Monday, February 8, 2010

Things are great and getting better!

This is a strange way to start a letter, but I'll just set the stage by saying that all 7 of our investigators that we are actively teaching could easily ALL be progressing! Right now, it seems they are taking it in turns. :) The most consistent one is of course Dustin Cornett, who is doing fantastic despite having trouble making it to Church every week because he is so exhausted at times. He tries hard, and that's all I could ask of him. So, combining regular teaching of our 7 recent converts as well and you have quite a lot of opportunities to teach the gospel every week! A tremendous blessing from the Lord! That's about the easiest way to sum things up in Hazard as they now stand. The scariest thing is that we could actually have even more success. 20 lessons a week has become commonplace, so I don't think 30 is a long shot. That takes a lot of work, but it can be done. Also, our efforts to coordinate successful member-missionary work received a boost yesterday as well. Bro. Dirk Flinchum--- mostly inactive for 45 years until about 2 years ago---was called to be our new branch mission leader! His wife is a recent convert from last August and they are a GREAT family, plus they make some darn good food. I can describe Bro. Flinchum with 2 D-words: Diligence and Dedication. Those are exactly the kind of things that the branch here needs, and with our help I know he will do a great job. 

Our newest investigator is 24 year old Larry Creech, the son of an inactive member that approached us a couple weeks ago when we were finishing our grocery shopping and indicated that her son wanted to meet with us. He is a very gung-ho (too much really) individual and ready to learn and come to Church. He came yesterday and went around and personally greeted everyone in attendance. You don't see that every day from an investigator, that's for sure. All I can say is that the Lord isn't just giving us people to teach, but they are also prepared which is huge. I hope to see more of that kind in the week to come! We're still struggling to get our Book of Mormon class going, but not because there aren't interested people. We just need to START! We would've started last week but we were on exchanges with Martin. This week should be interesting because the branch has an activity at the same time that we planned to have our class, but we're going to give it a go anyway. Wish us luck! 

I'm looking forward to another round of interviews with Pres. Robbins this week, they are always good. Zone Conference last Thursday was great too, and he tried to tell us everything he knew about the mission being dissolved. He said he doesn't know a whole lot at this point, but I'm sure he will as it gets closer. He said it will be published in the Church News on Feb. 13 (I think) so you can see it there. 

Hard to believe this transfer is already half over, what's going on!? There's much that has been accomplished since I arrived here, which is indeed a blessing from the Lord. Most people might be tired from being busy most of the time, and of course we're pretty drained at the end of each day....but as a missionary, being busy is great! Hopefully it continues for the rest of my mission. Sounds like all is well on the homefront and that you had an enjoyable trip up to Boise. I'm guessing there's a lot of snow there as well as in Utah. Most of the snow here has melted, but a lot of people still freak out when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Oh well, I guess that just makes the roads a lot more clear for us. Blessing in disguise! 

Well, my study journal is stuffed full of interesting insights that I've been wanting to share more often, so I'm going to try and share at least one every week until I get home. Hopefully, I don't end up repeating myself. This week I have two, and the first one is about the need for charity, particularly in missionary work. Its influence, radiated by the missionary, helps to create within the investigator a desire to learn and softens his heart to the truth. Charity can fill the missionary with an unquenchable desire to serve his fellowmen. Without it, as difficulties arise and proselyting seems unfruitful, he may lose interest and slacken his pace. But with Christlike love for others, the missionary will persevere through adversity because he becomes a caring and dutiful messenger of Christ. A Christlike love for others can purify a missionary's motives and consecrate his labor and true desire to share the gospel. It is my hope and prayer that we will all strive for greater charity in our lives, because the scriptures call it the greatest of all. As Elder Holland once said, "Christ is the only one who has mastered it, while the rest of us are still trying." Real charity, or the pure love Christ, was manifest in His atoning sacrifice for mankind. None of us will ever do anything quite like that, but we can at least commit ourselves to the happiness and well-being of others. The other thought I have to share is below, mostly because it's much longer. It's rather amusing actually, so I hope you all enjoy it. No, I didn't come up with this in case you're wondering.

What exactly is a missionary? A missionary comes in two varieties: Elders and sisters. A missionary comes in assorted sizes, weights and colors----green being the most common among the new ones. They are found everywhere, hurrying, climbing, knocking, walking, and getting thrown out. Converts love them, young girls worship them, the law tolerates them, dogs hate them, most people ignore them, and Heaven protects them. A missionary has the appetite of a horse, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, the patience of Job, the persistence of a salesman, and the courage of a lion tamer. A missionary likes letters from home, invitations to Sunday dinner, conferences, checks, and visits from the Mission President. A missionary isn't much for tracting in blizzards (or any other weather for the matter), ladies who slam doors, hats, suits and dull ties, apartment houses, transfers to hot areas, shaking hands at arm's length with opposite gender, alarm clocks, and "Dear John" letters. A missionary can get homesick, discouraged, and temporarily lose faith in the whole human race. Yet nobody else can knock so boldly with such a shaky hand. Nobody is so early to rise or so tired at 10:30 p.m. And nobody else can get such a thrill at the end of a discouraging day from the words, "Come right in----I've been waiting for you." A missionary is truth with a pocket full of pamphlets, and faith with 69 cents in its pocket. "Hey, Dad, where is that check?" Yes, they are all this, but a strange lump will rise in its throat the day it receives its letter of release, and on arrival home it homecoming speech will probably contain the phrase it once considered trite. "The time I spent in the mission field ws the happiest time of my life."

Pretty good, huh? Well, that's about all I've got to say this week. Hope everyone has a great week filled with memorable experiences! Love you all, and Happy Valentine's Day in case I forget to say it next week. :) 

No comments: