Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting Wet is Awesome!

Monday, April 19, 2010
Well hello there how are you all doing? Hopefully everything is going well over there in Vegas and wherever you are. Once again we are being blessed soooo much that it is difficult some days to accomplish everything that we need to do but the blessings, most certainly, outweigh the tiredness. It is truly amazing (I know I saw that a lot but I really mean it) how the Lord blesses us in our hard work and diligence.

Thinking back on everything that we have gone through this past week I'm reminded of a quote by Henry Ford, it says "Unless a man undertakes more than he can possibly do, he will never do all that he can do." I believe that the Lord is really showing my potential, as a missionary, but I know I can do more, I just have to commit to do it. On Tuesday everything went wrong, like always. Our phone and my companion's bike broke down, so we spent most of the day trying to get everything fixed. Luckily we did some street contacting along the way in search for the one that the Lord would have us talk to since last time that happened we found Tracy and her kids. We didn't find anyone but we know, at least, that we planted some seeds for the future. Finally after everything was situated enough we went to go visit a referral. The person wasn't there but we taught the Aunt who seemed to be a little intrigued, which usually means that they are not going to be willing to keeps the commandments, but we will see what happens with her. Never give up huh? As the day went on our appointment with Tracy and her kids came. One word can describe them: SOLID. They are all soooo ready, they are all looking for more, looking for something that they can lay their foundation upon and they have finally found it. Tracy, the mom, growing up was a Jehovah's Witness because of her parents. She said that because of all the mandatory meetings they had to go to it prevented her from doing the things she wanted to do, so because of that she stopped going to church so that her kids wouldn't have to go through the same thing. Funny thing is that now the kids are to the other extreme-too busy and they are always running around all over the place. Which leads to the kids. She has two kids, Alisha and Dalton, who are 15 and 10. Alisha is a typical teenager-stubborn and thinks she is the center of the world because she knows everything, but she is humble enough to recognize there needs to be a change. Dalton, on the other hand, is a stud. He plays soccer and loves the show 24...remind you of anyone? haha...but even at the age of 10 he is so eager to learn. The moment we gave him something to read, he started. Gosh I already love this family, too bad when church rolled around it was super awkward because it was Ward Conference, it was terrible. But there is one thing that I love about them, they're honest and genuine. Elder Isaacson asked them why she told us to come back and she said "There was something different about the both of you. A sort of glow that caught my eye." I wish I could count how many times I have heard that. It's almost rediculous how amazing they are.

Anyways on Wednesday I went on spits with Elder Gardner, my zone leader, and that turned into an interesting day. Around 11:15AM we received a phone call from some missionaries in the zone who were having some problems getting along. Mom listen to this part you will like it. At that point Elder Gardner started worrying about everything and we still hadn't eaten, so while he was trying to figure everything out, I was in the kitchen cooking beans, quesadillas, chicken, and answering the phone ALL AT THE SAME TIME! It was crazy! I'm so thankful for everything that my mom does even more now because I don't think that I could do that everyday. Even Elder Gardner said that it sounded like a mom was in the kitchen haha. Good times. I ended up going on splits with Elder Archibald for a little (more like 4 hours) and somehow went out of the zone haha we both didn't know the area, oops! Apart from the
chaos that happened most of the day the end of the day make it all better. Elder Gardner has an investigator named Melisa. She has been worked with by a couple of missionaries that go back a year (hope that makes sense). When I got in I didn't know any of that, I thought she was less active since I had seen her kid at church a lot. As we were teaching I found out she wasn't going to church and I asked why. At first she didn't want to answer but I got it out of her. She told me that she wasn't going because she was mad that God took her mother and her brother away. I then bore my testimony to her that anger has caused so much pain in my life and that it doesn't just affect her but everyone around her. I told her that she has the responsibility and duty to live so righteously so that she could go to the temple just as I have the responsibility to live so righteously so that I can receive the blessings that my patriarchal blessing has bestowed on me. I continued and said "Melisa at least you have the opportunity to do it but you can take it or leave it-silence. I'm not a member. The lesson continued to baptism on May 9th-Mother's day. The gospel is so incr
edible. We can all be at different places in our lives, young or old, believing or not, but as soon as we make those covenants with our Heavenly Father we all become equal because we promise to keep the commandments to the best of our abilities. Once again I'm reminded of a quote from The Continuous Atonement it says "Jesus already bought the whole bike. The few coins He asks from me are not so much to help pay for the bike, but rather to help me appreciate it, value it, and use it correctly." Teaching Melisa was a wonderful experience, it testified to me, even more, that every missionary has been called to teach certain people but more importantly it has taught me that everything I have gone through was for the benefit of others.

Alright now back to our area. Elder Isaacson during splits found an African-American lady that seemed promising so we decided to meet her on Thursday. Her name is Laucinda and she is a hoot. Of course that would mean that she is a typical African-American lady-boisterous haha. She is way awesome. We taught her of the Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has for each of us, as his children. With reluctance she accepted to be baptized on May 9th, as well! The way cool part was that a friend of hers, who is a member, came to visit for the week. They both came to church and love it. Gosh we are being so blessed.

Now the moment you have all been waiting for, Sunday. I can safely say that it was the best day ever! Skip was finally baptized and w hat made it even better was that I got to baptize him. Let me say, getting wet is awesome! I'm not going to lie I was sooo nervous because I was afraid that no one was going to show up but also that I had never baptized someone before. Luckily we have a ward that is really supportive of the missionaries, despite their age, and people showed up and the baptism went great. At first I was waiting for the feeling that every
missionaries talks about and it didn't come, I felt the same. But then it hit me when the musical number came around. A brother had volunteered at the last minute to sing and he decided to sing Be Still my Soul and while he was singing it became clear since anything that is peaceful or comforting is of God, and it was so. I
love how everything works out. I know that
everything happens for a reason and I'm so glad that I'm learning that now because I know that it come in handy in the future when things get tough.

I love you all and miss you, as well. Know that I'm having the time of my life and I wouldn't replace it for the world. Till next time.

Elder Leavell


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