill," he also sang and played guitar, his family said. He played football, basketball and soccer, and also liked to write and draw, his family wrote.
The mission was a lifelong goal for Burrows, the statement said.
"We will miss -- but forever remember -- his bright mind, quick wit, empathetic approach, enthusiasm for life, and happy, engaging smile," the family wrote. "He served in an exemplary manner, touching many lives for the better, including the people he taught, the members of the church in Romania, his companions, and his family and friends at home."
The family also expressed gratitude for the sympathy and well-wishes they have received."

Monday, February 1, 2010

iHola!

Monday, February 1, 2010 0
Hey Hey Hey how's everyone doing? I hope everything for all of you hasn't been as chaotic as it has been for me.

Since transfers are coming up this wednesday (we find out tonight or tomorrow night...eek!) everyone is slowing figuring out where everyone is going through transfer "chisme". It's sort of funny but it's what happens and I'm not going to lie I'm into it too. haha. Anyways this week me and Elder Salas went on splits tuesday and friday and each day went great! On tuesday I went with Elder Clark, our District Leader, on splits and we had a really effective day. We received a referral from him the other day so on tuesday we decided that we would try and contact this lady named Rut. She is the husband of Sister Ortega's husband-to-be (hopefully that makes sense). So we decided to contact her and also some formers that are on the same street and inbetween those people we tracted. For some reason the formers were not there, but obviously as missionaries we don't believe in coincidences, and we met a couple of people who seemed really interested and we taught some great lessons to them. It was around 3 when we finally got to Rut's door and let me say she is a golden investigator. She is so ready to get baptized already and I can't wait till I see that day. We started teaching her and she has this sort of saying, she says "and that's the way it is." I don't think that I have heard anyone say that before and even Elder Clark mentioned that he had never heard anyone say that before either - well at least in that type of conotation. As we were teaching her baby started crying and so that is where the lesson ended but then she gave us lunch/dinner. To be honest the lunch/dinner was great but we already had two other dinners planned so oh my goodness I thought I was going to die that day from eating so much!

That was the best day of the week in my perspective but a lot of people went to church on sunday so that was great! I sat with Kevin the whole time and he was curious about a lot of things. Funny thing is that he didn't really pay attention to the person giving a talk and in the middle of it he goes, "what is she talking about again?" and I didn't know so we laughed. Good times. I finally got him to commit to baptism on the 14th of March so I'm really excited for that. Too bad I probably won't be in the area to teach him some more but oh well. At least I can come back and see his baptism. He is a great kid with a lot of ambition and I know that he knows the Church is true and he also knows that as well, so I know that he will enter the waters of baptism before that, all he needs is a push.

Antyways I hope all is well with all of you! I hope that you remember to keep reading, praying, and going to church, just as we ask all the people we talk to as well. I know that if we follow the basic principles of the gospel that we will be able to be happier and become more like our Heavenly Father, for that is His great plan of happiness. I know that if we didn't have the gospel in our lives that we wouldn't be able to find that happiness and I'm so very thankful for it, as well as all of you should. I love and miss you all! Take Care.

Elder Leavell
 
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