Monday, August 4, 2014

Congrats to Braden! “The church doesn’t need great men. The church makes great men.”

Congratulations Braden! That is so cool! It was completely opposite of anything I guessed… haha But I know that is exactly what he needs. I am really happy that I will get to talk to him on Skype before he leaves. I hear that it is even hotter in Brazil than here though :p. He’s lucky though that he wasn’t there for the world cup. Missionaries there were locked in their apartment for over a week because of the stuff that happens. Hopefully the Olympics go ok haha. Wow, that is going to be an awesome experience. Especially the language thing. Don’t feel too bad though because even if you study for 4 years you understand almost nothing at the beginning of your mission. But we are definitely going to have a language filled family haha.
Anyway, I haven’t heard anything about Ebola, but Nigeria is really close and there is a lot of travel between the two countries. So I guess we’ll see what happens… But I’m sure we’ll be fine. The church is very inspired and they take very good care of their missionaries.

I’ve learned a lot of things on my mission. Studies, praying, and obedience are all essential. They sound difficult. But once you start you learn to love it and you feel a need to do it. It will make a huge impact on your lives.
This week has been a great week. It’s incredible to see how much our zone has improved this transfer. I was told that last transfer this was the most disobedient zone in the mission. And the numbers were really suffering. Since the beginning of this last transfer we have been putting an emphasis on obedience, and the blessings just started pouring out. It has been incredible. We are whitewashing a sector and we had 12 investigators at church, 23 lessons this week, and have several progressing investigators that have very high chances of reaching baptism. That has really been a testimony builder for me. Obedience is very important. Even just the little things. Sometimes we have as Elder Cook of the Seventy said “little pretties” that we hold onto that we aren’t willing to give up. We think that it isn’t a big deal. But it is and if you change it, it will change everything about your day.
We saw a ton of miracles this week. We had a lesson with Irene, whose husband died a couple months ago. Tuesday we went there, and it was incredible how much happier she had become. The Gospel truly brings joy into our lives.
 We also had a lesson with another Anglophone named Lisette. She is awesome. She came to church for the first time two Sundays ago. After that, her boyfriend told her that she had to pick between the church and him. She picked the church! The crazy thing is that she depends on him financially. So she was concerned about how she was going to live, but knew that she had to be faithful at church. So we talked to her about fasting because it happened to be fast Sunday, so we all fasted together for her. We’ll see how that goes. But it was incredible to see how much faith she already has. We hadn’t even taught the second lesson at this point! Then later in the week, we invited her to be baptized and she accepted. Her only fear was being in water haha. But I am really excited for her. The best part is it is a huge testimony to me about contacting. We had had an appointment fall through our first day, so we walked and just decided to go knock on some doors in a little parcel across the street. So we knocked on a couple without success so we were going to move on, then I was impressed to talk to the girl sitting down on the other side. It was Lisette. When she gets baptized, that will be the first convert that I have found from knocking on doors.
We also had a lesson with an old less-active man that used to live in America. But while he was there he was hit by a car and lost his memory. So they sent him back here and he just walks around all day trying to get his memories back. But his condition has been really improving lately. It was really fun to talk to him. He is an incredible guy.
Anyway, we had a lot of really cool experiences this week. There are so many crazy, incredible things that happen that I can’t even write them all down. I just wanted to add a quote from someone at church yesterday. He said, “The church doesn’t need great men. The church makes great men.” Just remember that. It is through the Gospel that we become great. It’s not about what we do that matters to the Lord. We can be great in the eyes of men, but we want to be great in the eyes of God.

Anyway, I am really happy about everything that has happened back home this week. I am really excited for Braden. The house is going to be pretty empty soon! Anyway, have a great week!

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