I have felt a lot of emotions lately but there is a feeling of peace which underlines it all. I have felt stretched to rise to the calling I am in, and I have felt God qualify me. I have felt very tired from all the nonstop work. I have had a lot of fun with Elder Bradley, we are hoping to stay together another transfer but he's already been here for 6 months so we don't know...transfer meeting is next Tuesday. I feel like I have learned to loosen up and be more social with people. My back has been hurting more so I've been doing my best to continue coping with that, I've spoken with President about it and we're going to try and work something out to get help. Apparently there is a physical therapist over in the Columbine area who is willing to try and help...we'll see what happens. I feel like if I could loosen up the muscles throughout my body it would be beneficial.
I cherish my time as a missionary. I am a little suprised at how quickly time has gone this last transfer with Elder Bradley. I feel a noticable increased desire lately to bring this gospel into the hearts of the people here. I have pondered many times recently on how unhappy so many people truly are. They try to substitute happiness with short term pleasures and things which are external. Lasting happiness only comes through obedience to the ordinances and covenants found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't know how to express my feelings that God blessed me to grow up in the gospel, but I feel that my gratitude will last beyond this life. I feel that the gap between the people seeking and choosing righteousness and those who do not is getting wider. I want to do my part in bringing those who are seeking righteousness to the gospel but I am sometimes frustrated because I feel I should be able to do more than I am.
I want to tell you about a miracle that has unfolded in the last few weeks...
About 2 1/2 weeks ago we decided to knock some doors at this appartment complex. We pulled up and Elder Bradley told me that he was feeling a little upset because he used to teach someone in that complex who was super close to baptism and then thanked the missionaries for building his faith back up...and he went back to his old church and asked the missionaries not to come back...anyway, he asked me to decide which building to tract in since he was feeling flustered and upset about the whole experience. We offered a prayer and during the prayer I felt we should go to the building that was behind me to the right, so that's where we ended up going. We knocked all the doors in the whole complex and talked with a handful of people who weren't interested...some less than polite:) and then we spoke with a man named Mohammed at his door for about 10 minutes. He told us that he was Muslim and we spoke with him about prophets, Jesus Christ, etc. and he said that he was moving but that he would like us to come back. We got his new address and set up an appointment. We asked him if he knew anyone that would be open to or benefit from a message about Jesus Christ and he told us that there was a family that lived directly above him who we could try to contact.
Our return appointment was the following Saturday and we were on exchanges with the assistants and I stayed in our area. We entered the address he gave into the GPS and it took us to the Coors Beer factory. We called him (the number we had on our phone that we thought was him...it turns out we never got his phone number but there was a contact in our phone named Mohammed) and we left a message...a couple days later we got a return call from the number we called and set up an appointment with this other guy named Mohammed (a former investigator who's number was still in the phone!).
We tried to contact the "family" that lived upstairs from the first Mohammed multiple times without luck and then late last week a young woman (probably mid 20's) answered and she said she lived there alone...so no family. We ended up talking with her for like 10 minutes and she was very genuine. Her name is Noel, and we have a return appointment for this coming Saturday and we have a member in the student ward coming with us.
It is just so incredible to me to see how God's hand is in the work. He led us to a false new investigator knowing that we would get 2 new real ones out of it! We wouldn't have found Noel or the other Mohammed if it weren't for that guy giving us a false referral and falsly claiming interest!
Near the beginning of my mission sometime Dad told me something in an email which this experience made me think of. He said that "God works in mysterious ways...the important part of that saying is that God IS working." We don't often understand how God is working in our lives...BUT HE IS WORKING!
P-day the other day was super fun. We played Risk with the missionaries we live with (Elder Lund and Smith) and I won...it's always nice to win that game - lol! And we got half the zone together to play some Ultimate...now THAT was a blast! The assistants also came to play. We have a new assistant, his name is Elder Kalkbrenner and he's from Germany. He's such a cool guy. I also got to go to a Rockies game last night! We were allowed to go since it was P-day and we went with a recent convert. They played the Giants and won 6-5. We had to leave in the 7th inning to be home on time but it was super cool going to a Professional Baseball game, that was a first!
Well, we really need to go now. I sure love yall!
Elder W. Marks
P.S. I always leave the computer on "Mormon.org" when we leave ;o) ...every bit counts! tehe :D