"It's was a pretty good week! We had another lesson with Clarence that went really well. We had a member there who was just what we needed, she was extremely knowledgeable and had a lot in common with him. Clarance felt the Spirit so strong and I believe we will see some quick progression with him. One of his big problems might be that we believe God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost to be 3 separate individuals.
Kristi is doing really great! She is excited to be baptized May 2nd! Unfortunately her Mom isn't so excited, she came to the last lesson with Kristi and Elizabeth. We taught the plan of salvation and she was polite enough during the lesson but apparently after she got home she wasn't too happy with Kristi and has now given her a bunch of stuff she printed off the internet about "Mormons". Kristi and I have been texting this morning and she said that as she's read it, it makes her feel "physically sick." We are going to meet her tonight and go through whatever she has questions about. Satan has gotten very good at tearing peoples faith apart with that kind of material.
The people we live with are coming back into activity. Brother Heinritz quit smoking when we moved in and is doing really great! Sister Heinritz is warming up a lot and is really friendly with us but has been affected by such material and believes that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young used Polygamy unrighteously. We are going to try and help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon because is she had a firm testimony of that then she would know they were true prophets and did no such wicked things.
The Woodruff family is still out of touch! We're trying to get in there but they're running all over the place and really hard to get a hold of. We stopped by last week and talked with her at their doorstep for like 2 minutes but she was on her way out and didn't have time. We've tried calling them since and no luck :(
We were tracting last week and found one man that was mildly interested, we spoke with him on his doorstep for 5 minutes or so and we're going to go back in a couple weeks if he doesn't call us. Elder Brown was inspired to go visit a less active woman that we never have luck getting into. When we knocked on her door she wasn't home but her friend was at her house and she told us to come back in the evening. We asked if we could share a spiritual message with her and she was a little hesitant but let us in. We explained what the Book of Mormon was to her and shared a scripture with her, and invited her to learn more. She accepted! She is Catholic, her name is Anna, she's probably in her early 50's. .....
That is so wonderful about Chelsea getting baptized! I hope she got my letter in time. .....
Yesterday Elder Brown and I both spoke in Sacrament meeting. He spoke on Sacrifice for 10 minutes(because of the language challenge) and I was asked to speak on obedience for 20 minutes. It went really great. That was in the Chatfield ward, we have really gained the trust in both wards. We've had both bishops say how good of Elders we have right now, so use them! haha, that's really what we need is the members support. I like both bishops and both ward mission leaders, everyone has their challenges but they're all good men with pure desire to serve. I know I'm not excluded from having challenges myself.
We have DM once a week on Thursday at 10:00. This week the ZL's are coming. It's really not that hard to organize and be a District Leader you just have a bit more to worry about. And other missionaries expect you to know almost everything haha.
We're eating pretty good. I have put on about 10 lbs on my mission but have been really trying the last week or so to be more aware. It happens slowly. It can be tough because every single night we have a big dinner with the members and 90% of the time there is some dessert they want us to eat. I'm not exercising nearly as much as I used to, so I really look forward to Mondays because we can really run and get our heart rate up. I'm doing my best with this.
I would say my greatest challenge is being energetic in the morning and starting off my day right, and just the amount of work required in missionary work. My greatest Joys come from feeling direction from the Spirit and seeing it change peoples lives. I love being a part of miracles that are life changing for people.
The mission has really changed it's focus from teaching 20 lessons or more a week to focusing on finding. Obviously we still shoot for 20 lessons but we will be really making more effort to find people. The mission has a goal or reactivating and baptizing 1000 people this year! Last year we had 884.
I love you all so much, I want you to know I am enjoying the work! I'm far from perfect but I'm doing my best. I miss you all like crazy!
Elder W. Marks