Hearken, all ye inhabitants of Idaho! July 21, 2015
Before I begin, let me break the news to you. I’m staying in Grays with Elder Mthombeni! And how glad I am for that! We’ve still got great things to be done here in this area, and the Lord is uncovering promising new faces that I’m really looking forward to working with!
But first of all, let me say how grateful I am for my loving family who writes me an e-mail every week! I may not always reply to them individually, but I try to address their questions and such in this, the big’un. I can really feel your prayers in mine and Elder Mthombeni’s behalf, and likewise, I pray for you every night! Also, to help out with that music request, I should have told you to just e-mail it to me the same way you sent that David Archuleta song a while back. That way I can just download it onto my USB and stick it in our DVD player. That’s how we listen to most of our music anyways.
If there’s one thing I would say I am learning in my time here in Grays, it’s to have patience and submit. From the sounds of it, you just heard a bit about it this last Sunday. Sometimes we don’t get what we want or see the results we’d like to see, and we tend to look at ourselves and think, “What did I do wrong?” While it’s good to always be looking for ways to improve, it’s also important to remember that you’re not perfect and the Lord planned for that. Failure to recognize this is one of the less-acknowledged forms of pride. I know that not all of you back home have had a great week, and I just wanted to share my lessons from some of my “not-so-great” times. First of all, define SUCCESS for yourself. As a missionary its easy, because they define success for you in Preach My Gospel. No, it’s not baptisms. It is the commitment you feel towards God and His work. In other words, we are successful when we have an “eye single to the glory of God”. And I imagine this will still apply outside of mission-life. The Lord’s approval is all we need, and we’ll know when we’ve got it. We’ll feel it! Second, you don’t build muscle without tearing it first. It can be uncomfortable, but if you keep at it you will grow. Lastly, true faith in Jesus Christ is more than just a hope. We have to trust that “all things have been done [and are being done] by Him who knoweth all things.” He already knows we’re not perfect; (that’s what the Atonement was for), so if we fail at something, it’s not the end of the world, because Heavenly Father will make it work if you continue to do your best.
Now I want to tell you about our week! To be honest, it was a really great week! As far as lessons taught, and people preparing for baptism, it still doesn’t look like much. But I felt really good about it. We can feel in our hearts that we are doing what we need to be doing. We just need to keep it up, and when the time is right for the Lord, we’ll be able to see some seeds take root and bring forth fruit! And this week, we found two guys who are looking mighty promising! Elder Mthombeni stopped a guy last Sunday and asked him what made him happy. He was in a rush, but he replied, “My daughters”. We set up a return appointment, but he was very rushed and we were 45% convinced he was just trying to get on his way. But we went to our appointment with him, and things worked out wonderfully that we were able to take a member with us, and it turned out that he was ready for us! During the opening prayer of our lesson, his friend came in and sat down. Fine with us! They’re both really humble and we’re going to see them tomorrow to see if they’ve been reading the Book of Mormon!
In other news, the Butes are moving again?! And to Brazil? I would be sad, except for that just gives me a super-great excuse to go to Brazil! Please tell me they’re moving to Sao Paulo. My trainer, Elder Leite, lives there, and I would love to have an excuse to go visit him!
No, there are no “grandmas” for poor Elder Packer. And yeah, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut if he did! I haven’t had the opportunity to go to Hyde Park for ages, but we’ll hopefully have zone meeting soon. I haven’t seen the calendar for the transfer yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was next week. Hopefully then I can get my party stuff and shaver stuff! I can’t wait!
As for my interview with President Stevens, he’s a really good guy. We counselled together about the area and the district, and I can tell that he and his wife already have a great love for us.
I love you and the blue is clearly sky,