Monday, July 27, 2015

Reflection-- Giving it My All

Letter #100
July 26, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

It has been in the 90s and 100s these past 2.5 weeks and it has been pretty humid, but I think Texas broke me, it doesn't feel hot anymore, I just am sweating a lot... We are still without a car and biking a lot, just waiting for news on the car.

This last week has been really amazing, rough at times, but amazing overall. We were blessed with so many miracles that I can't even count them all, but they all led to the progression of our investigators! I personally have been doing a lot of reflection this past week on my service in the mission and especially how I am finishing it, and so far I have found a lot of peace and comfort and I am determined to keep going strong until the end. I don't know if I told you this before, but for a long time in the beginning of my mission I was looking at everyone else and the success they were having and looking at myself and the lack of success that I had seen. It was really a struggle and I felt like I wasn't doing enough and I felt like I was doing something wrong. I had come to the conclusion that I really didn't care how many people I baptized, I was just going to leave every area I worked in in a better state than I found it and make it so they could baptize within the transfer after my departure, which I feel like wasn't the best thing, but it kept me going strong and pushing as hard as I could. I have always been determined to baptize, but I was struggling inside. I remember clearly one night that I was on an exchange with Elder Anderson, one of my former companions, in Broadway, we were talking and he brought that concern up. He really motivated me that night to be the best missionary I could be and that the success would come in the Lord's due time. Then shortly thereafter, president moved me into Liberty and told me that he put me there because he knew I could baptize there, and I did. I am extremely grateful for that inspiration that he received to have me put in Liberty, and now here. Here in Baytown, on Saturday, we should be baptizing Hermana Galvez, 4 years after she originally started investigating the church, 2 years after her son went out on his mission, 4 days after her son comes home, and 3 before I go home. Something I also realized in my reflecting as well as talking with Elder Syrie this last Preparation Day, I have played a role in the baptisms of many people. If I remember correctly, I have played the role of finding and/or teaching at least 12 people who have been baptized, when I originally felt like I wasn't doing anything. Now the Lord is blessing us with another baptism in this area. I feel so blessed and I now realize what the Lord means when he says in D&C 18:15-16:

"15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"

This week was great though, we did a lot of finding, knocking, etc, but we didn't find much luck in that. We did find out that a less active that basically ran away from home for 2 weeks came home, and he is still really desiring to come back to church and activities and everything. He came to church and had a great time in our Branch Conference learning from President Howard, the Stake President. We also got back in with a couple of our investigators, Luis and Ida, who are already friends with a couple in our branch, we were able to bring over the couple and teach the family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and answer some of their questions. They are really starting to think about our teachings and they are really interested in learning more. Their desire to follow the restored gospel is really growing! We also have had a lot of success with Ulises and Andrea, who are very curious about the church and the teachings. Those two couples are the only two that I know that are so curious that they have been wondering where God came from. Obviously we have those answers, but we have had to simply explain the plan God has for us and help them come to the conclusion for themselves. We have also had success with Mario and he came to church again! He still isn't reading, but he is taking steps in the right direction.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

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