I just want to let you know that all in all, being a missionary is awesome! Sure there are tough times, but it is really neat to share the gospel with a ton of people. I have had so many cool opportunities this week, it's hard not to be grateful.
The coolest thing to happen this past week would have to be going on exchanges with my zone leader Elder Carson in his area. He's probably the nicest person I have ever met. He has made charity a part of himself. We were able to teach 3 lessons on Friday, and each of them were really spiritually uplifting. The last lesson we taught that day was with a young man who lives in a very sketchy part of Las Vegas. This young man has had so many interactions with church members in the last couple months that he is convinced that God is trying to tell him something. I'm pretty convinced of that too. We taught him about the Restoration. When we got to the part about Joseph Smith, I read to him the account of the First Vision and then asked, "How crazy is that? That a kid like that was able to talk to God is just incredible, right?" And the young man got the biggest smile on his faith, started to laugh, and said that he believed it. It was so cool! We even invited him to baptism. He said yes at first, but once he realized the kind of commitment that he would be making (keep the commandments, go to church every week) he backed off a little bit. He did say that if he was to get baptized, he would want me, the zone leaders, and his friend who shared the gospel with him to be there. It's so awesome to see the excitement that some investigators have!
Another awesome experience was that the young girl we have set for baptism came to church yesterday. Her grandma has not been active for a long time, but expressed interest in coming to church again. After sacrament meeting, we talked with the grandma and she said she really enjoyed it, and that she wants to come next week. Our hopes are if we can get the grandma active, to feel the Spirit, and become converted, that the girl will be able to find that conversion as well. One of our area's biggest problems is retention; I really don't want to see this girl get baptized and then stop coming to church because then we'd be responsible for having baptized someone who wasn't ready. That's not what Heavenly Father wants.
Even so, the responsibility that we have is what makes our efforts worth it. If I am doing everything I am asked to do and strive to accomplish the tasks at hand, Heavenly Father won't hold any blessings back. If I don't do what I'm asked, why would He even bother helping me? Everything in this mission, in this life, or in this gospel, is tied directly to obedience and effort. Heavenly Father actively tells us, "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." (D+C 82:10) It's not even our will that get's the job done; it is when we try to be like the Savior and say, "Not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42) If I don't talk to that person, I'm responsible for not sharing the gospel with them. Heavenly Father has commanded all of us (not just set-apart missionaries) to do missionary work, so it is really important that we show our the Lord that we are willing to do what He asks of us.
I would like to challenge each of you to look for opportunities to share the Gospel with someone this week. I can promise that if you are actively studying, praying, and searching, that the Lord will give you courage and opportunities to help change peoples lives. If you have any neat experiences, write me and tell me about them. We are uplifted and edified when we share our testimonies with others!
I love all of you so much. Thank you so much for all of the good things that each of you do in your everyday lives. It's not always the big things so much as it is the small things that we do for others that really influences other people's lives.
Keep in touch!
Send letters or emails, and just let me know how you all are doing. I'd love to hear from each of you!