Monday, June 5, 2017

Teaching, Exchanges, and Sunny Days

The week here was a good one. We had a bunch of sunny days. There were a couple of cloudy days back to back, which drove us crazy though! It is June! And both being from Arizona, we miss the sun. The cloudiness really does have an affect on your mind! It is crazy. But yeah, most of the week went well. Jeff, who we met my second day in the area, is doing great. We had a really good lesson with him on Thursday about the Plan of Salvation. He understood it all and really has a desire to continue learning. He really wants to go to the right church, the true church that Christ established when He was on the earth. Isn't it so cool that that is the exact message that we share?! Jeff came with us to a baptism on Saturday that a couple of the elders in our District had, and that was a good experience. Then on Sunday, he came to church and brought his wife!! That was so awesome! The crazy thing is that we had a meeting at the stake center prior at 8  AM, and we didn't get to church until 9:30! So we missed the first 30 minutes, but it was awesome because Jeff and his wife sat with the member that we brought to the lesson. That was cool to see.

Another cool little experience was when we were driving by the gas station yesterday that one of our friends works at and we saw him reading the Restoration pamphlet that we gave to him about an hour prior! That made our day. 

The adversary will do literally anything to pull us down. I see it SO much out here. Whether it is with the people we are teaching, random strangers on the street, or even within myself or other missionaries. The adversary never stops working and one of the ways that he works the hardest is he wants us to feel down on ourselves and give in. He wants us to question ourselves first and make us think bad things about ourselves, and eventually start to question our testimony of the Gospel, of Christ, and of Heavenly Father. Like it says in 2 Nephi 28:22 - ". . . and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." That is what he tries to do to us. It's crazy how quickly beating yourself up can progress to questioning of testimony. But the amazing thing is that the Savior is always there, so long as we are willing to open our hearts and let him in. Amulek, in Alma 10 talks about how many times he was called, but would not hear. He knew of the Lord and His mysteries, but he would not know. The greatest thing about the gospel is that there is always hope, we just have to look in the right places. The Power of Jesus Christ to help us overcome trials is real and is readily available if we put the time in to reach up to Him. 

It was a very cool experience being able to talk with Elder Ardern one on one like that. I am definitely grateful for the experience. I feel like I must be super hard-headed and stubborn if Heavenly Father is going to allow me the opportunity to speak personally with both President Uchtdorf and Elder Ardern. But I am definitely grateful for both of those opportunities and know that as time continues to move on, I will be able to look back on both of them with appreciation to Heavenly Father for sending those two opportunities my way. 

We also went on exchanges this week. I stayed in the area with Elder Quinlan. It is cool to have the opportunity to go on all these exchanges and learn from other missionaries. I made some really good BBQ pork in the crockpot that lasted us for lunch for like 4 days! 

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