So I am just absolutely loving it here! I've been here for only 2 weeks and I feel so good here. I really feel like this is where I belong. I feel so blessed because of all my opportunities and tender mercies from the Lord. I really am in the right place. Let me just say that one day in the MTC I realized that God really does know us perfectly, so then why not trust him! I decided to get on my knees and I prayed and told Heavenly Father I would give my mission to the Him, every second and every ounce of strength I could conjure up. I actually have to shoutout to Alex Harris (our nephew/his cousin) for inspiring me to do this. I still remember his homecoming talk when he shared his experience of sleeping on the wet dirt floor the first day in the field and deciding to pray to give it all to the Lord. So I did just this, and I can just see how perfect everything has worked out from that moment. Trust in the Lord, He knows us and will help us be our best selves. I'm not very good at explaining this so go check out Al Foxs Blog (http://alfoxshead.blogspot.com/ Ben has commented several times on how she helped strengthen his testimony). Or even better: THE SCRIPTURES. There are so many verses that talk about trusting in God. (Proverbs 3:5)
So things are working out awesome. I am loving it out here and I love the service I am giving. Thank you for all your prayers! I really can feel them. It has been crazy hard to get used to this life and this place, but I have learned to embrace and love everything. Our area is absolutely poppin! Slow with the investigators, but the members absolutely are awesome! When we arrived we had no progressing investigators, and now we have worked to get about 7! And three have baptismal dates. So blessed! Love it. The members though are just amazing. We get fed probably around 7 times a week! The best Mexican/South American food I've ever had, probably because its REAL. Ha. But really this one member, Sister C____, has fed us 4 times and invited us to breakfast this week. She fed us Peruvian hot chocolate one night, and last night she gave us some fried rice with this homeade lime juice. She is so amazing. Her son is autistic and she serves him so much. We have been teaching her husband who is an investigator of the church. Love them.
Church is so fun here because its bazically three extra hours of Language study! So fun. Everything is just straight Spanish, the talks, classes, Sacrament Prayers. EVERYTHING. It really helps me learn. The cool thing about the Spanish here is that I am learning so many different accents as well. Along with all those nationalities last week, this week we met Argentinians, and a Bolivian family. I am so glad I get to learn so many different types of Spanish and associate with so many different cultures. And so glad I get to enjoy all their tasty food!
We had so many spiritual experiences this week but the biggest was during my training meetings. We had two days of 8 hour long Training this past week. yeah Sounds miserable right? No, it was awesome. We got to be taught by the Assistants and the President and his wife. Then did role plays, and then we got breaks every two hours to eat and talk. I really learned the role of the Spirit here on my mission. The Spirit is EVERYTHING. It shows us exactly how to teach and exactly what to say. The trick is that we have to learn to listen for Him and then act. When we do, THAT is when miracles are produced.
I also met some super inspiring missionaries at these meetings because It was a bunch of Zone Leaders, trainers, and then the new trainees. So the best missionaries were there teaching us and talking with us. Its super clear who really is out here to serve. The missionaries who are here to give it their all and trust the Lord, they are the ones who perform miracles and they change lives, as well as their own lives.
Dad this is for you: I met one of the coolest missionaries out here in NJ at the training. He leaves in a month and everyone here knows how great he is and powerful he teaches. One of the most happy people and most humble, inspiring person I have met in a while. His name is Elder Smith. His dad is S____ Smith??!!!!!!! He says his dad is super close to Uncle Kevin. How crazy is that!!! He knew Taz Murray and everything. I take it you know his dad pretty well. Is his dad one of those guys you hung out with in High School? I actually think I remember you told me about him one day. Elder Smith is such an amazing missionary. His mom passed away on his mission, however, he is the happiest missionary here! He said it was tough and one of the hardest things he has gone through. But he trusted in God. He bore his testimony and said that it is the Atonement, and Jesus Christ where his joy is. Such an awesome example.
|Elder Smith and Elder Sumsion|
Things are going great. Thanks for the prayers.
(This is a sweet payback to parents. I hesitate to leave it in but hope it helps someone.) I love you so much family! You have no idea how grateful I am for the many blessings I grew up with because of YOU. You are the best parents I could ever ask for! I owe so much happiness to you and the Lord. Thank you for teaching me truth, because the truth is what set me free. I could not have asked for a better childhood. Thank you for raising me in the Lord. Thank you for founding our family on the foundation of Christ. I love you so much. Stay true to the faith family! You will never regret it in the end!!!!
I love you so much,
Your humble son,