February 15, 2016
Hey, HI, Hello, HI guys. I hope yall have had an excellent week filled with joy and wonder. Let me give you a summery of each day this week as I can recall.
Monday was filled with walking and a lot of rain. Elder Overfield and I went hiking to Greeter Falls. He was impressed with he beauty of the place. I never get tired of going there. It truly is a testament of the heavenly beauty that resides here in the state of Tennessee. Despite the rain, our journey was far from dismal. It truly was a peaceful experience . It is easy to feel close to the Holy Ghost outdoors. To be surrounded by all of the creations that were made for our enjoyment...it's always an enriching thing, Something I always delight in. Besides our adventure into the wild, we enjoyed our day of rest in peace.
Our zone leaders requested to have our exchange his week and desired to come with us Tuesday. Instead of trading out one missionary for another, one zone leader accompanied our companionship while the other went with a separate group. We had our very own Elder Daines with us. Tuesdays are usually our "powerhouse" days, in which we travel to the cities of Tracey City and Monteagle. We have many investigators and from these we gross numerous lessons. At the end of the day we taught seven lessons. Seven people that day learned more about how to gain happiness in this life and joy in the next. For this I am humbly grateful.
Wednesday was a day to remember. I had asked Elder Overfield to give a training for the coming district meeting which was to take place on this day. Though reluctant, he accepted the task. He trained on her importance of the spirit. He had Elder Daines recite the first vision of Joseph Smith and bear his own personal testimony of the truthfulness of the event. One could scarcely keep from feeling an outpouring of spirit from that zone leader. It testified to us all that his words were true. Elder Overfield continued to tell us that that is what we must do to all we meet. Bring the truth along with the spirit to those we come in contact with so that others may have the chance to believe. We cannot force the truth into people, yet we can bring the truth to them. It is their choice to accept or reject. I also had the opportunity to give a training on that of obedience. We learned that we can measure our missionary success not by baptisms and confirmations, but by our obedience. Our love for the Lord is shown by our willingness to obey, for baptisms come in the lords time. The mission experience is, yes, to preach the gospel to those who have not heard, but to change us. We become more devoted, more loyal, more committed to the Lord...and have joy in the process and in the end. Later on after the meeting we met a family in whom I can relate with very well. We met a mother with her three sons. Her youngest son had severe autism. Elder Overfield and I both shared that our families had sons with autism as well. She took a great liking to us. Regardless of the family's numerous trials and challenges, their hardships, as well as their autistic son, has brought them closer together. He is a gift from God, and he was given to them for that very purpose. What a wonderful visit we had with them. They greatly admired the beliefs we have about how the family is ordained of God and that we may be with the ones we love forever. They invited us to continue to return and teach them.
For what ever reason, the remainder of the week was rough. It was so cold. The wind pierces you no matter how manay layers you may have on. We knocked on so many doors that day. Not one person was home. When we found those at home they told us to come see hem a better day. In the end we taught one lesson that day. It was trying, but it was not in vain. In the midst of hard times, God makes strong servants. I know whatever purpose that we were sent out to do was fulfilled. For we went out and we ready and available to be used as the Lord desired. He made young boys just that much more devoted servants.
Friday availed to be a much better day than the previous. We taught a total of five lessons. Most of them were very spiritually uplifting, not just to the students but to us as the teachers. But our final lesson that day was not so. The husband of this family was released from jail only a few days prior to our meeting with him. He expressed strong desires to alternate he course or direction his life was heading, for he has made many grevious mistakes in the course of his years and desired to turn to the gospel of Christ. Unfortunately his employer has harsh feelings to the church and always has from an early stage of his youth. He warned this man a great deal about us Mormons and also spread many anti Mormon feelings to him. Throughout our meeting he was very adamant about being biblically correct and expressed his disagreements regarding our doctrine. What was yet miraculous was the fact that his wife and step daughter were sitting beside their father and had their eyes fixed on us throughout he entire duration of the lesson. As Elder Overfield recited the words of the prophet Joseph, their eyes illuminated with the right of it all and the spirit was present in them as well as us. Unfortunately the father was so busy in fumbling with his Bible to find evidence that what truth we were speaking to him was so drastically absurd, he let the words along with the spirit pass right over his head and gave no notice to a single word in which we spake. We told him that we would return and teach yet again, but he must read from the book of Mormon and pray to God if the words were true. The difference in the father and his family is this. The family was able to recognise the spirt because they had a willing heart and an open mind while the father desired to find fault in our church. That is the difference. In order to receive a witness to the truthfulness of this church, one must seek answers for purposes, not to tear down, but to build up. Many do not receive the promised witness found in Moroni 10: 3-5 and claim the church be false because they fail to do such with a sincere heart. If we do not do what we must on our part, the answers we desire will not be given to us.
Saturday seems a great big blur. We taught many people that day but I honestly cannot recall to much of what went on.
I have grown a great love for Sunday as a missionary. The sacrament is so essential. That is the most important part to my week now. But aside from the sacrament, we have the chance to go out with the bishoprick. We always have the best lessons when we go out with them. We were able to meet new Investigators and teach them. They are excited for us to return.
All in all, we had a wonderful week. In his past week we had the opportunity to grow testimonies. Not just others but our own as well. I love you all and enjoy hearing from you. Let me know if there is anything yall need.