Monday, June 12, 2017

Stay Humble My Friends : )

Family and friends,
     Things continue to be swell in Zootown. I love Missoula a little too much. I probably say that a little too much too, but it's because it's true. This is a blessed area of Montana. I'm settled in pretty well and we're getting some great work done here. I still feel so humbled to be so blessed to serve here in Missoula with all the work that's happening here and with all the missionaries that are here.
     Last Monday was a pretty normal preparation day full of emailing and laundry. We also went frisbee golfing with the Ronan Elders and the YSA Elders. An awesome part-member family in our ward gave us a couple discs to use and we got some from a couple YSA members as well. There's a course out near Missoula on Blue Mountain. It was a beautiful area full of tall green trees and mountain views. It was pretty wild because it was really easy to lose track of the discs in all the plant life. But it was real fun as well to run around the mountain paths with the other Elders.
     Tuesday was completely full of driving. We woke up at 5 to meet up with the Kalispell and Stevensville zone leaders to leave by 6:00 to go to MLC in Helena. MLC was amazing like usual. It is one of my favorite things to go to any meeting where President Wadsworth teaches. One of the big things we talked about was attitude in general and how we need to adjust our attitudes, adjust the mission's attitude, the attitude of members and, ultimately, the attitude of the world. It was a powerful meeting for sure that gave me lots of personal inspiration. The only part of MLC that I did not like was when we did departing testimonies at the end. It was really weird to me to think that was the last time attending MLC. It added to all the self reflection that I was already doing. I definitely got teary eyed saying bye to lots of the missionaries that I won't be seeing again as a missionary. I've served around and got to know and love lots of the missionaries that make up the Mission Leadership Council. It was another tender mercy to be able to see them all again and feel their strength, support and love. Then after MLC we drove the 1.5 hours back to Missoula and then picked up some missionaries and drove 2 hours north through the Mission Valley up to Polson for a dinner with the Frenchtown Stake President with all the missionaries in the Frenchtown Stake. When I was in Missoula before it was just the Missoula Stake but the transfer after I left it got split into the Missoula and Frenchtown stakes. Polson is right on Flathead Lake, which is huge. It was so beautiful seeing the mission mountains over the giant lake. But that meeting was really great, President Smith is a great guy. Then we drove back again and didn't get home until 10:20. Long day.
     Wednesday was a pretty crazy day as well. The Polson and Ronan Elders both came down for District Meetings and then we had interviews with President Wadsworth and they don't have the miles to make the 2 hour trip again so we just tripled in our area. I spent the day with both of the Polson Elders and Elder Smith was with the Ronan Elders. We had some great success street contacting and did a baptismal interview for the Frenchtown sisters. Elder Parrish treated us out to Red Robin for dinner for his birthday with the money he got for his 21st birthday. He was super worried the whole time that they were going to find out it was his birthday and bring him an alcoholic beverage. 'Twas funny.
     Thursday was interviews which were amazing and refreshing like usual. In my interview President asked me about obedience and the effect it has had on my mission. Obedience is something that I have thought a lot about on my mission, the purpose behind it and what it does. The past two weeks I have been pondering a lot about obedience and the power of the Holy Ghost. A passage in Preach My Gospel says, in effect, as we obey He changes the desires of our hearts. Our hearts are changed inasmuch as we submit to God's will through obedience because as we submit we qualify for the purifying power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the power that works a mighty change in our hearts.
     Saturday was another amazing day that was completely exhausting. We got together with all the missionaries serving in the Missoula Stake to have breakfast at President Lindsay's home, is is in the Missoula Stake Presidency. The week leading up to the breakfast meeting I was getting everyone in the Zone hyped for 'missionary toast.' Whenever the missionaries come over for breakfast they make some of the best French toast ever with lots of fruit and powdered sugar to put on top. Then he led some training that was really inspiring. President Lindsay is one of the most inspiring men I've ever met on my mission. The whole Missoula Stake Presidency is amazing. When any of the three of them speak I just tune in and listen to everything they say. We talked about the mentors that we have had in our lives and the effect they had on us. We also compiled a list of the things that light a missionary 'on fire' for missionary work. All in all I was throughly inspired again. I'm more excited ever to give my all these last few weeks. After the meeting we went and helped a less active lady in our ward move with a couple of the members of the Elder's Quorum. That took us a couple hours before we went with the YSA Elders to go help an older couple move from the Sister's area to ours. This was the third time the missionaries have helped them and it took the rest of the day. They have so much stuff to move but at the end of the day they cooked us some mean rib-eye steaks and some other really good food, including brownies which are some of my favorites.
Sorry this email is getting a little long. I'll share about one more thing. Cristin is a super solid investigator. Right before I got here she just pulled over in her vehicle and called out to Elder Stone and Elder Smith to have them come over and talk with her. She asked them for a pamphlet and they swapped phone numbers and then she left. So then they stop by and have a quick lesson with her on the doorstep because there's not guy with them, then Elder Smith and I go back the day after I got to Missoula. We had a super solid doorstep lesson and she was just so prepared. They had given her the Plan of Salvation pamphlet because her father had died last year and she had read it and marked it up with all the things that stood out to her and questions she had. She loved the 3 kingdoms and everything about the Plan. She said the Plan gave her direction and peace. Then we taught the Restoration on Thursday with Travis and Emma, our ward mission leader and his wife. They were super solid fellow shippers and the lesson was so powerful. Over and over she kept describing how she felt at home with the things that we taught. She had felt so lost before but now found peace. She accepted the baptismal invitation and is preparing to be baptized on the 1st of July. So please keep her in your prayers. When we invited her she said she'd be honored and knows it'll be a big step in her life but is excited to work for it! She came to church and loved it. We have a lesson with her on Wednesday and then on Sunday we're having dinner at Bishop Hanni's house with her!
     Thank you all for the support. I'll keep chugging along and working hard! A challenge I would give all of you is to make sure everyday this week you have a personally revelatory experience. The Lord wants us to be able to feel the spirit in someway every day. So keep your eyes open, He will reveal things to you each day.

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