Sunday, September 21, 2014

August 25, 2014

 Well, family!  It was good to at least hear from my parents...and two lines from Taryn.   Don't forget, I still have five months!  Mom, I am sorry to hear about what happened with your friend dying.   I wish I could be there to give you a hug, but all I can give you is the comfort that the gospel provides, which is fortunately a lot.   It doesn’t make it any less painful, but the knowledge we get from the Plan of Salvation reminds us of the bigger purpose.   But for now, just make sure that everyone can feel your love and support.  

Well, it’s been an awesome week.   Seriously.   Last P-Day was super fun.   We went and played Ultimate Frisbee with our district in Hamm and it started pouring rain.  It turned into this giant slip and slide mess.   But it was really fun.   It has been raining so much here.   I can’t even believe it.   It is August and we are already using our heater and wearing coats and even tights.   That’s not right.  

We received a care package
from our mini missionary!
That night, we met with Rafael, the guy that we met on the bus a couple weeks ago.   Family, this guy, he is so legit.   We taught him the Restoration, and it was just the best lesson ever.   We watched the dvd and he just loved it.   He loved the story of Joseph Smith and how he kept looking for something until he found it, and then stuck with it.   We followed up to see if he had read the chapter we gave him in the Book of Mormon, and he explained what he read, and then continued on with the next 6 chapters and everything that he had learned.   He said that he read it for about half an hour every night before he went to bed and then just thought about how to apply it to his life.   He apologized and asked if it was okay that he was making it personal.   We just sat there dumbfounded and assured him that was perfect.   He seriously loves the Book of Mormon.  That is amazing.   We closed with a prayer, and asked him to say it.   He said that he had been praying a lot this week, and was really trying to make it a conversation with God.   We knelt down, and it was clear that that was true.   He offered the most beautiful, heart-filled prayer ever.  It was probably 7 - 8 minutes long, and the Spirit was just pounding in my heart the whole time.   He was talking about how he was grateful we were there to show him the pathway home to his Father, because children want to return to their fathers.   Seriously, who says that? 

I thought that our next appointment couldn’t get better than that, but we met with him again on Friday, and it was just amazing again.   He had read more in the Book of Mormon.  At our last appointment, he said that he had questions about how he could feel or see the Spirit in his life (a question he had gotten from reading in 3 Nephi 11).  This time, he started off by telling us that he found his answer during his reading.   Seriously, this guy was just teaching us.   We felt like we should teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ this time, because he was saying he wanted to know the pathway back home.  At the end of describing his Book of Mormon reading, he said that he had a question.   He asked us how he could know when he was standing in front of God on the Judgment Day if what he had done was enough.   SERIOUSLY.   This guy.   That led in perfectly to our lesson.   We testified that when he followed the gospel of Jesus Christ—faith, repentance, baptism by proper authority, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, he would know that he had done enough.   He was contributing so much, and baring his testimony to us, and the Spirit was so strong, that we asked him to be baptized.   He thought about it for a really long time, and said, not yet.   He wanted to learn more and really make sure that it was right.   He said that he didn’t want to look back in two to three months and regret this decision.   Which I am perfectly okay with.   For only 3 lessons, he has made so much progress.   I have no worries.   This man, he will be baptized.  

Which was only reaffirmed by church on Sunday.   He came to the whole thing, and was just loving it.   During Gospel Principles class, he was just nodding his head the whole time, and just soaking it up, and thanking the teacher afterwards.   Then during Sacrament, our branch president gave a talk on the Plan of Salvation, and he starting looking through his bag for paper and a pen and took notes on it.   It made me super excited for that lesson.   After church, he was just beaming and thanking us.   We texted him later that night, saying thank you for coming and that it was so good to see him there, and then we invited him to our branch Family Home Evening tonight.   His response was, "Thank you so much!  What should I bring?” Oh man, I just love this guy.   I am so excited for tonight and our lessons with him.   He is just golden.   Please keep him in your prayers.   Rafael is just the best.  

Aiyana is also making good progress.   She is coming to church and our lessons are going well.   We are meeting with her tomorrow, and she is super excited for her baptism.   Aiyana is just way cute.   All around, I am just lucky to get to work with her.  

We also had Zone Training this week, and it was just amazing.   Elder Kearon (I think that is his name) came and talked to us.   He is from the First Quorum of the 70 and he is from England.   Overall, it was just an amazing Zone Training.   He talked a lot about confidence and real intent and how we need to not only be the part but also act the part.   If we really put our whole hearts and souls into the message, we will become the message.   He asked us who would really wanted to listen to two people telling them that this message gave them happiness and peace when the givers of the message were depressed and tired.   If our actions and words don’t match up, no one will listen.   When we truly live what we preach, the miracles will happen.   He made us promise to choose today to do everything with real intent.   It was a really inspiring message, and he just did it so perfectly.   I can never do that meeting justice, but just know that it was REALLY GOOD, and helped a lot.  

What a sick week.   Between Rafael, Aiyanna, ZOKO, and our other less actives and investigators, this was just a great week.   I am excited for another great week too.  

I really love my mission.   It’s a great place, and so many wonderful people.   Ill just say it again, this branch, these people, they are just wonderful.   I feel honored to be here.   Oh also, just got awesome news.   Charles from Heidelberg, he’s getting baptized on the 7th of September.   WOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO.   Charles.   That guy is awesome.   Things are happening!

I love you all.   Taryn, give Matt a big hug for me.   I will miss that guy.   I also need his address.   I want to send him a letter.

Bis später!


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