We wanted to start this post off with some amazing thoughts from a missionary. Think of this as a small summary from a general conference. We get a few of these each week and would like to share it:
I started by searching the word "negativity" in the General Conference section of Gospel Library. There weren't very many results, but one that I found linked to a talk related to gratitude. I realized that was what I needed: gratitude. For a long time, I have been struggling to focus on my blessings and was focusing unhealthily on things that were wrong: the things I wasn't doing, the things my companion was struggling with, the investigators who weren't agreeing to baptismal dates, the few ways we were failing to be imperfect in obedience. I was focusing on these things so much that I was missing the joy and happiness that came from the blessings Heavenly Father was giving to us: a couple progressing investigators, a loving and always serving companion, a desire to do God's will and a testimony of the restored gospel, and most of all, the marvelous wonder of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I realized that gratitude for what we have, what others do, and what the Lord is doing for us is needful for me to conquer my self-defeating attitude and for other missionaries to work with greater faith, hope and optimism.
We posted last time about the fireside with Alex Boye. Later in that week, Alex did a special concert and any missionary who had an investigator with them was able to attend. Over 300 non-church members attended the two nights. So many with interest in our message.
Two of our missionaries were invited by Alex onto the stage to participate. I only captured a few moments, but you'll see their faces and their loved ones will recognize them.
The weekend was all about preparing for and making transfer calls. Given an important late meeting Saturday, we moved transfer calls up 24 hours which got everyone excited. Then on Monday, those wonderful, dear missionaries who have been faithful to their 18 or 24 months came to enjoy the evening with us before they departed. There may be signs of puffy eyes in the pictures! (okay, really it's just Terri but, what's a mom gonna do?)
They are great about being willing to help clean up. We have to have aprons for them!!!
Super funny analogy but this investigator really liked to workout. We compared his workout routine to trying to learn the gospel for himself. We told him that if we workout for one day, we aren't going to gain all the muscle in that very moment. But as we take it one day at a time, and learn to work as hard as we can, we can gain the image that we want to be. Same with the gospel, we begin learning little by little with the simple things. Things such as praying, reading, and attending church can really build us up into what the Savior wants us to be. We explained to him that through this life, we experience trials and challenges that try to push us down, just like a weight may when we are benching. But its that resistance, or those trials, that really pull and tear at our spiritual muscles and help us grow.
Thank you for sending such amazing, intelligent young people! We are amazed and humbled as they share their gifts.
This week we also saw a few funny things while driving:
If you missed it, Buzz saved Woody again this week.
Lastly, there has to be food. After a very long day, a few of the missionaries invited us to join them for dinner and to chat with a young man who is here teaching English. We love food and good company.