Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Week

Well, I cannot believe how much has happened in this last week! It's been insane! We finished off zone conferences which was good, we were a little bit worried about this one since one of the zones had been struggling, but there was a good spirit there and the missionaries were able to learn quite a bit. There was a new Senior Couple there that has served 4 missions and they said it was one of the most uplifting Zone Conferences they've been to, so we were pleased that everything went smoothly and that the spirit was able to be there for everyone to learn from. After that the week just picked up, we had another meeting on Monday, Zone Leader Council yet again, which was held in a new chapel that the church has built in DC. It's a super awesome chapel! It's huge, new, and really nice. Hopefully the wards that attend it will be able to take care of it well. We've also been on two exchanges with different areas, and I got to be back on bike for at least a few hours! Haha it was sweet to be back and to be able to talk to a bunch of people at metros, in neighborhoods, etc. We had some cool experiences with some people that were intially very cold and even almost hostile, but once we were able to be a little bit persistent most of them opened up! It was really cool to see. We spoke to a less active who is now Catholic, and a Jew on the street that both started out talking to us completely not wanting to hear anything, but by the end of it it ended as an extremely positive contact and they were able to get some things off of their chest that were clearly bothering them. Though they didn't accept return appointments it was just fun to be able to be the Lord's messenger to them in that moment.
Then this week there were also two incredible experiences. We went to visit a less-active man who was in some desperate need. His mother called us and informed us that he had been in a car accident that morning, that he'd recently been diagnosed with pneumonia, and that a good friend of his had recently died. As soon as she called us we felt impressed to obviously call the Bishop and we were able to immediately go and visit him with the bishop and give him a blessing. It was yet again another experience of just being clearly on the Lord's errand. However, what was even more incredible was to be able to see the mantle of a Bishop at work. We said very little, since John is under the Bishop's stewardship rather than ours, and so the Bishop just spoke and it was incredible to see him say things that were clearly coming directly from the spirit. It was literally as if he were saying exactly the words that the Savior would have said had he been there. It was a lesson on leadership and ministering that I will definitely never forget.
Then, even more incredible, I was able to attend the sealing of the Del Orbe family this past Friday!!! This is the family that was baptized at the beginning of my mission when I was with Elder Shinost, and it was one of the most incredible experiences... It was just amazing to think back to the first day we met them, and then to think of all the lessons, all the worry, all the prayers, and all the progress that has happened for them to be able to come to the temple to be sealed. The only way I can honestly describe it was that it was so real. It was as if I were no longer a missionary, I was just there as me, not their missionary, just their friend, who was so grateful that they had been able to reach this point. It makes you think of the day when we'll all be gathered together in heaven, we'll all just be brothers and sisters, grateful that we were all able to make it there together. It was a good reminder on the purpose of everything, of life, of missionary work, of the Gospel, of everything. The purpose is eternal families, it is returning to the presence of God, it's the happiness that comes as we live according to Gospel principles. It was just a sweet moment to see them all in the sealing room, and to see Valentin and Austri in the Celestial Room, I honestly cannot describe all the feelings that I experienced, or how incredible and sacred of an experience it was. It strengthened and amplified my testimony of the Restored Gospel and it strengthened my resolve to ensure that I one day reach that point, and that I help as many people as I possibly can reach it as well. There really is no greater joy than this... I'm just grateful that God has allowed me the opportunity to serve a mission, it's such a gift of time and experiences. There really is nothing that can compare, no amount of schooling, dating, sports games, whatever it may be, God has allowed us the gift of 18 months to two years of getting to know Him. Of understanding His purposes, and of allowing us to become more like Him as we serve Him and our brothers and sisters. The Church is true and that truth is wonderful!

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