Me with Devin (the name of the turtle)
That sounds like you had a really fun sunday, getting together and having a mission themed night. I definitely know how Alex feels. I remember opening my call and really not knowing what to think. Maybe "Louisiana...that's weird." Haha but once I got here and I have had these experience I know that this is where I need to be and I really wouldn't rather be anywhere else. I bet that same thing will happen to Alex. He is going to love his mission. You do see some sad stuff and you get a taste of the world that you haven't before, but being able to understand that really helps you be able to relate and empathize with the people. It is such a necessary and humbling experience that can't be imitated. Missions aren't easy, but they are so worth it. I love it so much and it just makes you happy. Does Alex have an email?
This has been a really humbling transfer and I am learning a lot. It is interesting the difference between humility and self-criticism. I had maybe a skewed view of humility in thinking that it was feeling like I wasn't good, or wasn't good enough. That is not right haha. Heavenly Father doesn't want us to feel like poop, but what he does want us to understand is that through him we can have the power to overcome anything. Humility is knowing that through the Grace of Christ we can become perfect.We have the potential to be something greater. In reality everyone is pretty amazing, we are sons and daughters of God who in the Pre-Mortal life fought for and defended God's plan and chose Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. That is really cool. When we are humble Heavenly Father helps us realize that. And that is something that I am still learning. It is cool to see though and I am excited to learn more.
We had a really cool miracle happen this week. We went to meet with one of our investigators, R. and it turns out that his roommate D. was there as well. D. is a really good guy and it turns out that he has been R's father figure after R's mother passed away. D. is a couple years older than R. and when his mom dies R. didn't have much, so he took him in to help him stay on the right path. He was also telling us how much R. has changed We began to teach them the Plan of Salvation and the Spirit was instantly there. About half way through the lesson D.s brother, M, a pretty religious guy, walked in and immediately joined in on the conversation. We taught about how God loves us and how he wants us to live with our families again. They told us that that is something that they want. Elder Allred was bold and invited them to baptism right there and they all accepted. Their baptismal date is in about 6 weeks. How cool is that?
It has been a good week overall. We are getting the area up and running little by little and we are seeing some cool miracles. It is a slow and steady process, but it is coming a long. We had a really good lesson with a less-active family, the K's. Our branch president asked us to prepare a lesson on the Priesthood, because bro. K is preparing to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. It went really well and it was fun to get to know them better. They are a funny couple and they are so unique, I love it haha.
I better get going, but here is a little excerpt from my Presidents letter:
Today I just wanted to share something that came out of this last Ensign. There is an article about "Lasting Happiness" and it goes through the different qualities that happy people have and are striving to become.
-are content with having their basic needs met.
-are not ruled by the often mistaken idea that “more is better.”
-are involved in something they believe is bigger than themselves.
-use their personal strengths to bless the lives of others.
-foster close friendships and family relationships.
-focus less on transient, pleasurable pursuits and more on enduring, meaningful ones.
-strive to become more selfless.
-(I am going to add this last one) they live and love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I think that if we strive to be like this that we really will be happy and that really is the purpose of this life.
I love yall,
Prayers and thoughts 4eva,
Elder Devin Soper