Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to fast of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
Okay--So this week was super stressful. I hit my year mark on Thursday, which has officially begun the countdown to when I come home less than a year from now. It has been super crazy but super worth it. Thanks for all the support!
Back-side of my shirt before we burned it.
On Monday we went to Garden of the Gods with a member from Foxcroft as well as the Foxcroft elders.
1. Garden of the Gods Wilderness
It had been raining most of the morning so most of the rocks were very slippery and hard to climb on. However that didn't deter the Foxcroft elders from having some fun. There is one particular rock formation that has been nicknamed "The Camel" because of its resemblance. It is a challenge for tourists to get on top of the camel's head. It is difficult to attempt the feat when its dry alone, but Elder Smith, one of the Foxcroft elders, made the attempt by jumping a 6ft to 7ft gap from the back of the camel to the head. He was able to jump back but nearly fell off what would've been at least a 50ft-70ft fall. It was fun to watch but I will probably try a safer route next time we go.
2. Elder Smith's leap of faith (6ft-7ft gap)
Tuesday the member from Foxcroft came out with us as sort of a trial mission for returning to his own mission. He had come home due to a concussion. We decided to ask a member here to come out with us and so we did a double split. I went with the Foxcroft member and Elder Steed went with a member from Carrier Mills. We hit a lot of Harrisburg before meeting up again. The local First Baptist Church later contacted us asking us for some help so we went over and helped them with pulling out nails from a destroyed barn. While there, they talked to us about how the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention (Fred Luter) was coming to speak in Harrisburg that evening. We couldn't pass that up. We attended the meeting, which was held at the high school's gym. He talked about John 10 and how there are lost sheep out there who need to find the door, who is Jesus Christ. He spoke very quickly but very powerfully. My favorite part was when he started testifying of Jesus Christ and how he included the fact that Christ resurrected on the third day. To paraphrase what he said, "We all know that He died for us on the cross, but the story does not end there! Three days later! Back again from the grave! Bringing victory for every soul that believes on Him! What does that mean for us? We win! We win!" And he waved his handkerchief around with a huge smile on his face. It was a cool meeting for sure.
Wednesday we had district meeting in Foxcroft area and had a fun time exploring afterwards. Later on in the day we got to see our investigator with the kid and she was doing okay. She was feeling sick though but we had a good conversation with her later on. We went over to the ex member that was returning to church for dinner which was a blast. She made us some really great omelets.
Thursday was rough. No one really was home/opened up to us till the evening when we went on another double split. Elder Steed went and had dinner with some recent converts and I went with the BML to go have a family home evening with an elderly member in a nursing home. We went with the BML's foreign exchange student who was from Norway. I read scriptures from the Book of Mormon in English and he read the same scriptures in Norwegian. It was a fun moment until the investigator with the kid called me saying she needed a lift to the hospital cause she was in so much pain. Loading her and her 2 year old in the car, we hauled them off to the hospital. An hour or so later we took them back in a very stressful car ride. But it turned into a miracle cause we found a less active at the hospital and he'd been looking for us for awhile.
This was my shirt burning. All elders once they hit their year mark usually burn a shirt
(also happened in the Saratov Approach movie).
It was great...until it burned a little too much...
Thursday was also the day I burned my shirt as missionary tradition states. It was a great moment for sure and we had a lot of fun. It's weird that the clock is ticking down now. But it has felt like a year that's for sure.
Here's the fun part two where everything went interesting.
Friday was also rough. Nothing happened till the evening when we got to see some less-actives and had a fun time with them.
Saturday was fun. The investigator with the kid invited us over and said she had found a Mormon movie on Netflix. That turned out to be the movie, “Meet the Mormons.” We decided to watch that, and she really teared up for the last part. She related to the mom of the missionary. It was a great experience all around.
Sunday we got a lot of stuff done. Elder Steed gave a talk on tithing as well as taught Gospel Principles on spiritual gifts. Less than 3 hours later after that class, one of our investigators had the same question he asked us about spiritual gifts and we were able to help him. Who was that investigator? Some of you may remember my "warriors of Christ" guy I found in the McDonald's. Well he called us on Wednesday and gave us his address. He remembered me and it was fun getting to talk to him and his grandson. He was a really nice guy for sure and was happy to see us again. We ended the night by watching Meet the Mormons for an FHE at the BML's house.
It was a really rough week all around but we still were able to see a lot of people. I look forward to one more year of teaching and serving on my mission. It's been great.
Talk to you later,
3. Typical days work (Elder Steed)