I cannot believe that it is 2012! I was supposed to graduate college this year. Instead I'm doing the greatest work known to man... I love my mission. :)
Things have been great! The other day it was almost 70* outside. This morning it is 22*. Missouri can't make up its mind. And we have not really seen snow yet. Maybe I'll luck out my one winter in Missouri.
We had a miracle fall into our laps in the form of a referral. We met this girl one night a couple weeks ago and she was in her PJs, so she asked us to come back. We were able to meet with her and ask her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. The next meeting we had with her she told us that she went into it with an open mind and before she read just prayed and asked Heanvely Father to let her know if it was true or not. She continues.... "I read it... and I know it's true". I was sort of speechless. The joy and the spirit just overcame us and we were so excited that she was able to feel the love her Heavenly Father has for her. She had friends growing up who were LDS and she was always very impressed with the way they acted, their morals, and their families. One of her best friends served a mission in Brazil and came back to tell her all about it. That friend now is attending BYU but she's flying out here to Missouri for her baptism. Talk about love! We're very excited for her and for alll the things she will teach us. :) Her name is Sarah. And she's awesome.
We've had a few other great investigators. We don't get that much proselyting time unfortunately due to the VC and the training program, but the little we do get is quality. I know I am so grateful for these blessings that Heavenly Father has given us. My understanding of His love is just expanding left and right. That's what should keep us moving forward; that love. Because he has so much of it to share with His children.
Sunday night was the President's devotional. We invited Sarah to that and were able to hear 6 or 7 powerful testimonies from recent converts as well as President and Sister Keyes' share a beautiful message. It was PACKED. I got to see some mission friends again and that was so great! I love the missionaries I serve with! The spirit was so strong there. I read this talk about how learning the doctrine is not going to convince someone that it is true. The Spirit of God is the only one that can change people's hearts. How true that is. That is why we teach the basics and teach by the Spirit. In that talk, it also brought about a new outlook for me about the meaning of the Atonement and why it was necessary. W. Cleon Skousen gave this talk back in 1980 and 31 years later it has converted me even more. He talks about how everything in the universe follows a law. Laws of nature, laws of God. Things follow a certain pattern until they are told to do something else. He explained the gospel and God's creations into atoms and molecules. How the Priesthood truly can move mountains when authorized because it's God Science instead of something mystical. You'll have to read it to completely understand where I'm coming from because me paraphrasing it will do nothing for you. However, it has given me a greater appreciation for science and specifically chemistry. God exists. He lives. His Priesthood is real and helps us follow those laws. The creation is very real. Things are organized for a reason. I'm grateful for this planet that we have been sent to and for the beauty of it all around. But the Atonement was indeed necessary. And it only happened because Jesus Christ chose to do it for us. Not for himself, but for us. For me. For you.
Guess who came and visited me last Friday night...? None other than Ethan! I hadn't seen him for I think 2.5 years. That flew by. It was great to see him. I got back from proselyting to eat something and one of the sisters says, "someone from BYU-Idaho came by to see you. He said he just got back from his mission". My mind started racing. Who in the world could that be? I asked his name. When they said hesitantly, "...Ethan maybe?" I rushed right over to find him and his parents on tour. It's odd to see worlds colliding, I think. But it's always fun. And it's nice too because I'm learned how to focus. Maybe too well... and the only reason I say that is someone will ask how my morning went and I draw a blank. I've truly learned to stand where my feet are and live in the moment. My mission only happens once!
My knee is well. I'm back and running and working hard. I come home every night exhausted, which I love. Because I feel that I am fulfilling my purpose, and that is when I'm happiest.
If there's anything that I know, it's that Jesus is the Christ. He lives today. That his Atonement is real and the power it has to take about the burden of sin, sorrow, and sadness from us is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. God has called a living prophet today. This gospel is true. And nothing can take away that truth. I love serving my Lord and Master. I love seeing his love for all of us. Thank you to all of you who support me and the many other missionaries serving our Father in Heaven. I can't express adequately how grateful I am for you. But thank you. A thought for the week: "When you are compelled to give up something or when things that are dear to you are withdrawn from you, know that this is your lesson to be learned right now. But know also that as you are learning this lesson, God wants to give you something better." -Elder Busche
Shall we not go on in so great a cause?