Saturday, October 26, 2013

Keeping our eyes, and hearts, open

letter # 9
October 21, 2013
Area: Broadway 3 North, Texas
Companion: Thomas

         Well, this week was pretty challenging.  We've had a lot of days where there have only been a couple of teaching opportunities..making for really long days.  A lot of time trying to 'find' people to teach. On Thursdays we have our "hour of power" which is when we knock doors for an hour while the general authorities pray that we will be able to find someone willing to hear the gospel message or who will accept the gospel. This Thursday we ended up knocking doors for about 4 hours, and not teaching anyone...we were tired, sore, and about ready to give up. But right as we were about to give up and go back in a little early, we stopped to talk to this guy at a bus stop. He was nice, and we found out that he taught at the school down the street.  We started talking to him about what we do. At first he said it was all good stuff that we do, and that we're just Christians with better morals.  Then as we continued talking, he first stated that it was all pretty hard to believe that the Book of Mormon was translated from gold plates that were given to Joseph, and that Joseph really saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because he was alone...but as we continued talking, he started to change from that. We taught him a little of the Book of Mormon lesson, and you could see him thinking.  You know that softening that occurs.  By the time the bus came,he accepted a Book of Mormon, and he had already said that he would 1) read the Book of Mormon and 2) pray to know if it was true.  He said that he already respected our church-- he just needed to know that the Book of Mormon is true. I hope he takes all that we spoke about to heart and will learn the truthfulness of the church :) We placed a Book of Mormon with another guy (this one actually speaking spanish), and hopefully we can teach him later :)
         We talked to a few more people on the streets the next few days and we will be teaching a few of them this week.  After all of our struggles, we did find a "golden family"--a family consisting of a father, mother, and 4 kids (3 over the age of 8)  We were just knocking doors, and they were the first house that we tried. The kids were playing out in the front yard.  They just arrived from Honduras the week before, so they don't speak English, but we speak Spanish!  Being new to the area, they are looking for a new church to go to:)  We have already taught the wife 3 times, twice with a member (and they are getting along like good friends).  The husband is willing to listen too, so we'll see if this goes where we want it to go.  Keeping our hearts open, which helps our eyes to 'see'.
        This past Saturday we had stake conference and with that they had the youth and missionaries sing a special combination of "We'll Bring the World His Truth" and "Called to Serve" :) I really enjoyed it, and what made it even better is the fact that there are about 70 missionaries in our stake [all but 2 of the 10 missionaries who came with me from the MTC were in this choir with me] :D   
         You know I have come to realize that I can't give up while I face these difficulties. I have had the choice to give up almost every day because, like I said,this is difficult!  But when faced with the choice to give up, I think of what it would be doing, what would happen if I gave up.  My mind goes to this poem that I heard "He's Been There Before"(by Elder Whittle)-- it's kind of what I am going through, especially that day of knocking for 4 hours. He's Been There Before   I have thought of all that I had to do to make it here on my mission.  I've thought of all I would be giving up and how disappointed everyone would be-- how disappointed I would be.  I have days like that--days when I am thinking of what it would mean to just give up and I realize, the saying is true-- the only failure is the one that gives up.  I don't want to give up!  I know that at the end of each storm there is a bright sun-shiny day waiting for me.  I know that at the end of the day, if I've tried my best all day, I will have that one person I talk to that will be the diamond in the rough.  I have experienced that each day of "failure" that we have had.  The days that nothing seems to be going right, when Elder Thomas and I have a hard day, we always get a good end to the day, right when we are about to give up.  Heavenly Father always prepares us to find that one person who will listen (might become converted) just because we have stayed diligent with willing hearts, and are trying to 'see' the way God sees this area. 
      Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and of a good courage: be not afraid, neither be though dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

I love you mom, and dad, and I want to make you proud.
Your son,

I am proud to bear the name of my father, I know I will do everything that I need to do to do his name justice :)



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