Monday, September 14, 2015

Xandaman Update Week 4!

Greetings, y'all! How is life treating you these days? For me, it's been great. Being a missionary is great. It's a way of life that brings so much satisfaction and love and growth into your life. It feels great. I'm learning how to be an outward serving person. That is how you grow; you must help others grow.

There are a lot of ways that missionaries can serve and find people. Using Facebook is one of them. It seems kinda weird sometimes to send Facebook messages to people online you haven't met before, but it can be effective if you do it prayerfully. One elder got 6 people on date for baptism from online! Wowee! It surely is the Lords work.

Sometimes, the tiny little things can be pretty hard. For example, tying ribbons and using scissors to make cute curls on the ends, ya know? This week for service at the library we put together little library handouts for some parade. I figured it out eventually. I think grandma taught me how to curl ribbons once, so I'm eternally grateful :)

Our associations together with the zone are good. We play podball on preparation day, we went to Burger Bob's after district meeting (it was very yummy), and we had some exchanges this weekend. I spent a day with Elder Degraffenried. He is a great guy; a little goofy, which is great, but he sure knows how to follow the spirit. I learned from him, and he makes good elk burgers. He's on his last month too.

While I was on exchanges, Bro. Guptill pranked me a little, haha. He called and said he read my mail, cause that's what he was supposed to do. It was funny. I'm still being taunted for believing it. But not as bad as Elder Schneider losing his iPad! He gets taunted for that everyday, haha.

I thought of Jacob Strong when we went to dinner at the Camrons because they gave us Nutella with ice cream for dessert! Jacob will know what I'm talking about :) 

When we were teaching the Camrons, we started by just teaching the restoration. But when I was moved to talk about personal apostasy, it turned into a powerful/emotional discussion about their family. I learned that the restoration gives hope to any individual who is in a personal apostasy. God is always there, but until we turn to him, we can't be 'restored' perfectly. Christ is our rock and our salvation.

Stake conference was great! Elder Pino of the seventy presided, and he had a translator, which was cool. He has a good sense of humor, but also knows how to teach simply with power. It was focused on the seven simple things and member missionary work. Everyone has room to grow their faith. Don't think you're an exception! Remember the simple things: individual prayer, family prayer, individual scripture study, family scripture study, FHE, temple attendance, church attendance. Doing these strengthens us individually and as a family. So why not do them,eh?

There are so many people in the world that you will never meet unless you come out of your comfort zone. When I found myself in a small, dirty trailer home eating old left-over Mac and cheese and boiled green beans listening to a lady who is emotionally 80 years old physically 40, and mentally 15 (that's what she told us), it was another eye opening experience I guess. There are realities that people are living that are so far off of where we live that you would never know, unless you broke out of your normal social sphere and talked to them. Try it sometime.

Last thing, the Book of Mormon is the word of God! "We come closer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book." "A bible! A bible! We have got a bible, and there can't be any more bible!" (Read on in 2 Nephi chp 29)

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. God cannot forget about any of his children. The restoration of the gospel was essential to the plan. Joseph Smith didn't go through being in jail, being tarred and feathered, or let his family suffer just so he could pull off a crazy hoax of a book to mess with the world. He did not die for such a cause. But he did die with a firm witness of the truth, and an unshaken testimony of Jesus Christ. 

Don't let anything tear down what you truly believe. Being out here, your testimony is tested everyday by anyone who has the courage to use their words or their rejection to pierce the hearts of us, representatives of Jesus Christ. I will never back down, nor can anyone else. 

This gospel is the one sure way to eternal life, Gods life. When the mighty shafts in the whirlwind shall bear upon you, you better have your foundation set in Christ, because that is the ONLY sure 100% foundation. Who's on the Lords side? 

 
Haircut day!

Sunset in Montana

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