Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! For dinner we are going over to a family in the wards around 2. They invited us and the Spanish Elders over to eat, so it should be pretty fun. They're having a lot of people over so it will definitely be interesting, but I am excited. As I have gotten older I have come to more fully appreciate the times when everyone gets together for dinners and family things. It is a blessing that we have everyone so close and the opportunities to have everyone get together. We truly are blessed with so much. Today is a great day to reflect on all of those things. The list is truly never ending. I know that the most important and the reason that we have all of these blessings is because of Jesus Christ and His gospel. There really is no other way to find true joy! 

This week has flown by! I can't believe that it is already Thursday and that we haven't had a p-day for 10 days because it feels like we just had one. It has been a pretty good week. Yesterday, we went on exchanges with the Spanish elders because Elder Hala is the district leader and he's supposed to go on exchanges with older elders in the district once a transfer. I was with Elder Kersten. We had a really good day. It was weird because he has language study and we both have new missionary training (this is the last week of that), so we had studies until 12! After that, we ate lunch for a few minutes until we met Bishop up at the church at 12:30. After that, we delivered some thanksgiving meals to some families in the ward and some of the friends of ours that we are teaching. It was really cool to see how appreciative all of these people were! It was cool to be able to see their humility and thankfulness to Heavenly Father for those blessings. After that, we had an appointment at 2:15 with a friend of ours that we have been teaching off and on since the time I have been here. One of the members in our ward took us, so we went to his house and as we were driving out of the neighborhood I saw a man working in his backyard. This guy is someone that we met on Sunday night when all of our plans fell through and we prayed to know where to walk and we eventually ran into him at 8:45! He told us to come to his house the next day, but when we got to the neighborhood, his address didn't exist, so we weren't able to find him. It kind of stunk because we thought he was interested but now we had no clue where he lived! Then yesterday I saw him working in his backyard! I asked brother Barnett to pull over and then hopped out and talked to him and set up an appointment with him Friday! He lived in the neighborhood that he told us, but just at a different address. It was a miracle that we ran into him! I know that Heavenly Father put us and him in each other's paths. 

Now back to that appointment that we were heading to... It was an awesome lesson. She has struggled with a lot of stuff in her past, but loves when we come and talk with her. The Spirit was really strong in the lesson. She even prayed out loud for the first time ever! We have met with her off and on for months now and it was the first time. It was really cool! The light in her attitude was different than ever before. She told us a story about a time, probably my 2nd week here, where we saw her randomly walking in town one day as we were on our bikes. We pulled over and walked with her back home. We never knew this, but she told us yesterday, that she was really thinking about falling back into temptation that day, but that when we pulled up she knew that we were sent there for a reason. I know that Heavenly Father puts people in each one of our paths that we can all help.

Today I read a talk by Elder Devin Durrant and he was talking about invitations. As a missionary, we invite people to do things all of the time that build their faith in Christ. Invitations are something that I really want to work on more as a missionary both to the people of Oregon and to the people at home, so I am going to start leaving invitations to you all! My invitation to you this week is to look for small opportunities to serve with a smile to someone that you have never met! If you pray for an opportunity to provide an unplanned act of service, Heavenly Father will give you that opportunity and that person will need your loving service and smile.

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