Holy cow! I can’t believe I’m almost done with my second transfer ALREADY. Man time flies as a missionary! But I definitely am loving it.
Our investigators are doing pretty well. Our mission president clarified the definition of people with baptismal dates (meaning they have to come to church), which means we now have zero with baptismal dates. BUT we’re working SUPER hard to bring people to church. We had two last week, but zero this week. Ray is having trouble with his health but he did accept the invitation to be baptized!!! YAY!!!! That was really awesome to hear. 🙂 Ron is continuing to struggle with his addiction, but he’s getting there. We know he can do it!
So this week I went to two district meetings because, since Sister Buxton is a Sister Training Leader, we go on quite a few exchanges. Usually four every transfer. So first we did an exchange with Bedford and I had my first opportunity since the MTC to be in a duo. And we were in my area so that was super scary because I was basically the senior companion. I realized just how much I love and rely on my companions to help me out and I realized just how much I still have to learn…. A LOT. So that was on Wednesday. We went to district meeting, which is fantastic. It usually is. Our district leader, Elder Crockett, is super awesome. He is really good at helping to bring the Spirit to our meetings and when you do role plays with him… Wowzers. He is GOOD. And he always has suggestions on how to improve and what we do well. He’s pretty great. After district meeting, Sister Hoffman (the Bedford sister that came up here) and I went to visit a few people. We didn’t have any set appointments so most of the people we wanted to see weren’t home. Soooo we ended up with an hour or so of time not really planned for… Now beginning my panic mode. That was stressful and if I may say so, I think I handled it pretty well. We decided to go tracting. We don’t usually do much of that because we having basically every minute of most days planned out with set appointments, studies, and travel time. Anyway, tracting = knocking on doors. It’s kind of fun, because of people’s reactions. The first door we knocked on REALLY made me laugh. So we’re standing there waiting for someone to answer. We see someone lift up the curtain and all of a sudden, “No. No no no no! I’ve been baptized, I’m Episcopalian, I know Jesus. I’m good. I’m all set. Thank you. No.” She didn’t even open the door. So then we just said “Alright, thank you! Have a wonderful day!” with smiles on our faces, like usual. As we turn to leave we hear “Hang on. Are you thirsty? Do you want something to drink?” We answered yes, because it was pretty hot that day. So she goes to get something and opens the door just barely enough to hand us two water bottles and then snaps it shut again. Hahahahaha that made me laugh pretty hard. But, welcome to New England. People are “wicked” nice here, but if they don’t want to talk to you, they really won’t. Haha We did find someone with our tracting efforts, though! We haven’t been able to meet her again since then, but I shared 3 Nephi 17:20 – Jesus says His joy is full because of the people’s faith. She took a Book of Mormon and said she wouldn’t mind reading it. So that was pretty sweet.
Our other exchange was with Laconia, north of us. And that was on Thursday, which is when they do their district meetings since they’ve got the Zone Leaders in their area. That district meeting was even better than ours! We talked about the Sabbath day and why it’s so important. Which fit right in with our sacrament meeting from last week. The Sabbath day is special and the reason we don’t do anything on that day is because we’ve been commanded dedicate it completely to the Lord. We are allowed to work on Sundays, but only if it’s the Lord’s work. That sacrament meeting made me want to work a lot harder when I get home at staying focused on the Lord – i.e. studying the scriptures more, reading the church magazines and other articles, spending my time on mormon.org or other church websites instead of doing homework, watching TV/movies or other things that don’t help me to stay focused on my Heavenly Father and all that He has done for me. So that’s one goal I have for when I get home. I think I’ll have a ton of goals like this since I’ve still got a while. It’ll be GREAT! Anyway, after the Laconia district meeting, we went to meet with a woman who is less-active. That was a wonderful lesson! we talked about the Pre-Earth life and how we’ve lived with God before because He is literally the Father of our Spirits. We had a really good discussion about it and I was able to bear my testimony about my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. The woman lost her daughter and she still knows that the Gospel is true. So I shared my experience with losing my brother and that even though I’m sad I can’t see him – he’s not here for me to talk to or to be with me during times in my life I always imagined him to be there for, I know that he’s still here, I just can’t see him. I know I’ll be able to see him again relatively soon and that he’s doing the same work that I am. This knowledge is the reason that I’m so happy even though it happened only about 2 1/2 months ago. I can still experience joy and true happiness every day BECAUSE of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m happy and excited to continue living my life the way God would have me do. There’s nothing I can do to change the past, so I’ll just do my best to change the future for the better. I’ll take my challenges and trials with joy and happiness because I know that I’ve got God on my side – I can just put all my faith and trust in Him, every day of my life and I know I’ll be perfectly fine. That’s the beauty of the Gospel. Though life is hard, life is also COMPLETELY worth it. It’s worth leaving my Father in Heaven to come down to earth in order to gain a body, gain experience and learn as much as I possibly can in my time here. It’s worth struggling through difficulties, no matter how big or small. It’s worth struggling through emotions of anger, sadness, and jealousy. Why is it worth it to go through a life with so many hardships? Because I know where I’m going. I know that my Heavenly Father is waiting for me to come running back to Him. I know that He and my Savior, Jesus Christ live. They both live and life is worth it because of the opportunity each of us has to work hard and gain eternal life. There’s a scripture in the book of Moses. Chapter 1, verse 39. “For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” What’s the difference between immortality and eternal life? Immortality: living forever without sickness or other afflictions. Eternal life: Living forever with Heavenly Father. Everyone who has ever received a body will receive immortality. But it’s our decision whether or not we receive eternal life. Heavenly Father is doing His best in giving us the tools we need to get back to Him so that He can have the pleasure of giving us this most amazing gift of living with Him forever. We’ve got the scriptures, prayer, and church. We’ve got the Gospel. We already have everything we need in order to get back to Him. It’s our choice whether or not we accept them and accept Him. I love this Gospel. I’m doing my best every single day to gain eternal life and I’m doing my best every single day to help others gain it, too. That’s the reason that this life is completely worth it. Because I know that as long as I try my very hardest to do the things that I’ve been asked by God to do, I’ll receive Eternal Life. I know that with every fiber of my being, body and soul. And that’s why I take on any trial that comes my way with happiness and joy.
I encourage each of you to take the time to think of something you’re grateful for, thank Heavenly Father for it, and try a little harder to rely on Him so it’s a little easier make it through whatever trial you’ve got going on. Take it all on, one day at a time, one trial at a time. You’ll make it through with the help of Jesus Christ. He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. I know it, and I love having this knowledge.
Keep on reading and praying. I know that you’ll have even more joy in your life if you do. I love you all very much and hope you’re doing well! 🙂