Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dear Family,

Man this week has really been up and down, but during those up moments we have had some really cool miracles that have happened. So I have some good stories to share during this email. 

This week we had a big monthly meeting with all the Mission leaders and President Hansen. It was a good meeting, but it definitely was intense. There were a few changes that he wanted to implement and one of them (no more sports nights with the units) was one that was a little hard to swallow. It got a little heated in there and to be honest I was kind of scared haha I am not sure why, it wasn't directed towards anyone at all, but just the way I felt was a little unnerving. In the end though we all talked it out and gained a testimonies of the changes and how that really is what the mission needs. I believe that they are inspired and because of these changes we will be blessed. One thing that the meeting taught me was how important delivery and the way you speak to people is. A lot of the problems that arose were because of the way it was delivered, not the changes themselves. I hope that makes sense. 

So Elder King and I were a little nervous to bring these changes up in our Zone Meeting, just because of the response that we would get. We both knew how inspired they are, but not everyone had a testimony of that yet. Luckily we have a really good zone with mature missionaries and it all went awesome! We had a good discussion about them and everybody is on board. Not everyone likes them, but they are happy and willing to do it. The whole zone meeting went pretty well. The spirit was really strong and even some parts were a little shaky, the feeling there is what made the difference. 

So time for the tender mercies. First one, yesterday we decided to walk through Opelousas before our dinner appointment, but it turns out that Sunday is just as hot as every other day during the week. So we ended up walking 9 miles all around and we were sweating bullets. My entire shirt was soaked with sweat, but it was worth it because we were able to see the Costins! We had a good little visit with them and it is things like that that make sacrifices worth it. But here is the cool little tender mercy, as we were walking the 5ish miles back to the church, a random person ran up to us, handed us two soda's and ran away. In reality it wasn't much, but to us and during that time it meant everything.

I will finish up with this story about Rock: The Angel Dog. Last Saturday we had a good day set up, lots of less-actives to try to find. So we decided to go see Teddy Broussard, we had never met him before but somebody asked us to go see him. This little trip started with a little tender mercy because he ended up living off the road where another person we were looking for lived. Well it turns out that he moved and lives in another city. So we decided to find this other person, Taylor Chase. The only twist is that all we had was the name of the road and no street address, so we were going knocking. It was a pretty country road and so it was fun to be out there, we knocked on a few doors and we didn't have anyone answer. We then walked by this house and there was a dog on the porch, it stuck its head up, looked right at and began to run straight at us. This was no small dog. Elder King and I looked at each other and we had no idea what to do except laugh. Well the dog started barking at us and then came right up to us and began sniffing us a lot. And  then it just wanted us to pet him. This was Rock. He had some cool eyes too, they were bluish white and one of them was slightly lazy. Rock began walking with us, almost like he was leading us. We walked up to the next house and he stopped, began barking and then ran right between us and the house, so we turned around. We kept walking and he would get between us and a house. Until one house he ran right up to it and into the back yard. So we knocked on it. It turns out this guy knew exactly who we were looking for and information on where they moved to. It was so cool and it sounds really cheesy, but we think that Rock really led us there. We took him back to his house and his family wasn't interested in the gospel, but at least we made a new friend with him. It was a cool day and it is something that I will remember. I will send a picture of him haha. 

Hey I did get your email and it sounds like that cabin was really cool. A little bit of luxury. I am excited for some of those fun family retreats again. I really liked your ideas on love that you taught to the High Priests. It is interesting because I was reading something like that this morning. One big reason to sharing the gospel is that we are all family. We are God's children and so that in turn means that we are all connected. It has been interesting to see on my mission how love has really extended beyond my own personal sphere and that I have been able to connect with people out here in a very similar way that I connect with you guys. I read a study that they had in one of the ensigns that said when we serve others and are altruistic our body releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel better and happier, they make feel like you are fulfilling a bigger purpose. I think there is a huge correlation between our spirit and our body and when we have charity our spirit is filled and makes us more like Christ and in turn it makes our body feel better. Cool beans. 

I better get going. And I have lots of time at the library, so long emails aren't a problem :). I love yall a lot and I hope that you have a great week. 


Elder Soper

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