Thank you tons for the letters you send. It's like finding a golden ticket in the mail every week. You guys rock so much, our family is so cool! Sometimes I just wish I could take a little clip of our life and happiness as a family and members of the church, and somehow use my psychic powers to put that clip into someones brain to just show them how good our lives together are and how happy we are. Because, let's get real, our life is so awesome. I feel like if I could do that, everyone would get baptised because they'd know the blessings and joy that come afterwards.
There is a story in Mosiah, about Alma and the people of the Lord. They have escaped from the Lamanites and found the place of Helam. They raise crops, are way righteous, and basically are just living the dream. Rakin' in the dough. Then, even though they are really righteous and doing everything right, the Lord allows them to fall into bondage again by the Lamanites. The people freak out, but Alma says "Yo, everyone, this is a test. If we put all our faith in Heavenly Father, he will deliver us." So, thats what they do! They pray, use their intelligence to figure out a plan and the Lord provides a way. They escape by night to the valley of Alma (I think) and all is well. My week was very comparable to this story. Last week, we were profiting in the land sooooo much and taught a ton of lessons and found a considerable amount of people! But, because the Lord must chasten his people and because he loves us, we were totes put into bondage this week. We only taught a couple lessons, and did looooots of street contacting and porting, and the fruits thereof were slim. But, like Alma said, we will put our faith in the Lord and be delivered up from this bondage!
I actually had a really powerful experience this week. It had been two days since a lesson, and we finally got one. We were stoked, so we went and taught. Young family and everything! I taught and testified and the spirit was strong, I felt enough courage to extend the invitation to them to sincerely pray to know if the things we taught were true. I extended with love and boldness, and they said no. I thought, it's okay! I'll just re-testify and re-extend. So, I did! I explained, I testified, they liked it, the spirit was strong, I re-extended the invitation to pray and,,! My efforts were in vain. They again refused my invitation to pray. I didn't know what I had done wrong, and was heartbroken. I had testified to hard! I loved them so much, and they still would not pray. We trudged home, downtrodden. We had tried so hard all week, and the one time we had a lesson, they would not accept. Before bed, I knelt to pray. Maybe the most sincere prayer I had ever offered. I prayed for that family, and I prayed to know if my efforts had been accepted by the Lord. After several minutes of praying my prayer was answered. The comforting presense of the Holy Ghost filled my heart and I knew without doubt that the Lord was proud of me and had accepted the work I had done. I will always remember this experience and the love I felt from my Heavenly Father for me whenever I have a trial. The Lord will deliver us out of our ami bondage soon!
Missions sure do change people. But mom, I have only gained 15 pounds, not 15 kilos. I would be a really chubby little guy if that was the case. But I also have lost about 5 since coming to Belgium, so no need to worry. I won't be ultra large when I get home. I love you all so much! I'm so grateful for our family. Stoked to get the package also! Have such a good week, keep the faith, share the gospel, etc. I pray for you always! I'll talk to you next week!
I'm so glad your home safe and had a killer time at Lake Powell. I'm way glad you had such a great time, as usual. And that's so crazy that you got to stay on the Big Dawg! I was a little taken back when I smelled this ladies sunscreen the other day...it was like my mind just went into Lake Powell mode and I just really wanted to be there. I also was thinking this week, some of the most important and meaningful memories and the times when I really just felt the happiest were in Lake Powell with our whole family. It seriously changed my life to be able to do that! We can never let this tradition die! I feel as if my career choice at the moment will be geared towards whichever career allows me to get a boat and take my family to Lake Powell every year. So thank you for all those great lasting memories and the things I learned. I love you guys!
Transfer 3 ended yesterday, and I am officially a Transfer 4 missionary! It feels great. This transfer I'll be staying in Brussels with Elder W and the other two guys I live with. To answer the question about do I get to do other stuff because my comp is DL, yes, I do. It's not a huge deal, but I just get to go on a few extra exchanges because he has to go on an exchange with every elder in the district. But it's really fun and makes for a nice change of pace! And also since I'll be staying where I am, you guys can go ahead and send that package :) #woop!
This week went really well, we definitely saw some miracles! In this mission we do tons and tons of finding, and we continued to do that this week. But instead of finding lots of new people we ended up getting in contact with a few old amis who are really cool. Saturday night this man named B called us asking for help, it sounded pretty urgent, so we went right over. When we got to his house he was just a mess. He was slightly drunk and smoking tons and crying and scribbling down all his feelings. He's had a really hard life and made some pretty huge mistakes, and now he's just looking for God. He felt like he should kill himself so that he could go and be with God and get rid of his sadness. It was a kind of intense situation, but we eventually calmed him down and shared Alma 7: 11 through 13 with him and explained about the Atonement. I told him I'd be there the next morning to bring him to church, and turns out when we showed up, he was sober and ready to go! He said he immediately felt something when he walked into the chapel and lots of people came up and talked to him and became his friends. Then during testimony meeting he was really touched, and he asked if he could go up and share what he was feeling. I told him yes, even though I was really scared, and he went. He gave a really short, simple testimony and just said that he has had a bad life, but he knows he will find his answers in the church. It was so cool and such a huge blessing! We're gonna keep working with him and I'm really excited about it. Also this week we found a hippy to teach! His name is M, he plays the guitar, writes poetry, has a cat and 2 guinea pigs and his house is covered in his own paintings . And he has dreads. Awesome dude. Also we got the phone numbers from a group of street youths and we're gonna teach them. It rocked.
For real, too much happens in one week to tell you everything! But all in all, things are going so well, life as a missionary is the best and I love it. And I love you guys too! Keep doing good things! Share the gospel with someone! Have a good week!