Friday, October 11, 2013

It is all about what the Lord wants

letter #6
Sept. 30, 2013
Houston, Texas   
   I know that it doesn't matter what I want or wish, it is all about what the Lord wants. I will admit that I really miss my baritone, and I can't wait to be able to have the opportunity to play it when I get home :)
       I survived waking up at 2a.m. to go to the airport! Well, surprisingly I wasn't all that tired when arriving in Houston... I was knocked out for a good half of the first flight to Dallas, but I woke up and  got to watch the sunrise from about cloud level :) Now who can say that they got to see the sunrise over a lake (Clearlake, CA during the summer) and a sunrise over the clouds!  It was just majestic :)   And, I don't have a favorite memory of my time at the Mexico City MTC--I would have to say that I enjoyed the whole thing because there is no way for me to choose one experience or memory from the amazing 5.5 weeks!
     Welcome to Texas-- Texas BBQ style!  Wow, what a feast!  I went back for seconds, and I wanted to continue going back for more because I didn't get anything nearly that good the whole time in Mexico... I am hopefully gaining back the weight that I'm sure I lost from not eating as much in Mexico, and not eating as much of a variety :P   My traveling district sisters slept that evening in the mission home, and the guys--well, we stayed at the Assistants' apartment and we made a new record for the most missionaries sleeping in the same apartment! we got 15 :D 
My traveling district to Houston! Sept. 30, 2013
...Now for real investigators and real lessons! 
I have plenty of hope and faith that we will be able to find and teach many people and baptize them into the church and a better life with the Holy Ghost :)

     My companion Elder Thomas and he has been out for 7 months, and is a pretty fun guy.   He doesn't exactly enjoy the humidity, but he has had to endure more of it than me. I'm not minding the weather--it isn't too bad with the humidity, and it isn't too bad about being hot :P But it feels cold when it is 70 here because of the huge difference in heat...
My 1st companion in Houston, Elder Thomas
       I am not 100% on the bike.  We have knocked on doors quite a bit due to our area being the "new" area.  It was made from the less visited parts of 2 other areas. We have a pretty nice community of people in our small area.

 We have 3 investigators from before I got here, but we haven't really talked with them because we haven't ever caught them at home.  We also have a bunch of previous investigators. Of the previous investigators, we have taught 3 lessons (2 being families which is always a plus) and committed 5 to be baptized with a "soft invitation"-- which means inviting them to be baptized but not setting a  specific date. I  met with a few members during the week, but I was able to meet a lot more when we went to General Conference at the Church... and we watched it in English (phew...)   here is a link to the talks that were given:
AND--Wait, Grandma is better?!? You have no idea how great it is for me to hear that! I couldn't help but think of grandma, and you (mom) and Kimmie, when Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked about the horrible effects of depression during conference.  I did not know that he also suffered  from this mental disease.  And recently I had been thinking about grandma, and how I hoped that I can see her again before the next life, and how her health had been going downhill for the longest time...This truly is a blessing that I hope will continue throughout my mission.
    Well, the Lord blesses those who wait.  And I'm grateful to know that our Father in Heaven is merciful and loving. So, I want to relate this story that my sister told me:  A close friend of hers (a girl she roomed with at college) and her husband have been trying to start a family for a few years.  They did infertility shots and all, but nothing happened.  They finally accepted that they weren’t going to have any children of their own, then soon after found out she was pregnant. When they went to find out the gender, they also found they were going to have twins! A boy and a girl. Since there were twins, the doctors planned a c-section. My sister's friend went to the hospital a little earlier than planned because she actually started going into labor. The doctors soon found out that the little girl had passed away a couple days before:(  They had no way of knowing what happened, but knew that her amniotic fluid also contained blood, so she couldn’t survive. But the blessing in all of this is that if it had happened any differently it could have caused this mother and her other unborn baby to die too. The little boy was delivered and is doing great . It is amazing what Heavenly Father decides our trials in life to be. Throughout this whole trial, this little family has had the best outlook. Even with losing the daughter, though very sad-- the parents are focusing on celebrating in the fact that their daughter was sent down to Earth to become a part of their family, even though she didn’t stay long. She just needed to receive her body, and enter a righteous family, but was valiant enough to not have to sojourn this Earth life, but to just return to Heavenly Father.  This family will be able to raise their daughter in the Millennium.
     My sister also shared a portion of a talk from Sister Linda Reeves (2nd counselor in the General Relief Society) "the Lord allows us to be tried and tested, sometimes to our maximum capacity.  We have seen the lives of loved ones--and maybe our own--figuratively burned to the ground and have wondered why a loving  and caring Heavenly Father would allow such things to happen.  But He does not leave us in the ashes; He stands with open arms, eagerly inviting us to come to Him.  He is building our lives into magnificent temples where His Spirit can dwell eternally." 

  I do believe that this is true, and one of the reasons that I can help serve the people of Houston...Well, until next week...

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