Oh yes, what a glorious week! Elder Summers and I started out last Monday right! We decided that this week we were going to be lovingly bold and fearless. It brought about miracles I tell you, miracles!! We went to an appointment last Monday night with an investigator and upon opening the door she told us that her son was not home yet and that we should just reschedule the lesson for another day. Well we testified and promised blessings and immediately and asked if we could teach her outside on her back porch anyways. We did and it was a powerful lesson! The Spirit came so strong. She told us she knows she needs to be baptized. It was incredible! Tuesday was a little bit more difficult. As most of you probably know, I strive to listen to the Spirit and let it guide me in all phases of the work. Well lately I have been wondering why there are times when I feel lead to a place wherein we only face rejection. I have learned this week that God knows where every single elect person in our area lives. He knows the best time to visit them and He knows their name! But what good would it do us if He just lead us to them without delay. Nothing! Sometimes we are called to rejection in order to grow. It makes me feel very special to know that in those moments of rejection, the Lord is putting my progression as His immediate priority! It is a privilege to be a part of His work (us) as I watch Him change me! And speaking of rejection, Elder Summers found a few holes in his pants this week.. I guess he needed some growth too haha! We patched them up real nice but he is going to buy some more today. Wednesday was hands down one of the most spiritual days of my mission. We had zone training in the morning and I received some great personal revelation that I have been seeking for a while. Of the experience I won't share details but I just want to testify that God loves you and that prayers work! Try praying to Him and ask how He feels about you. Then open your mind and heart to the love that will come! We went on exchanges after the meeting and I brought a great Elder by the name of Elder Hunsaker to my area. It was his first exchange which now makes me his godfather! We had an incredible night with many learning experiences but for the sake of the length of this email, I will just share one. One of our appointments had just fallen through and we were left with 30 minutes before our next one. We decided to tract. But more importantly and much more powerfully, we decided to covenant (setting inspired goals and saying a prayer to the Lord for His will to be accomplished). Upon prayerfully seeking the Lord's will, we both felt that 3 new investigators was the goal to set. This Elder has been having a particularly hard time lately in his area with having success in finding. We felt that this couldn't happen, but I was reminded of a quote in Preach my Gospel that says "Lowering your expectations decreases your faith, dedication, and ability to listen to the Spirit." So with faith we prayed and with dedication we worked. We found those 3 investigators. And with each, a miracle. With the first we had already knocked the door 3 times and were about to leave when we both felt that we needed to knock one more time. We did and as we did so, we were filled with so much love for the person on the other side of the door! She opened hesitantly and we boldly testified of the love of God for her and promised the blessings of this message. She became a new investigator! The next man told us that God had sent angels to his door and that we were welcome anytime! He promised to read anything we give him. And the third investigator came in the eleventh hour. The 30 minutes had just ran out, but we felt we needed to knock one more door. As we did, a girl from the next door over peeked her head out and we began to talk to her about the church. He whole family is strongly Catholic, but we left her with the Family Proclamation pamphlet and she promised to share it with her family. We came back a few days later and she had read the entire thing to them! She told us that they absolutely loved it. My testimony grew insurmountably and I testify that using the Spirit works! It is the way to do the work of the Lord. The next day while studying the Bible in my personal studies, a little note fell out that someone had stuck in there from zone training the day previous! I am not sure who it is from, but it made my day! :) At the close of our exchange, I took the new Elder to a panaderia and not only did we buy some amazing bread, but the worker thought I was from Argentina! A new one, but I'll take it! After we switched back, Elder Summers and I started a 48-hour liquid diet. He is trying to figure out some health things so our mission nurse told him to do the diet. Well I didn't want him to be alone so I did it too! It was tough. But over the course of the two days, I lost 12 pounds! My pants are actually getting a little baggy ha! Friday we drove to a homeless shelter and tried to offer some service, but they denied us.. So we went back out to do some teaching! We found a less active who is 16 years old. He was baptized when he was 8 and left the church pretty soon after. His father is in jail and his mother is now Muslim. I felt like I needed to testify of the power of church. I told him that every week I go to church, I get spiritually recharged! He really opened up to us and after confessing some addictions he is going through, he told us that that is exactly what he is looking for in his life. He wants to change. So we testified of the reality and divinity of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and had a great contact. We found another less active a little later in the day and learned that she now has her own church! We are going to pass the Restoration with her as soon as possible. We went back to visit the first of the three people we found on the exchange and were surprised to see not only her husband, but some of his friends all outside in the lawn! We taught the Restoration and with the guidance of the Spirit, it hit them very strongly. They firmly accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon. Throughout the entirety of the lesson, they were staring at us and didn't lose eye contact! They really saw and felt of the truth in that lesson. We were even able to testify and confirm to them that what they were feeling was the Holy Ghost. Saturday we found the third less active family of the week! They are not Jehovah's Witnesses. I pulled out the Family Proclamation again and began teaching about eternal families and temples. As I offered the pamphlet to the mother, she got very nervous and told us that she didn't need it. She said that she already had a pamphlet about families from their church. She then pulled out her pocketbook and began frantically searching through her pamphlets. Not able to find any about the family she told us that she had one about depression and that it was equally important. We bore fervent testimonies of the uniqueness of our message and of the restored truth that are families are meant to be forever through making promises with God in sacred places called temples. They were dumbfounded and insisted that we leave. We closed our message in the name of Jesus Christ and respected their agency. We have been trying for weeks to teach an investigator in the home of a member, and on Saturday it finally happened! It was a great lesson on the word of wisdom. The testimonies of members are so powerful! A family from the ward took us to Chipotle for dinner and we had a great time. It is simply delicious! And on Sunday we were pleased to see one of our investigators come to church. As he entered the building, he had a look of pain and concern. You could really tell that something was weighing on him. But it was awesome to see that throughout the course of the church block, his entire countenance changed! As he left, he practically gave each of us Elders a hug and he walked away wearing the proudest, biggest grin on his face. I testify that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ! The one and only! It has power in it. The power of God. It can and does change lives. I love my mission! I cannot believe that yesterday I hit my halfway mark... It is going too quickly!! I thank everyone that has stuck with me through it all. For all of the love, prayers, and support I have felt! I pray the Lord will bless each of you daily. I love you! But more importantly, He loves you!!!
One year over and wiser too. Happy Missionary work... to me!