Monday, March 15, 2010

Missionary work...exhausting

Monday, March 15, 2010
Phew another week down and the last one of the transfer. How are you all doing? It was great to hear from all of you and I want to give a shout out to my Aunt Debie "Thanks for the card and everything. I will write you back when I get sometime!"

Alright, I just want to start off by saying the mission is so legit, every week may seem the same, but every time there is something even more legit that happens. The week, overall, went like every other week, starting off slow then working really hard to the end, but it's all good. At the beginning of the week we decided to get most of tracting hours out of the way, so when Thursday came around we only tracted when an appointment went through. Tracting went really well and we found a lot of new people, as usual. Once again there were some amazing experiences, so I will share those with you.

(1) On Friday, I received a notice that I had received a package but that it couldn't be delivered and so UPS took it back. So at first I blew it off and gave the note to my district leader and as he continued reading the note he told me it said that if I didn't pick it up on the 12th of March, and it so happened to be on that day, that it would be returned to the sender. So I was like what do I do? I don't know who sent it to me and of course, the number that they gave me, just gave me the information that was on the paper, so we raced up to the UPS place and waited in line. As we were waiting there was a lady being helped who was upset because no one knew where her package was. This is where it gets comical. The UPS guy was trying to tell her that the package was at the other UPS place now because she waited too long and that it was over in Santa Monica, right next to the "big brown building." The guy continued trying to describe it but the lady didn't seem to grasp what he was describing. Finally, we stepped in and said "it's right next to the mormon temple" and the lady said " i don't want to go there, bring it back here." People these days huh? If she only knew what the temple did.

(2) This past sunday we had a wannabe stake conference and it was amazing! Elder Costa, of the Presidency of the Seventy, came down with Elder Hales and so everyone down here was freaking out that there were going to be some major changes to the stake. In all reality they just came to explain the roles of the leaders of the church, or something like that, that the Church just revised and then talk about the role of the family. I learned so much from that meeting...oh wait no I didn't...I had a better experience haha. Let me explain. A couple of days ago some of the missionaries told me that I should call the stake president to see if he needed help translating and so I did but no answer. When Sunday came around and the meeting was about to begin, they came up to me and asked me to translate. At first I was like "could you ask anyone else?" but then I felt bad because I'm out here to serve not just learn. I think that that was the best decision EVER because now I can say I was the voice of Elder Costa and I translated for a General Authority. How many other missionaries can say that? Not many. Haha. Anyways, after that I was so brain dead that I had a hard time talking, it was way funny.

For my spiritual thought I want to share a quote with you by John Groberg, he said, "Sometimes God calms the storm and sometimes He calms his child." As we know, and as I have said countless times, times are extremely tough right now, whether through finances, with our families, friends, love ones passing, the upcoming week or even day, technology, work, fashions, elections, etc. We have all these influences, these concerns, that go through our minds at a million miles an hour and what for? As missionaries we have many concerns we worry about miles, the upcoming day, our family, friends, love ones, investigators coming to church, bikes working, our leaders and many more, but in all honesty we have little to no influence on all of these things. The Lord has set boundries for a reason, not to take our agency away -for we know that is an eternal gift- but so that we can reach our full potential. When I see all the crisis, such as in Haiti and now Chile, I see the Lord trying to prepare us for His arrival, I see Him preparing us to become more like Him, and I see Him most of all helping us learn more of the everlasting gospel. The quote made by John Groberg explains much about life, when stormy ways come our way the Lord calms them by giving us peace, but we learn from the first apostles that the storm is not calmed until we ask Him, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Furthermore, we learn that the reason the storm is calmed because we learn how to overcome it. In the case of the Savior, the apostles said "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?" I know that all these obstacles are for our good and that we have a promise from the Lord, He said:

"13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 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.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
So be of good comfort my dear friends and know that all these are for our good. Count on the promise that the Lord has made to us, "[that He] will deliver [us] out of bondage" but all we have to do is ask for help and prepare ourselves, by evaluating the things we have influence over and control them with haste. I love you all, you are all my brothers and sisters, and I can't wait to be able to see you face to face once again. But I know this is the place I need to be and that will not change. Best wishes. Take Care.

Elder Leavell


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