I have had a truly amazing week! I must say though, it seems like every week is speeding up! I love the work and the people here. The ward members are amazing and taking care of us. Its truly wonderful that they support us as much as our own families and wards would :) I love this work. I love being a missionary.
First of all I want to congratulate Jessie and Melissa Potrie on the birth of their baby girl! You will be wonderful parents! I know that the rest of the family must be extatic about the new addition to the family and I am so happy for all of you.
So this week was amazing! I want to tell you all about the important things I learnt this week first and then I might expand on them.
Monday - The most profound thing to me that day was during my personal study. I feel that I have grown so much and I am becoming the man that the Lord wants me to be. I learned that its okay to have certain feelings because we are only human, its just how we act on them that makes the difference. Another thing was that we need to bring the spirit into our homes. These are our sanctuaries against the world for our families and we must fill them with love. One thing that also stood out to me was that if we are having a rough day, take ourselves our out the situatioon for a minute and do something that makes you happy because its no use working and not being effective.
Tuesday - The most profoud things was that even though life gets hard, we must NEVER give up on being happy. Being happy is the entire reason that we are here on earth. We are here to learn, grow and have joy.
Wednesday - I learnt that to be confident we must have faith in Christ. Only when we have faith in Christ is when the Lord will bless us. Also that humility is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of spiritual strength
Thursday - I learnt that no matter the circumstances we MUST move forward in faith. Sometimes life gets hard and we just have to keep moving forward. We can never give up. That is NOT the reason we are here. We are here to learn and grow. These things require moving forward, increase and growth. Whatever you call it, you must KEEP MOVING FORWARD.
Friday - Mormon.org quotes:
"Whether or not it is inspiration or just our own thought we will not know until we act"
"God trusts us to make desicions, we must trust ourselves"
"Surviving is about two things - Courage and Faith!"
"Everything that we experience in life is to enrich our lives and help us become the people that we want to be in eternity"
"A marriage eternal in duration and God-like in quality never contemplates divorce"
"Don't withhold expressions of love"
"We must run as fast as we can to spiritually higher ground"
Saturday - we had the baptism. Here is my letter to President Pilkington :
Hello President! We were very grateful to hear from you last night. Thank you. We know the amount of work that you do and the amount of stress that you deal with and we are always so grateful when you take the time to get to know and talk to each one of us. These calls that we receive from you help us understand that we are all working together in the wonderful work of bringing Heavenly Fathers children back to him . We support and sustain you in your calling and we are very grateful for the insightful pieces of advice that you give to us because they not only help us build and strengthen the areas that we work in, but they help strengthen and build us into better missionaries and better men.
So this week was truly amazing and to be honest, when the time came I was nervous and a little stressed but I knew that if I had faith in the Lord that everything would turn out the way that it is meant to be. I am very grateful for the experience to be training. It takes a lot of effort and change. I was working to improve on my Christ like attributes when I was being trained and now I am working on them even harder so that Elder Ivins can see my love towards him. He is a great missionary and growing every day! His confidence in himself is increasing and his desire to work hard always amazes me every day. I love working with him. His teaching skills are improving, we have some work to do. I have really taken to heart the counsel that you gave to teach from the heart and love the people. Due to this counsel I am trying to help him know the doctrine but more so internalize it and reach inside his heart for his testimony to teach with. I know that teaching with your testimony is the perfect way to show the people that you are genuine and it will always bring the spirit. His skills in finding are increasing, in the past few days we have felt that our approaches to people have been redundant and we are not seeing a lot of fruit from them so we are changing it. We are working on being "normal" with people and using quick 1 minute summaries of what we teach and always asking if we can step in. When we have asked to step in we have had a lot of success because people generally let us in or give us return appointments. We are truly seeing the lord touch the peoples hearts with the spirit, so much so that we saw a miracle at our baptism this weekend.
It seemed like everything that could be going not according to plan was happening. I was getting fairly stressed and running around trying to get everything ready and done so that the baptism would run smoothly and then I realized that we need to trust in the Lord all the time. When I did that, the miracles started appearing and everything started to run better. Sometimes it is our own hearts and minds that stall the work of the lord. We MUST trust in him in all phases of this work because we are NOTHING without him. This is His work, not ours. We are only tools in his hands. We must be submissive and have His purposes in our hearts. When we do this, miracles happen. From the beginning of our teaching experience with Laura and her son Akam we saw miracles! First of all when they came to church the first time the ward perfectly fellowshiped them. The ward members saw her and freely went up and introduced themselves to her. We didn't even have to ask! The ward here in Hull 2 is truly amazing! Later on in the teaching process, they both admitted to us that they got their answer! They knew it and could not deny it! Laura has had such an experience that she desires to have Akam and her daughter Hanifa raised in the church! Akam has the burning in his bosom and he told us that he knew that it was the spirit telling him that everything we were teaching is true and because of that he desired or rather hungered for baptism! As we were getting everything ready an unfamiliar face walked into the chapel. We went up and introduced ourselves to the man and found out that it was our investigator Akam's school teacher! Akam had told him about his baptism and invited his teacher to his baptism! It was truly a miracle! The pinnacle shinning moment of this while experience was when Akam, who is 9 years old and just baptized, gave his teacher a copy of The Book of Mormon with a mormon.org card in it to his teacher!!! Miracles happen, we just have to trust in the Lord.
This whole entire experience has truly strengthened my testimony not only of Heavenly Fathers answers to our prayers but how much we need to love and appreciate our ward members. They are our families, our support and our strength. We MUST love them!
(end of letter)
So that was my week. I will send pictures next week.