Monday, June 28, 2010


Monday, June 28, 2010
Today is another pday and you all know what that means, yes you get to hear how my week went! Woo Hoo! I can't believe that it was my year mark this past week, it's so crazy to think that I'm no longer counting but I'm now counting down. Sister Ludwig thanks sooo much for the album that you sent me, it was great to see pictures of everyone again. I need more of those.
This week has been another interesting week, I know I saw that a lot, but missionary life always seems to have something interesting happen. So this past week we have worked with a lot of families, as usual, but sadly only one of them had progressed and the rest have been dropped.The good news is that the Santoyo family came to church! The husband didn't come but he rest of the family came. But that's not all.Victoria came to church, not sure if I have talked about her but she is an old lady that didn't really show any promise but she came to church. It was funny yesterday morning, as were getting the Santoyo family to church, we had totally forgotten about her until the member came. So we asked if he could Pick her up as well and he said fine. I felt bad but we piled everyone in and raced to Victoria's house and she was there waiting for us. We felt like Shepard's leading to children, it was an awesome feeling. Then the worst thing happened to us as we were going to church. We ran over a squirrel. The thing freaked out and ran back into our lane after it had ran into the next lane. Good times huh? Oh well life moves on and we didn't really think much of it because we had 7 people on their way to church! It's awesome to see how hard work pays off. The other family, Guadalupe and her kids, have been dropped. We went over to their house several times to see how they were doing and everything seemed normal and perfect. The Saturday before church everything changed. We went over there to say hello, since we were in the area, and talked with Guadalupe. She said she was excited for church because she doesn't have to work this Sunday. I was so excited for her and I asked her if her son was at home. She said no he was at work. As we were walking out we say Edgar's son playing with a girl from the apartment complex and asked her how her dad was doing. She said "why don't you ask him?" She ran upstairs and went to go get him but came out and said "he isn't home." My companion said something isn't right, he is home. I was so bummed the rest of the night. I thought back through everything I said to them to see if I said something that could have offended him, nothing, I thought back through everything they had said to see if they showed disinterest, nothing. I kept thinking about it and nothing. Every missionary goes through this when someone drops them but this time it was different. I loved that family, they were so cool and so ready but, obviously, it wasn't. I learned a valuable lesson that day and that is-you are not in control, the Lord is. I want to share this story that I hard while at a baptism this Sunday. It comes from the second counselor of the bishopric.

"My dad was a truck driver and when I got older I got to learn the trade from my dad. As a truck driver we travel long distances and drive through different terrains almost daily. In fact, we become so accustomed to it that driving on 18 wheels becomes the norm and driving on 4 wheels becomes awkward. One of the most valuable lessons that I learned from my dad was the one where I learned to travel over the lovely element of frozen water. Now anyone is scared of driving over ice but imagine driving over 6 tons behind you and all you can do is drive and watch. My dad told me to do one thing when that happens-drive faster. He said that when driving over ice the first thing that happens is that the trailer looses it's alignment with the rest of the vehicle and the worst thing to do is adjust. If you try to adjust over ice the trailer could flip and possibly kill you in the process, but if we hold firm to the steering wheel and accelerate the trailer won't swerve as much and will give you just enough time to get off the ice to adjust to swerving trailer. I want to compare this to us now. Our life in the scriptures is described as going along the path to our Heavenly Father, so we will say we're driving a trailer down that certain path. The things in the trailer are things we can control, such as our obedience, our willingness to serve, or in other words ourselves because that is the only real thing we can control. The ice patches, on the other hand, are the things we cannot control, such as family members, church members, employers, or in other words things or people that can affect us. Now in life, we all know that the we will hit patches of ice that the adversary throws at us to make us loose control, but just as literally driving a trailer on an icy road everything is determined on how we react. In life, we try to adjust and make corrections while we go through difficult times but we will fail. However, if we hold firm and accelerate, meaning look to the things we are founded on and focus on them even harder, we will succeed. The reason for this, occurs because we failed to prepare and now it's too late. The eternal law in all this is change is immanent, progression is optional. Icy patches will happen but how we react and learn from the past is how we progress.

I thought that that was amazing. That is such a true principle. The Lord puts things in our lives because he knows that we can overcome them, after all he has promised that to us. They are blessings as long as we react to them with the mind set that we will succeed. We have the power to overcome, it's all up to us. At zone conference that we had this past week that is what we mostly talked about. It was definitely different because they are leaving tomorrow at noon. It will be sad to see them leave but they have served us well and they deserve to be released. It's amazing to see how hard they have worked to change the mission that didn't baptize to now a baptizing mission. Sister Blackburn talked about the things that she has taken from her mission and that the treasure that everyone is seeking is right here, right now. She explained that we have all partaken from the goodness but we all must continue diligently to seek after it and that is what has kept her sane. She then applied it to us and said that we have done the same even though every morning we say "I'm exhausted, weak, injured, and hurt" but she told us that despite all of that "we all still go out and walk the streets." The next thing she said she learned was that when we were all in the temple, dressed in white, that that is how heaven is going to be. Seeing everyone we love and cherish dressed in white and that she wants to see ALL of us there. Then it was President Blackburns turn and he talked about church government and how everyone is called to their callings. It was really cool how mission president are called (don't have time to explain). He then told us that there is one thing that he wants us to do as missionaries, to magnify our calling. He said "If we magnify our calling it WILL be hard to leave, but if we don't it WILL be a joyous time." He said that he wants us to be depressed to be sad when we leave our missions because we gave it our all. It reminded me what Elder Holland said "I want to have to call an ambulance to wait for you at the airport when you go home from all the work you have done." Those words encourage me to work harder, more diligently to do the Lord's will. Hopefully I will be able to do such.

I told you that the beach was in my area!

Well i love you all and don't worry I'm doing well. Later.

Elder Leavell


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