Haha, as usual the week was kind of crazy with a lot of cool miracles! First of all this week we had a mission tour by the Seventy Elder Kearon (the one that spoke on the scorpion analogy thing). It was super incredible! Man, I could obviously tell a lot of things that I learned, but to be brief I learned a lot about what a good leader is and the power of the spirit. Not so much by what he said, but by the way he was. It was super cool to be able to be taught by him and his wife specifically to the needs of our mission. It was incredible just to see the change that happened in him, and it was a testimony to me that we truly are the products of the spirit. If we allow the spirit to work on us we truly do become more like Jesus Christ. He told his conversion story, and from what he said he was kind of an arrogant punkish guy that would never believe in anything. Then the spirit touched him and his life was changed! Now you can see so clearly in his countenance that he has truly been born again and become a new Creature in Christ.
Then we had some other rather disappointing and difficult trials, as well as some cool miracles. So this story could be a lot longer but I'm going to try and tell it briefly. We got in contact with the investigator that was going to be baptized. We set up a time to go to the visitors center with him and he said he would be meeting us at this metro station at 7:00. That's always a very risky thing to do, considering the fact that if he doesn't show up we will have wasted a bunch of time, but we confirmed the appointment a half hour before we headed out and then got on the metro. We get to the stop at 7:00 and start calling him to see where he is. No answer. Call again. No answer. So we go to another metro stop where we were going to eventually end up to see if he maybe went there ahead of us. Not there. Call again. No Answer. So we decide to be a little tricky and see what's up and we call him under the restricted number *67. We call him and he answers! Yeah, but then he doesn't say anything, we hear some laughing in the background, and he hangs up. Hm, you can imagine how we felt about this point. Slighly betrayed, frustrated, and owned. So we try some other calling tricks but he's eventually turned off his phone because it just goes to voice mail. Hm, Elder White was super frustrated and betrayed feeling. I was trying to keep the mood light and laugh it off, because the moment you get super frustrated and depressed Satan will own you, a lesson I've learned far too many times in life. So I was still laughing, and meanwhile the thought keeps coming to me that we must be there for some other reason! So we get back on the metro and I'm just praying almost demanding a miracle you could say, in a non-blasphemous way, but that was my attitude, I was determined to see something happen from this trip. Luckily my determination was not in vain! God had indeed prepared a person who was then placed directly in our path! We barely manage to board this metro and as we get on we're just looking for anyone we can strike up a conversation with. There's a ton of people with headphones and then this one hispanic guy. We sit down and just start talking to him because we're not allowed to directly proselyte on the metro unless they ask us about it. Haha the first thing he asks us is if we're from a church! Yep, door's opened! It was super sweet, he was very interested, he'd heard a little bit about our church, but what he was really looking for was peace in life. He says the world is just too crazy and he knows the only way to find peace is in a church! We testified to him of the Book of Mormon and of the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was super interested and wanted the Elders to pass by as soon as possible! Unfortunately he lives in Virginia so we won't be able to teach him, but it was a very very powerful witness to me that God places us in the right place at the right time even if we sometimes cannot understand it. He knows exactly where we're going to be and he places his prepared people in our paths, we just have to be aware of them. It was awesome, and as we left the metro we looked back on the train and he had already begun to read the Book of Mormon! We don't know what will happen to him, but we do know that we did our part in his path to Salvation and it was just a blessing to see the tender mercies of the Lord so clearly! At the same time it's been very sad with [the investigator]. He no longer answers our calls and our Ward Mission Leader called him and said that he was very standoffish and didn't even really want to talk to him... It's not looking too good, and it's been saddening... But, This is still the Lord's work and I have gained an even more powerful testimony that we truly are instruments in his hands!
Another experience was also similar. All of our appointments dropped one day so we decided to go check on some referrals super far away and we taught a lady that is also super prepared! A referral from a member in New Jersey. It was a powerful lesson and once again a testimony that we were where we were supposed to be even if we hadn't been planning on being there. God truly does guide us in his work!
Anyways those were the coolest miracles of the week, and the saddest. It was an interesting week, but the work continues to move forward and it is truly a blessing to be serving the Lord right here, right now! There's nothing better! It sounds kind of scary not that I heard that story about the Texas missionaries, but I really do wish that I could be a missionary forever! There is nothing greater than this work and giving everything we have to the Lord! I feel that I have come to know him and our Savior in a much deeper way than before the mission. I've been thinking a lot recently because it's scary, I'm coming up on the year mark... That means that what I've done will be all I have left, and I feel like I haven't done anything! Yet when I look at it I really have become a different person, a better person. Haha the same me but hopefully a litle better I guess. It's a huge blessing!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
General Authority, Metro
From Derek's Nov 16 letter.