Friday, July 20, 2012

Sorry it took me so long!

Hey family, sorry it's taken me so long to write this week, but no worries, President and my companion made sure I'd write! haha just kidding I was going to write no matter what, it's just been an incredibly busy, stressful, and crazy week! So first of all I have to tell you about this family, the Fletchers. They're this awesome family that has 10 kids, and the kids are all just awesome, haha they remind me a bit of our family. They make sure they all read their scriptures, some are into theatre, and they're all slightly crazy, not to mention the fact that one of their daughters is also named Rachel. Haha she's kind of similar to Rachel, but she's nicer to me and only 7 years old  She wrote us these little notes about how she feels the spirit with us and then made us friendship bracelets. Haha it was a pretty cool experience, it just about made Elder Pierucci cry, and myself I guess, but I'd never admit that one. Anyways, the main event of the week was the departures and arrivals. Not to mention the fact that being the Senior Assistant has been one of the most stressful and humbling experiences of my life. Around last Thursday the mantle began to shift when the new assistant came in. His name is Elder Brown and he's from St. George Utah. We were actually in the same ward at BYU and he lived in the apartment right below me. He's a pretty cool guy and we should get along just fine. Still, it was super stressful as Elder Pierucci began to step back and let me take the lead. It's crazy to think of how much stuff we have to do and remember, and just trying to make sure that it all goes smoothly has been quite the task. However, it's definitely strengthened my testimony in the enabling power of the atonement. There should be no way that we can accomplish as many of the things as we do in such a brief amount of time and on so little sleep, but the Lord provides and we've seen at least a part of the fulfillment of the promise in
Doctrine and Covenants 84 of the renewing of our bodies. This Sunday Phil also spoke at a fireside for new members and investigators. It's called a "Why I Believe" fireside where there's a keynote speaker and then several converts share their testimonies. It was incredible to see him share his testimony and story only two weeks after being baptized in front of hundreds of people! He's solid and truly converted to the gospel!
This Tuesday we picked up the new missionaries and they are one solid
group! They're all incredibly solid missionaries and you can see that they'll be
the future leaders of the mission. It's always an interesting experience to see the new missionaries and the dying missionaries just 24 hours apart. It just shows that the work of the Lord continues on no matter where we are or what we're doing His work really will just keep marching forward. A sister missionary mentioned that in her dying testimony, that she realized that the Lord doesn't need her to do the work, but that she has just been priveleged enough to take part in it with Him. It was just awesome to see the love these missionaries have for the Gospel, whether at the beginning or at the end, and to see the growth of some of the missionaries. I use to believe that all missionaries were perfect and that all returned missionaries would return home with incredibly solid testimonies, almost like Demi-Gods. It's been sobering and at the same time inspiring to see the reality of it all. Every missionary begins and ends at different levels, but what matters is the progression in between. There were a few missionaries that departed that maybe weren't those demi-gods but they had progressed a ton and it was incredible to feel the love of the Lord for these missionaries and for their sacrifice and effort. Still, it was an incredibly good group of missionaries and a hard group to see go. I think I mentioned it before but this marks the transfer where every single leader I've ever had in the mission has now returned home. Every DL, ZL, and AP.... It's been extremely humbling to think that all these missionaries now look to us for leadership and to realize that we're supposed to know what we're doing. Still, it's been incredible as it's helped me to turn more and more to the Lord for help. The mission/Gospel truly is incredible.
It shapes and changes us to the disciples of Christ that God would have us be. It can take all of our weaknesses and shortcomings and make us equal to the task. It's just been an incredibly humbling week. Still, things are going well, we just had leadership meeting and everything went smoothly and our training went well as well. It's an interesting and unique opportunity to train the leaders of the mission. It's once again extremely humbling and a blessing to be able to pass on some things we've learned as well as what we feel the Lord would have us say.

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