Monday, May 16, 2011

Couldn't Ask for Anything More

Monday, May 16, 2011
This time during transfers I was worried like no other. I didn't want to leave Malibu and I was praying, wishing, and doing everything I could so that the Lord would side with me on this one. Haha. I'm so happy and thankful that he sided with me and gave me what I wanted. Malibu till the end! WOO HOO! Anyways there was a change. I got a new companion, Elder Hough, and I'll have the opportunity to greenie break him. It's a little different being with a companion so young since the last few have been just as old as I am. I still can't believe that I have about a month left. I don't ever want to leave, there is nothing that I would rather be doing. There is not enough time on this mission. I feel like I still have a ton to do. I hope that all of you are doing well.

This week has been a week of interesting experiences. From blessings to celebrities (sort of). I'll first start off with Wednesday. Got off to a good start on Wednesday and made a few contacts with some less actives that we haven't been able to get a hold of. Brother Hunt is now back on the radar, he fell away from us for a little but we wouldn't let him off the hook that easy haha. He is doing well. Been really busy with all the construction projects that his company is working on but we have an appointment with him tomorrow so we will see how he is doing. After that we went to go visit Ruth. She is doing well. I wish I could know exactly what is holding her back from doing the things that she needs to be doing, that "magic lesson" that helps motivate her to come to church but I have the feeling that it will never come because she hasn't been made humble yet. We watched the talk from President Uchtdorf "Of Things That Matter Most." She liked it and enjoyed thinking of things that would help her put her priorities straight. She acts like a Mormon, it's funny. Anyways after that we were asked to give a blessing to someone who was going to die at the UCLA hospital along with the family members. It was an awkward message. Never given a blessing to someone who was going to die that day so I was getting pretty nervous on the way there. Felt terrible. Traffic was like no other. Either way it was bad going on the freeway and going on Sunset. When we got there the nurses asked us who we were there to visit and when we told them they said that we should call the people that called us. We were a little confused but did as they told us but as we were leaving the curtain partially opened in the room and we caught a glimpse and there was a white sheet over the person. We got there too late. I wish there was something that we could have done, somehow gotten there before she had passed. The family members had left. So we called the office where we got the message to go give a blessing and the sisters said, "Oh sorry. They called about 5 minutes ago and told us that they had passed away." I feel terrible. I hope that the family has received some comfort through reading the scriptures or have received help in some other way. I wish there was something that I could do. Anyways this last week we had the opportunity to meet with the Brands and they are doing great. They are Jewish converts of about 15 years and they have been less active for the more part of those years. The husband is a very intellectual guy and likes to feel that he is doing everything to obtain a "release" as he says or in our terms spiritual confidence. There are so many things that could be taught throughout that lesson but I love the opportunity to listen to the spirit. Because he likes to over analyze things and has somewhat of a distorted idea of who God is and how the plan of salvation works, it forces us, especially me, to practice listening and waiting during to lesson to have the spirit guide. It is awesome. There is no way that answering all his questions with the principles of the gospel would help him come closer because he always seems to have an answer for everything. But what we have done, is wait, thinking of what we are going to say, and respond with another question that teaches a principle. I'm so thankful that the spirit is always with us so that we can listen to it's promptings so that we can help further the work of the Lord. There is nothing better than for the spirit to teach while the children of our Heavenly Father study, ponder, and pray about the gospel that he has established here on the earth. I know that our Heavenly Father has set up a way for us to receive spiritual truth through various means because He knows that there are various means that the adversary uses on us daily. I'm so thankful for prophets,for the scriptures, and more importantly the spirit because there is no way that I would be able to discern what is right and what is wrong the way that I do without those ways of communication with my Father in Heaven. On Friday we were asked to go to the UCLA hospital to give another blessing to a person who was in the ICU. I was a little more nervous because that is where the last person was when she passed away. We got there and thankfully the person was still alive. Never thought I would ever say that haha. The only thing was that there was tubes and screens all over him and so I was a little nervous to give the blessing. But we did it anyway. The nurses said that it would be fine. Right when we got done the nurse at the front desk said that the daughter had called and so the nurse inside the room so we asked her if we could talk with her after she got done. We didn't talk with her but the nurse told us that apparently we were not supposed to do it. The nurse said that it was probably the other sibling none the less it made things a little awkward. Enough with the downers haha. We had an awesome miracle happen to us this week! Casey Brown came back and she is prepared! She came to a Friday Forum at the UCLA Institute where Kurby from all the Mormon movies. She enjoyed it and it was awesome to see her. We talked for about half an hour and she seemed to be more open. Didn't think of anything because I didn't push the gospel subject. After we gave the second blessing (the one with all the tubes) we walked back and saw them walking out of the store. We invited her to the baptism that would be happening in the ward on Saturday and she said, "Oh yeah. I had already planned on going to that." To get her to come to a baptism a couple of months ago would have been trying to drag a cat into the water. I was so surprised and excited that she would be going to the baptism. At the baptism, Megan gave her testimony (the person who was getting baptized) after she got baptized and it was perfect. She told everyone that it wasn't until she let her walls down and humbled herself that that was when she received her answer. She told all the missionaries that were there sorry for being a hard investigator, jokingly of course, and sorry for bashing with them and giving them a hard of time. She laughed. She said that she was so happy that she made the decision to do the things that the missionaries had always asked her to do but with a sincere heart. Scott told us on Sunday, when Casey came to church, that she came to talk with Megan because he said that she felt like Megan was talking directly to her. I'm so thankful that the Lord is preparing people for us on a daily basis. I'm so thankful that he provides and taht we don't have to worry. I know that this is his work, the saving of all the children of our Heavenly Father. There is no question that this is his work. If only you could be in the same shoes as one of us you would notice that it is not us convincing but it is as Joseph Smith once said, “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.”

I love you all and am so thankful for all of you. Hope all is well. I will see you all soon enough! Stop counting! Haha.

Elder Leavell

The Vargas family. lived with them in downtown.
Tru (one of Brother Anderson's kids)


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