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!