Thank you Dad for your love and support, I so appreciate your insights and encouragement. I felt the Spirit as I read your email and I am so happy and privileged to have you as my father. This last week with Elder Smith has been a great one! God is blessing us with so many miracles, and I am excited to be a part of it. Last week we taught 10 member present lessons, had 3 people at church, found 2 new investigators, and taught a total of 24 lessons. I feel like God has taught me how to make an area succeed as a missionary. I've learned how to excite a ward about missionary work, and involve the members. I love it! I'm learning how to follow the promptings of the Spirit with faith and without hesitation. I feel like there is a long way I want to go to become better, but when I look at where I've come in the last year my heart is full of gratitude towards God, you and Mom, and all my family and support that have gotten me where I am today.
I admire the way you choose to live your life. I don't care about mistakes that have been made on both our parts in the past, all we have to work with is the present and the future. I really mean that. Thank you for raising me to think on my own and stand on my own two feet. I'm learning how to think about things deeply and analyze with my mind, and then turn to the Holy Ghost and decide what I believe according to the feelings in my heart and the conclusions in my mind.
We've been sent here to BECOME more like our loving Father in Heaven. I have pondered lately how indescribable and glorious it will be to go back to God. I feel like deep down I really miss being in His presence, but I'm not eager to leave this life. Throughout all the eternities of our existence, the time we have on earth to learn to walk by faith is such an incredible opportunity! I love being here:) When I try to picture how incredible it will be to see every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ at Judgement day, I stand in awe. There are so many people I have worked with on my mission in the past year who have blindly rejected the joyful message we carry, and I pray for them. I know that everyone will have a fair opportunity to accept the Gospel that Christ established. It is such a phenomenal plan! There is a reason it is referred to in scripture as "The plan of Happiness" or "The plan of Redemption."
I would love to go hunting with you and Garrett! I remember having an opportunity to go when I was young and didn't take it, but I would love to do that. :) Enjoy the ice fishing this winter! ;)
I am excited/anxious to see what happens in the election as well. I feel like the worst thing that could happen would be to have Obummer re-elected. We'll see!
How exciting! Thank you for keeping me posted with the Bag O'Blocks efforts, I hope you know that that specifically has been in my prayers often. Just keep obeying the basic principles outlined in the Gospel and working hard, God will provide the blessings necessary. (Mosiah 2:41, D&C 82:10, D&C 1:37-38)
Give my love to the whole fam! I miss you all so much:) Let's stay strong with our goals, we can do it!
With Faith, Your Son,
Elder William Marks
Mosiah 2: 41
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.
I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own coice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
My Dear Mother,
Thank you for the portion of that talk by Elder Bednar. The principles taught there speak true to me. That is something that I don't think a whole lot of people understand in the church… let alone in the world!
Hongye is a girl, we had another good lesson with her and found some more concerns she has. She feels peace when she prays and reads the scriptures but we're still trying to help her identify that those feelings are of the Holy Ghost, and that God really is real.
The circumstances weren't right to put Ellen on date last week but we did have a great lesson. We taught her the first half of the Plan of Salvation and Elder Smith and I both felt prompted to read Alma 7:14-16 with her and it was powerful. She has some questions about baptism that we are going to address as we teach part 2 of the Plan of Salvation, and if the Spirit prompts we are going to put her on date for baptism.
We have found more success by far in the student ward. The younger people who are still trying to decide what they believe are much more teachable. It is also a lot of fun to be teaching people our own age! We are also working in the family ward but they haven't brought people to church or worked with us a whole lot so it's been a lot harder. I don't think it's an issue of the members willingness to do missionary work, I think that many people make it WAY harder than it needs to be. I feel like a lot of people are afraid to bring up topics of the gospel for one reason or another with the people around them. With thousands of more missionaries coming into the missionary force it will require much more member involvement to see the work progress at the desired rate. I will never stop being a missionary.
I loved the Bill and Teds big adventure reference - haha! Excellent things are happening, one miracle at a time! I love you Mom, thank you so much for everything.
Elder W. Marks