Monday, June 28, 2010

Hot, humid and happy

I had a great last interview with Pres. Robbins, who said that he was pleased with my efforts, which is something I know every missionary yearns to hear from their mission president. He also admonished me to keep the habit of daily scripture study intact, which was cool considering Dad spoke about that this weekend. He told me that even if it's only for a few minutes a day, starting the morning off with scripture study sets the tone for the remainder of the week. Boy, how true that is! I lament that I only have an hour of personal study each day, and I keep kicking myself for not being better about it when I was back home. Oh well, can't look back anymore. Just forward! 

Pres. and Sis. Robbins had wonderful departing words of counsel for us, including a particularly memorable training from President about the Book of Revelation! I'll have to share with you what he taught us once I'm home, because there probably isn't room in this e-mail for it all! It was amazing how all of his resources were from the scriptures as well as the teachings of modern prophets. Very cool overall! This Wednesday, we will be meeting with Pres. and Sis. Jensen, which I am very much looking forward to.

We received a letter from him and his wife the other day, and they did indeed mention temple attendance as something that is part of the mission. We are allowed to go once a quarter, with the only exception being that we have to go with members. We're also able to attend if anyone that we taught is going to be endowed and/or sealed. Too bad all my converts thus far are either too young or haven't reached their year mark yet. Well, I think I'd come back anyway when they do. That will definitely be a blessing if I get to go at least once before I return home. There's NOTHING on this earth to compare with the temple! 

In other news from the week, we are teaching some great new people! One is the Williams family, consisting of the mom, Denitra, and her four kids. She really enjoys having us over, mainly because she wants her kids to know the right way in life, since all of them are in their teens. We have been focusing mainly on the plan of salvation, as they have peppered us with very good, very deep questions that we are attempting to answer one at at time. They have a pretty good grip on the plan of salvation so far, and we'll probably start into the Restoration this week. Another new person we are teaching is a guy named Michael Baldrick, who is a headquarter referral that requested missionaries to come and visit. He's actually been taught before, but then the elders got double-transferred and he WAS NOT happy about it at all. Well, he got in touch with us and we had a great lesson with him the other night. He asks the right questions and is definitely searching for direction in life, so naturally he creates a very good environment for the Spirit to bear witness to him. As pertaining to our other investigators, we have been teaching a great younger lady by the name of Shelley Capell. She has four very energetic kids, including a set of twins, and we have had great lessons with her almost every time. We've been doing service for her as well by painting various rooms in her house, which is always a great way to build trust and confidence, and we even assembled a giant fish tank for her one time! Her main concern is not allowing herself to become complacent with spiritual things, and she told us in the last lesson that she would like to fast. We invited her to fast and testimony meeting next Sunday, and she accepted! 

We spent 6 HOURS on Friday helping Jeff Even and his uncle move to their new apartment, which was thankfully just around the corner from his old one. It was only us and Bro. Johnson from the ward who were able to help, but we got it taken care of despite the brutal humidity. The new apartment is much nicer and in a quieter spot, complete with a magnificent view of Downtown Cincinnati. We're working to help Jeff and his uncle, who also happens to be named Jeff, to work on quitting smoking and putting aside that money they spend on cigarettes for more important things. Neither of them work due to injuries and health problems, so naturally their financial situation is pretty tight. Well, nothing that the restored gospel can't fix! The same day we helped Jeff move, we received a call from Pres. Robbins asking us to visit Cincinnati Children's Hospital to give a blessing to a 6 year old girl who was very sick. She broke her foot earlier in the week, and it became very badly infected. The infection has been building an immunity to the antibodies they have been giving her, and so she was highly contagious and sedated when we went in. We had to put on robes, gloves, and masks to give the blessing, but the power of the priesthood enveloped the room as the Lord spoke words of comfort through me to her and her family. It was quite the experience, as has every blessing I have participated in on my mission. It was also a reminder to me to remain worthy to exercise that priesthood which I hold, for the authority of the priesthood is very different from the power of the priesthood (see D&C 121:34-37). 

We continue to work with Shawntae and her family as well as Michelle, both of whom have their struggles but they also happen to have testimonies of the gospel. The key is going to be helping ward members remain involved in their progress, and we have asked the elders quorum and Relief Society to assign fellowshippers to regularly check up on them when we aren't around, as per instructions given in Preach My Gospel. 

All in all, it was a very spiritual week despite not meeting all of our goals, which tells me that the Lord will still bless us when we are worthy and striving to be faithful, regardless of whether or not we meet all of our goals. I have definitely had weeks where we taught maybe 10 lessons but I felt like we had still accomplished alot, and in contrast I've had weeks where we taught more than 20 lessons but I still feel a definite void. All I can say is that the Lord's ways are definitely not our ways, which gives us all the more reason to trust Him, especially for that which we cannot comprehend. 

I hope everything at home is going well, which is what it sounds like from your letters. You're getting 95 degree weather, huh? That's like death over here, because you have the humidity factor thrown in. Luckily, I keep a pretty consistent supply of Gatorade on hand each week, so that helps get me through it. Hope you have an enjoyable 4th of July holiday, even though it's on Sunday this year! Argh, don't you hate when that happens? Oh well, just do it the day before, right?  Well, that's all I've got for this week. Take care and remember the Lord's hand in all things!  

1 comment:

Terri said...

Im in awe of the goodness the gospel brings into our lives and to others. What a very busy work he is involvedin and always hopeful.