Hey so we didn't email yesterday because of Labor Day so we're emailing today! This last week was another great one! We had Zone Conference, a special fireside, and a leadership training in Frisco with Elder Lynn G. Robbins from the Quorum of the 70. It was so powerful. I learned a lot, I was thinking I would make a copy of my notes and send them home.
We had a lesson with a guy this morning named L.T he's 18 and here for college from Gorgia. He has a girlfriend back home who introduced him to the church, but his parents are extremely against him going to church or having anything to do with Mormons. Him and his family are Baptist. He arrived here a couple weeks ago and just showed up at church on his own, he didn't know anybody. He found Mormon.org and looked up when and where we met. Very cool! So we taught him the first lesson this morning and it was very powerful. Robyn Sinner (crazy last name huh? And she wants to go on a mission so it would be "Sister Sinner" lol) came to the lesson with us. She also goes to the School of Mines and is a very recent convert who's parents are still very against her being in the church. It was so cool to see her bear testimony and try to help him out with his situation. I have realized the last few days, and especially this morning in our lesson with L.T, that I have become a very bold missionary. Not overpowering and rude but you can't beat around the bush when you're teaching people about the Gospel ;o) Know what I mean Vern? L.T is on date to be baptized on September 16th! That is the same day that Elder Bednar is coming to the Stake and touring the mission! I am so excited to be able to see him in person again and feel of the special spirit that Apostles carry. L.T is scared that his parents will disown him if they find out. He told us that before he left home they told him if they found out he was trying to get involved with "The Mormons" that they wouldn't help pay for his schooling and that they would be very disappointed in him. It is so sad to me how common this is. I have been shocked to see how frequently this is the case. It was so powerful in the lesson this morning when we asked him what attracted him to the church he told us with watery eyes that he knew families were meant to be eternal, that it was something he believed for a long time before he found the church, and that one day he wanted to be sealed to Sarah (his girlfriend in Georgia). It was so powerful. We spoke a lot about finding out for himself and not just for this girl, and we also counseled him on the situation with his family.
I've been sending a copy of the email home to Kylie as well. That is pretty cool to see a picture of her over there doing service! At dinner last night I found out that the mother of the family we were eating with is 1st cousins with Hermana Palmer! [Kylie's mission companion] It's a small small world...especially inside the church. I'm so proud of Kylie and to see the way she's chosen to live:) She has such a good heart.
I have had my testimony of the reality and power of the Priesthood strengthened so much the past week or so. Last week Elder Bradley and I gave a blessing to a less active woman in the ward for her back and other physical ailments. She had burnt her finger super bad just before we showed up (it was a sugar burn). While I was giving the blessing her finger was healed entirely. I believe God did that to prove to her that the power of the Priesthood was real and that it works!
About 45 minutes ago we gave a blessing to a brother in the ward, Brother Lish, and while Elder Bradley was giving the blessing I just had an overwhelming feeling of the reality of the Authority that we hold. And I poured out all the faith I could gather on that man's behalf.
I love the idea that "real success comes from finding inner peace" I really believe that. I laughed out loud when I read that quote by Brother Roop - haha! Then I showed Elder Bradley and he got a kick out of it lol. How true though, service is what it's all about!:o)
Well, that's one more week! I am a bit freaked out at how fast all of this is going. I'm almost half way done :/ I realized that yesterday was my 1 year mark for getting my Endowments. That feels like it was yesterday. I hope that everyone back home knows that I really do miss them and I look forward to reuniting with everyone, but at the same time I can tell that it will be really hard to leave my mission, I have truly grown to love it. There is nothing else like it! I don't want to waste a minute. I love you all very dearly, thank you for being the powerful influences you have been to me. Do something to make someone smile today:)
Blueberry Boy ;o)
[when William was a toddler and run around in his blue pajamas (the kind with feet in them), we would call him Blueberry Boy! - so I laughed out loud when he signed his letter this way! :-)]