Monday, June 26, 2017

I guess y'all only get one more of these...

Family and friends,
It has been another amazing week for sure. I say it over and over and I'll say it some more, missionary life is the life. I love being able to just focus everything I do each day on inviting others to come closer to Christ. The week has been interesting, but we've been moving forward somehow. I'm just thankful we have a decent teaching pool as of now. If we didn't have anyone to teach and we still couldn't go finding things would be a lot tougher. I'm excited for this coming week though, we'll be able to do some finding because we'll go on exchanges with a couple different sets of elders. That's what our mission president suggested for us to do, set up days where another set of Elders schedules as many appointments as possible and then Elder Smith goes with them to the lessons and one of them goes with me so we can tract and contact all day. I've really missed finding these past two weeks. The hardest thing is trying to use our afternoons and mornings productive. If we head out and hit the streets hard in the mornings and afternoons or do service then Elder Smith is in lots of pain for our lessons at night and then he has a hard time paying attention to the lesson. So we do lots of making phone calls and texts and messaging people over Facebook to try to get as many lessons set up as possible with people already in our area book. It's easy to get discouraged but we're both keeping up a really good attitude and are trying to do everything we can and trusting that the Lord will make everything work out if we really do our best.
     Cristin is doing super well. We've pretty much taught her all the lessons, we just have a few principles here and there that we need to go over a little more specifically with her. Other than that she is on top of things. She loved church this last week so much. She is doing great at reading and studying and she takes really good notes. She has been volunteering at church to help out with service projects and participate in lots of activities. We'll probably be having her baptismal interview this Wednesday and then she's getting baptized next Thursday on the 6th! Please continue to keep her in your prayers. Her conversion is such a miracle that I feel humbled to witness.
     There's also Mike. He's an investigator that used to come to church pretty regularly but we haven't been able to get a hold of him for the last month or two. We met with him on Wednesday and he asked us if he could be baptize on July 7th in the Clark Fork River! Of course we said yes, but then he wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday so we're pushing his baptism back a couple of weeks. He's a really cool guy that has met with missionaries before elsewhere and is just now ready to make the commitment and bring his less active wife back into activity with him.
     Friday we had Zone Conference so that meant the Assistants were in town. Which meant we got to go on exchanges with them! I love both of our assistants, Elder Hoschouer and Elder Porter. I got to go on one final exchange with Elder Hoschouer from Thursday night until Saturday morning. It was really interesting to be doing missionary work together almost 2 years after we first met each other in the MTC. It was so fun to be together again. We did some solid missionary work and contacted tons of cool people. We contacted a guy that's a Christian rapper and he was showing us some of his stuff, it was pretty chill haha. It was weird driving around Missoula with him again. We popped popcorn that night and it burnt really bad so our entire apartment filled with smoke and it smelt really bad. Then our last night together we swingy the dollar store real quick and picked up a padlock and we signed it and put it on the Missoula lock bridge. It was a tender moment. Also we had dinner with the Griffins. He's our ward mission leader and she got baptized last October when Elder Hoschouer was serving here in Missoula 4th Ward. They're basically the best. Pictures to follow.
     Meetings this week were good. Zone Conference was really uplifting. It was the first time that I was assigned to lead some training at a Zone Conference so it was weird and a little intimidating but ultimately I think it turned out to be a success. I got lots of cool insights to finish off this transfer strong. Sunday meetings were great and uplifting too. It was weird though because I wasn't with my companion. Before you get all upset and accuse us of being apostate let me explain. The high councilor over missionary work in our Stake asked us to accompany him to the Thompson falls branch to speak in church and do some visits. We couldn't leave our area because we had lots of stuff to do so we just got permission from President Wadsworth to go on Splits so I spent part of the day with our ward mission leader, Bro Griffin.
     Just a quick thought about keeping the sabbath day holy. In 3 Nephi 11-18 Jesus Christ visits the nephites at the temple in bountiful. They are taught by Him and He institutes the Sacrament. In verse 1 of chapter 19 He leaves and ascends to heaven. Verses 2&3 describe the excitement at they all had in anticipation of the Savior's return the next day. It said "there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, [that] did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude." I guess I don't know what day the next day might have been, but I suppose we could imagine it was the Sabbath. Or at least we can picture that the day where Jesus manifests Himself to us each week is the Sabbath because in the ordinances of the gospel the power of godliness is manifest. When we take the Sacrament we experience the power of godliness in a very real and personal way. Make every effort every Sabbath Day to be in the place where Jesus Christ will show His power to you.

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