Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Roller Coaster is my Favorite Ride

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
As missionaries, we get used to many things-getting yelled at to our face everyday, cursed at, people missing appointments, but I think that one of the things that I still haven't been able to get used to is when investigators drop us. It stinks and is so frustrating! And I really do think that I will never be able to get used to it. But I'm so glad to be doing what I'm doing, I think I have really gotten to understand how Heavenly Father feels of me when I make the silly mistakes that I know are wrong and yet I still do them. It is always a joy to be in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and when we have investigators that are progressing it makes things even better. WAY BETTER! I hope that all of you are doing mighty fine on this wonderful Wednesday, over here in California it's warm and in some place it's sunny, so I would say that it is a might fine day.

A lot has happened over the past week, we had Zone Conference and we had our mission trainings all in the same week. It was a killer but I have learned so much. The Zone Conference that we had was mainly based on improving ourselves so that we can improve the work and being devoted with the "heart." Unfortunately I didn't get much out of it because I had to translate most of the thing, so my brain didn't really have time or the strength to really captivate what was really happening but I was informed later that there was some big changes in the mission. One of them was that the "Greenie Binder" or however we called it is out the window. The only book of rules that we have is the "White Handbook," which puts a little more pressure on us since we will have to use our discretion of what is truly OK or what is not, but I think that it will help us grow as missionaries so that we can have the ultimate goal of being exactingly obedient. Also, all the missionaries are getting texting, WOO WOO! Yeah I already had that since I can't really get in contact with the people we are working with by calling them. None the less, I did feel the spirit, despite the extra task that I had to do, during Zone Conference. It was great getting to see some of the old missionaries that I knew and seeing how they have been doing. Oh and I almost forgot, the best part! We have another mission challenge to read the Book of Mormon before the end of the New Year. Not going to lie, I was sort of bummed (at first) because I had already started it and was in 2 Nephi but as I really humbled myself and thought of it as a great opportunity, my joy and diligence to read has increased so much. I'm already caught up to where I was in about 7 days. But I would like to extend that challenge to all of you, as well. I know that if we really read, ponder, and pray about the words that it contains that we will find joy in rejoicing and find a greater faith that can help us, especially during these troublesome times that are affecting many at this time. And I have total confidence that all of you can do it, you have way more time than us, missionaries, to read, since we only get about an hour a day to read. It will be a cinch for all of you!

For the bad news, Noe dropped us yesterday. We were going to take him to the Visitor's Center to show him everything that we believe in a visual manner. He didn't want to go and didn't really want to talk to us, it was weird. He said that he had been reading from the Book of Mormon and that he had felt good when he had read. Said that it pretty much has the same things in the Bible, just with different people (well...yeah). I got really excited and asked him how his prayer went. He didn't pray. Then the weirdest thing happened, the mood of the conversation just changed. He started getting mad when I was asking what he was going to do for his day off and about how his week went, when normally he is pretty open about that. We ended up dropping him because he said he didn't want us to come back next week. I know that something happened and I don't know what but I know that he knows that he was doing the right thing. He might not be ready right now, but I know that someday he will. He had already received so many blessings since the time he had started talk with us. He got two jobs that he had been praying for to support his family and he noticed that his stress level had decreased a lot. I know that the only thing that can do that is our Heavenly Father and that he was watching him and blessing him to see that what he was doing was of good worth. I know it to be so true, it always happens when we first start talking to people but just as in the times of old, many lose sight of why they receive those blessings and fall away because they feel they have done enough. It is totally the opposite, it just is telling us of how many more blessings are to come if they are willing to accept and walk in the footsteps of the wonderful Master, Jesus Christ. Walter and Cathalina, on the other hand, were doing great but since of yesterday we hit another road block. We took them to the Visitor's Center with the Calderons (the spanish missionaires in the Branch) and the Juan Guzman Sr. and Jr. It went great! I love that place. It's awesome, their is a great and powerful spirit there when people are ready. We talked about how important the temple was but, even more, how important the Savior is in everything since everything in this Church is centered on Him. Without Him the temple would be of no worth and families would have no way to sealed for time and all eternity. They were asking a lot of questions, as to why and how and the Sister who helped us did a wonderful job explaining and really helping to them to understand. There is a reason why Sisters serve in Visitor's Centers and not Elders. We sat down in one of the small rooms and watched some videos and then commited them to married. It was one of the most powerful lessons of the week. They sat there and said yes, the 27th sounds great for married and the 5th for baptism. We can do it. I was so pumped that day. I couldn't fall asleep just like a boy in a candy store. For reals. Probably had the biggest smile too. Ha. Funny thing happened at the Visitor's Center, their little daughter was running away, trying to get out of the room and ran straight into the glass wall, fell on the ground, waited 5 seconds and then started screaming. I felt bad for laughing but it was the cutest and funniest thing. Like one of those things that happens on American's Funniest Home Videos haha. Anyways. Then Tuesday came. I asked them how their prayers had gone and if they had felt that they had received an answer. They smiled like I hadn't seen them before, especially Walter, and said yes. But then I later found out that they had changed their minds and said that they wanted to wait for Walter's mom to get back from out of town and that she wanted a dress. The interesting thing was that we had planned a lesson on sacrifice for that day and it went perfectly together. We read them the story from President Monson's General Conference talk about the family who was grateful for thanksgiving. They loved it and got really excited about what some of the things that they could give up to be better and serve the Lord. At first they didn't get it but we decided that would fast on Friday to really know if that was the decision that our Heavenly Father would approve of. They are just great. Pray for them if you get the time.

Today we had the great opportunity to go to the temple. It was great. I love that place, there is nothing like it. I wish I could honestly live there. I'm so glad we have the opportunity to go as missionaries. It is a true blessing.

I love you all and hope that everything is going well with all of you. Miss you tons too! Till next week!

Elder Leavell

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