Sunday, April 14, 2013

[4/8/2013] Week 4: Guided by the Spirit

General Conference was certainly a delight. I found myself more focused, attentive, and enlightened during this Conference than in any other I've ever watched. I am certain that is because of the change in my calling since the last session and because of my earnest prayers preceding the Conference asking Heavenly Father to help me learn. I do hope we see an influx of member support in missionary work following the words of our Prophet and Apostles.

Some things that stood out to me (forgive the rough nature of the quotes; they are from my notes):

When we obey His will and serve with love, the natural consequence is power from God
-Elder Richard G. Scott

We have unlimited divine potential.
-Elder M. Russell Ballard

Peace is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment.
-Elder Quentin L. Cook

Marriage is the sacred channel through which souls enter mortality.
-Elder David A. Bednar

Accept the fact that darkness exists. Do not dwell there; dwell in the Light.
-Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

God's commandments are not a buffet from which we can choose what to obey and what to toss aside.
-L. Whitney Clayton of the Seventy

Aside from Jesus Christ, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with.
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

This week, we were still unable to meet with Farlan, but we plan on seeing him on Wednesday. We were able to squeeze in three separate lessons, however, with another investigator, Jordan. Following the third one, he asked us for a blessing as he has been suffering from severe neck and spine problems. We did so, and what a marvelous experience! I felt 100% guided by the Spirit and he could not refrain from literally trembling as I called down the powers of Heaven upon his head and the Holy Ghost worked in him. I am so grateful for the marvelous power of the Priesthood.

We visited a recent convert this week, whose live-in close friend is lukewarm about learning more about the Gospel. We tried setting up a lesson with him, but nothing has come of it so far. Most of our visits to less-active members of the Church were unsuccessful. We did visit a less-active family and shared with them a scripture in Alma 26, emphasizing the glory and power of God.

I can always be better. Especially following General Conference, I am excited to continue building my relationship with and increase my reliance on Jesus Christ to make up the difference for what I cannot do. I pray earnestly every night for improvement, even little by little. I am absolutely seeing it happen. I love seeing God's hand in my life and in this work.

I have not been able to rid my mind of a certain thought. When I first hit the field, Elder Deakin was telling me that the work had only very recently ramped up. Suddenly, there were all these investigators, all these referrals, all these people to see. Before that, the work was a little harder to come by. I can't stop thinking that the work picked up because of my obedience. I know that may sound a little vain or prideful, but I made it a point in the MTC to be obedient; no exceptions. I have continued that attitude into the field, and it seems as though the timing is just about right for my obedience to have had an effect on the mission field, even before I arrived here. Because of this, I am striving to be continually obedient, even when other missionaries are not. It's not easy, and I'm definitely not perfect, but the Lord is definitely blessing me.

The funny story of the week will be borrowed, because nothing funny really happened to me. :p I heard this story at dinner about a week ago.

An elder serving in Africa was given a pet monkey by a recent convert as an expression of gratitude. His companion (the storyteller's son or something) was not ok with keeping it around, but decided he wasn't going to take the agency of his companion away. Eventually the mission president found out, and said that the monkey had to go; it could not stay in their apartment. According to African custom, however, one cannot just throw the monkey out into the wild. The only acceptable way to get rid of the monkey was to eat it! So the two elders ate their monkey for dinner.

Typing it out, the story is pretty unbelievable, but the member who told it to us didn't seem to be making it up. Pretty funny, regardless!

I love you all! Seth, keep fighting for success. Your truck will be awesome, Prom will be awesome, your Eagle Project will be super awesome, because you are awesome! You can do hard things! Especially when you rely on the Lord.

Dad, we made fajitas this week. It was awesome! I felt so cool! :D

Also, funny you should attach those pictures! The ones of Bethsy and David were taken by me! They treated me to breakfast right before I entered the MTC.

I'll be sending some pictures too.

I love you all! Keep being awesome!


Elder Martin

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