Another week is in the bag, and this transfer is OVER WHAT?! I can't believe it. What's cool though is that Puertas is sticking around for another transfer and so are the other two spanish missionaries so we are going to have thanksgiving and christmas together!! I'm pretty excited to have another transfer with puertas too. I know it's a long time with one person but we get along well and i feel like we work well together too. Also, we have some big plans for this next transfer and i feel like it might have slowed things down if puertas left, just cause I stlil feel like i'm getting the hang of things. And yes i am soo thankful that you hemmed my white pants haha i want make sure i keep using them.
I was reading a cool article with puertas about creating success. Our success really is up to us. It was written by elder ballard and just talks about how most of your success depends on your attitude. In the end, it's obviously up to the Lord what success we see, but if you don't see yourself baptizing people, then you won't. it's just the ongoing theme of setting goals high, but not losing focus on the fact that each baptismal number is a face, a person, that is finally on that straight and narrow path that leads them right back to Heavenly Father. That was kind of random but yeah, i just remembered that.
Everyone at home sounds like they're doing well. Zach and tyler are doing awesome and it's so fun to hear about the football stories and what's going on with shcool and work and just everything at home. I can't believe that about Chris Lynch. Not only did he get baptized but already he is preparing to serve a mission?! WHAT!? that just blows my mind and is true evidence of the atonement. Through our fruits, our actions, and thoughts, you can just see when the atonement has taken over someones life and they have had that "change of heart". What a cool transformation to see, even for the little boys who know him. I liked in Zach's letter he was talking about a friend that he could juse see being a member of the church. When a story like chris' takes place, it gets everyone excited to do missionary work, because they remember how awesome it is! I just encourage you guys to think of those people that could really use the gospel specifically right now and even say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father for help in just being a good member friend to that person. I think beinga good friend and example is a huge part of missionary work that members do.
I liked what you said about the stuff in the temple. I have found that patience is a continuing lesson that i am learning on my mission. Literally over and over i reflect on situations or circumstances i was in and find that patience was a common theme throughout. I have been frustrated too with some of our investigagtors lately who always seem to be working or doing something whenever we come over, or who just feel like they aren't ready to keep progressing, ahhh i get so frustrated and sometimes even when i walk out the door i am mad at them. I forget that heavenly father works in his own time and that he doesn't work on ours. There were a lot of talkson pride in sacrament meeting that helped me out and i'm hoping to apply them now. For example though, with Chris Harris, he's a total stud and just an awesome guy that knows a ton about the church and he had a baptismal date this past saturday. But on thursday we had like a 2 hour discussion about all his questions and concerns and how in the end he didn't feel ready. It was just frustrating cause i felt close to this guy but then he just barely told us a bunch of concerns he had for a while. I don't know the whole situation is hard to explain but chris didn't end up getting baptized this saturday and we are still trying to figure out what to do with him beacuse he knows all the lessons inside and out and so now when we meet it has just become answering questions and stuff. I don't know, it just doesn't feel like it should be that way. He still has to tell his family too that he's been doing this and that's a huge part that once that happens, things will start progressing again.
Umm, this week had some cool experiences. On tuesday and wednesday puertas and wilkes (the other spanish missionary), went to eugene for leadership training and left me and elder Alderman here (greenie). I love alderman too, he's just really funny and we get a long really well. And when we are out working, as fun as it is, we are focused and we feel like we work really hard. It's cool to be in that position where we both have to step up and have that extra faith that heavenly father will help us know what to say in spanish and just gospel related stuff too. On both days, we had no success in the mornings. There were a lot of soft appointments that we had but seriously nothing was happening ugh it was super frustrating and tiring too! But each night, made the day worth while. On tuesday night we had an awesome lesson with an english family named the walkers. They are former investigators but never had a book of mormon or anything and yet they knew a ton and talked very highly about the church. The family was super cool and we just talked and got to know them better and found out a lot about their beliefs and what they're looking for in life and in a family, they are awesome. We are going again this week to visit them.
And on wednesday we taught a sweet lesson with a lady named Evalia and her two twins alicia and leticia. Oh and the grandma too. It was soo fun to teach them because i got to teach most of it in spanish and we had a cool little object lesson about the plan of salvation. It was fun to teach to the little girls too because when we teach simple like that it helps the adults understand better but doesn't make them feel like children. Evalia is actually way into the lessons and she answers and asks questions too. Her daughters are only 6 so they aren't baptism age but it doesn't matter. The grandma is very agreeable with everything we talk about but she is kind of afraid of commitment. She doesn't read much or come to church or anything. Evalia does the whole reading every time we come over too, she reads fulll chapters and tells us what its about and everything it is awesome! I love when their desire to learn is as strong as our desire to teach hahah. it was just a fun lesson and i got to take control of it AND i set a baptismal date with her for the 27th! It was awesome me and alderman that morning in our studies and morning schedule had prayed that we could find someone that would be ready to be baptized this month and he said he felt like the 27th was a good date to set with a person that we would find. And then when we had been praying about it all day and working hard, we found that person and now are preparing her to be baptized! It was a pretty cool experience.
Oh real quick too, the other night we had dinner at a part member elderly couples home and they had steak and baked potatoes and it reminded me of when we wuold eat london broil and baked potatoes and i would smother them with ranch. I was kind of nostalgic that night and missed everyone :( haha but that was short lasted when we left and had an appointment with another family right after.
We had a cool lesson with angel and destiny this week. It was the last one, the commandments lesson and it was really fun. I got some crayons and some paper and we just made a big list to put by our bed of the different commandments or blessings that we have from heavenly father and it was cool to just color and make the lessons more fun to teach, especially with those two, they are so awesome and we are hoping that they get baptized this weekend, the 20th, on puertas' birthday. that would be cool.
Okay so mom, i will admit i just started writing all the things i'm thankful for in my journal but it has been soo cool realize all the little things we overlook during the day that we are thankful for. This weekend we had some major blessings that were hard to overlook. Jose Ramirez the father of the family that was just baptized, got a job that is 7 days a week! NOO we were so bummed but that was the only thing he could find and it ends on december 15th. So its only for the season but still, and he needed to be confirmed and get the holy ghost this sunday. On saturday we were going to go over to their house for dinner and they were like sorry, alma (the mom), has a horrible tooth ache and is feeling really bad. She even went to the hospital and they gave her some medicine that was making her kind of sick. So we were sad for them BUT, jose had to stay home and take care of her on saturday AND SUNDAY! I know it's sad to say that we were soo happy but we were!! So they came to church even though alma was feeling down, and we confirmed them members and gave them the holy ghost. Ahh what a blessing that was! The scriptures say, the Lord works in mysterious ways and that is definitly proof. It was amazing though when i gave Jose the holy ghost. I was super nervous to do it as usual cause it was in spanish, and my hands get all cold and my heart pounds, but when i put my hands on his head and said the first word, my nerves left me, and i felt the warmest almost hot feeling inside me and even though i struggled through the blessing, it didn't matter, because i really felt like the blessing was coming from heavenly father and not me, that i was really acting in the name of jesus christ by using the priesthood that i have. It was just a really cool feeling and a testimony to me of the priesthood power that has been restored to the earth! Wow what a blessing.
Also, in the english sacrament meeting, there were a bunch of talks on pride which actually applied to me pretty good, in little ways here and there, and then for some reason i felt like reading my patriarchal blessing. I shrunk it down and laminated it when i was in the mtc and oh man, it was such a powerful experience right there in the chapel. I felt bad cause i wasn't paying attention but really it was just awesome. Everything it says about my mission was just soo motivating and the relationship that i need to develop with the savior it was just soo touching. I want to try and read that more often and jsut ponder the words because it really just kicks me right into gear whenever i read it with an open heart. it was just a really cool experience and it felt soo good to read some specific things that are said.
In my studies i'm in 3rd nephi and christ is just about to appear to the people in the americas. The chapters before are so powerful though. Even back to Helaman. When samuel the lamanite preaches to all the people to repent and nephi baptizes a ton of people, it is just soo awesome. I again feel like i'm reading these things for the first time. i liked these verses
13 O all ye that are aspared because ye were more brighteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may cheal you?
14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will acome unto me ye shall have beternal life. Behold, mine carm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God
I feel like even when we are doing the right thing, sometimes we go through hard times or feel down or even do something wrong, but the Savior asks us to return unto him, renew our efforts to follow him, and he wlil extend his arm of mercy towards us. We need to ALLOW him to HEAL us. And that can be interpreted however you like. I don't know, i just really liked those scriptures and when i was reading them i just got a little tingly feeling inside and it felt good to read.
I love devoting a half hour everyday to the book or mormon, there is so much in there that we can overlook and i feel like i have just learned so much and really strengthened my testimony of that book, that it is in fact, the Word of God.
We gotta head out though, but seriously this week was pretty good and i just feel good starting this next one. I'm feeling way better than last too which is a good thing and i even got some time last monday to skateboard. HA i actually think i'm better out here than i was at home ha, i guess the lord blesses us in everything as we serve him :)
Anyway, i love you guys soo much and am so thankful for your support, prayers, and thoughts. Mom suggested that i write down my specific blessings that i had seen each day, in my journal, and it has become sooo fun! I'm serious last night, i just wanted to keep writing all the little things i was thankful for from that day. I even was talking about the sky that looked cool at night, the old guy we talked to that made us laugh soo much, there is just so much to be thankful for, and writing it down makes it even funner to remember all the things that Heavenly Father has given to us. i love you guys soo much and hope that you all keep working hard and strengthening your testimonies. Remember to try and share this wonderful message that we have, there are people out there that are just WAITING for this and they don't even know it. you guys mean everything to me :)
love Elder Edwards