Thank you so much for your emails. You both have a way of inspiring me and pumping me up for the week ahead, and I'm grateful that you both take time to write instead of doing a collective email. I loved what you were saying in yours dad about rising to our own potential. Thank you for that wisdom, and what an awesome quote! I wrote that down in my planner and will remember it: "Greatness is defined by your adherence to the things that matter most." I am so grateful to be learning that while I am young. That is really something I have learned from both of you.
I want to forward my email to President to you because it says a lot of what I wanted to say...
Dear President Maynes,
Great things are happening in the Zone! We are excited about the change up at transfers. We have some solid leadership and a sense of excitement around the missionaries. Elder Smith was much needed down in the Columbine District and Elder Ellis and I are working well together, I absolutely trust that was revelation for transfers. I like working with Elder Ellis because he doesn't waste any time. He is a very hard worker, and we have seen a lot of miracles in the past week working together!
We found two solid potential families we are praying to start teaching. They are real kingdom builders! And we were led to each of them by divine guidance.
I learned a couple of valuable lessons this past week. This past week we didn't hit the standard of 20 lessons for the first time since I got to this area in August. We taught 19 lessons. At first I was a bit disappointed in myself because that was a personal goal to always hit that standard, but I truly feel good about the work we did and I know we were guided throughout the week and led to those we could help most and we worked as hard as we could.
I also learned another valuable lesson this last week. We knocked on this investigators door named Joe and the first thing he told us is that he had read some of our "material" and decided that Mormonism wasn't for him. I asked him if he had read the whole Book of Mormon and he said he read parts of it. Elder Ellis asked him is he prayed about it and he said yes, and then he asked him how he felt when he prayed and Joe said he felt good but he wasn't willing to give up alcohol and pornography. I told him that God’s law has always been set high and if he wasn't willing to live God’s law he would be missing out on blessings God wants to give him and invited him to repent. He again told us that Mormonism just wasn't for him and shut the door. This broke my heart to see someone use their agency in such a way. No matter how bold we were with Joe, he chose to reject the Holy Spirit.
I love this area so much and feel there is a lot happening. We are doing all we can to prepare the area to be split and I believe that God will bless us with the people to teach as we continue to do all we can. Thank you for your patience and motivating leadership.
Elder W. Marks
The more I have thought about it the more I am amazed at all of the ripple affects made by the age change in missionary service! The Lord is truly hastening His work, and since the missionary force is about to double, I firmly believe the Lord has prepared more of His children to receive His gospel. What an exciting time to be directly engaged in this work!
Mom, in your email you talked about how some people will seem so interested and want to meet with us and then fall off the map. That can be very frustrating sometimes! But we continue to pray for those people and I trust God’s hand is actively working in their lives to steer them towards His gospel. We recently started texting a "scripture of the day" to all of our less actives and investigators, and I think that is good.
Well, we are out of time again. Thank you all so much for being my family and teaching me things and inspiring me. I really love you all.
Your Son, and Brother,
Elder W. Marks (Gladiator) hehe ;)
P.S. Do you guys ever play BF anymore Dad and Gdog?