Hey Family! January 16, 2014
Transfers are tomorrow! I kind of knew I was already staying in New Smyrna Beach another transfer because I'm training, but it's official now! I'll be here until the beginning of March... weird. I have a feeling that I will be leaving after these next 6 weeks though. Can't believe that I will have served here for 1/3 of my mission... but I've seen so many miracles here! I will never forget this place. I need to live it up and work hard with the time left that I have here.
This past week we have seen more miracles and blessings come our way. Lately, there has been a bigger emphasis on finding more people to teach. That means that the work can be more difficult, but you do see quite a few miracles of how you can to touch people's lives in so many ways! This past week was a historical moment... I have started using Facebook as a missionary tool! It may sound funny, but I was shaking the first time I logged on. I almost felt like I was being disobedient!! haha! But it has been really cool to see the potential of using it as a missionary tool. You'll have to be patient with me, there have been some challenges with getting a new Facebook account started but I think it's all working out ok :) We are one of the missions that is pilot testing online proselyting. It's cool but also kind of crazy being the guinea pig for something new like this. haha! On January 25th Elder Nelson is coming to give the mission training on online proselyting. It will be a cool-but very different experience to hear an apostle talking about Facebook.. hahaha Mom, didn't you say that you saw Elder Nelson at Winegars and he said that he was coming to Orlando this winter? When you said that I didn't think he would really be here for the mission, but I guess he is! Pretty cool. :)
We had a potential investigator that we hadn't taught anything yet come to a scripture study class. The whole lesson went really well and I think she really enjoyed it! The funny part was when a member started bearing testimony about how the Book of Mormon had helped him find strength to give up coffee, tea, etc.... haha! The investigator definitely perked up for that part...As missionaries, you are always being kept on your toes! It's so funny. I think it will all work out. It was pretty funny/awkward to have her find out about it that way.
Ed came to a lesson with Jesse and Meradith! The lesson went really well and Ed was super good at bearing testimony and helping them. This might sound weird, but whenever I hear Ed talk about the gospel, Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, etc., I feel like a proud parent or something hahaha I'm just so happy to see his progression. As I was listening to him talk, I just couldn't wrap my head around the reality that I had actually been apart of such an amazing conversion like Ed's.... wow. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have witnessed the changes that have taken place in him. I love him and Michele so much!
I found some scriptures in my personal study the other morning that I felt I really relate to. In Thessalonians 2:4, Paul expressed his gratitude and awe that God would trust someone like him to share the gospel.... sometimes I feel so inadequate for the position or call that I have.. .but I feel so much love from God as I know that He really does trust and love me enough to let me share the greatest message one could give!
In Thess. 2:8, Paul says, "so being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us." When I read that I knew EXACTLY the way Paul felt. I really, honestly could EASILY say that I would give up my whole soul in order to help Ed and Michele. Sharing the gospel with them has been so fulfilling and wonderful but i feel like I just want to do more and more for them. It's like an eternal need of trying to fill that void of serving them... I don't really know how to explain it.. but it's super powerful-nothing like I have ever felt. At the end of chapter 2, Paul talks about the pure joy that missionaries receive from their converts. Our converts- especially Ed and Michele- really are my "glory and joy" (Thess. 2:20)
Thess. 3:9-12, says that they just wanted to tirelessly help their converts to perfect their faith. I truly feel that way as well! There is so much I want to show them!!! Anyways, I loved those chapters. They explained my feelings for the work I have been doing here in New Smyrna Beach and more specifically for Ed and Michele. I don't know what I am going to do when I have to leave them.
Saturday night was a great lesson with Jesse and Meradith. Sister Bracken and I had felt impressed to have them watch the Restoration DVD... It took some effort to find a member that would be willing to watch it at their home (Jesse and Meradith don't have a t.v. )... but with diligence and faith we figured it out!! We watched the video and at the end we asked them what they felt the Holy Ghost had told them. Meradith said that she needed to exercise her faith and strengthen her relationship with God through reading and praying. Jesse said that during the movie, a numbing feeling went from the top of his head all the way down to the end of his toes.... he was so lit up and filled with the spirit and understanding after the video! We had been worried about Jesse for a while because he just didn't seem to accept everything that we were saying like Meradith was... but that seemed to do the trick! The Spirit truly is the ONLY way to teach. About 40 minutes after the lesson, we were on the phone with them and Meradith said that Jesse was very engrossed in reading the Book of Mormon already. haha! YES! Jesse and Meradith are coming along :) It's been fun to see their desires change. With out us saying anything, Meradith is dressing more modestly and both of them are trying hard at living the Word of Wisdom. Keep them in your prayers!!!
Things are going well here. Thanks so much for all you support and love! You are all in my prayers everyday. I LOVE YOU!!!!!