This was an insane week.
I saw Elder Deakin off with President Wilson late Thursday night, and
he flew home on Friday morning. He and I had a lot of good times
together, but I wouldn't say I was sad to see him go.
I have been staying with the Zone Leaders for the past several days
since Elder Deakin is gone. Elder Deakin and I went over there on
Thursday night where we awaited President Wilson to pick him up and
take him down to Mill Creek. Shortly before he arrived, however, we
received leadership calls from the Assistants to the President. That's
when I found out I'm going to be training this transfer. It's kind of
crazy. Actually, it's really crazy. But President Wilson knows all
about the extent of my training, and the Lord obviously knows too. So
I have no problems accepting this new mantle!
The past few days I have spent with Elders Marsden and Annand have
been invaluable to my growth as a missionary. As I prepare to welcome
a new missionary into the mission, I have felt slightly apprehensive
about my ability to train someone properly. But all that I have
learned in just a few days about finding, teaching, being obedient,
talking with everyone, working hard, and having faith has bolstered my
confidence. I am excited to be the trainer that I envisioned having
when I first came to the mission. I have seen so many miracles in just
a few total hours of finding in Shoultes. Elders Marsden and Annand
have completely altered my perspective on missionary work, and I am
extremely grateful for this short, but precious time I've been able to
spend with them.
As I write this letter, I'm still reeling. Elder Marsden initiated a
contact with a woman named Carol just outside the library before we
entered. She was unbelievably prepared! We talked about everything
from Relief Society to personal preparedness to infant baptism -- in
the course of about five minutes! She was absolutely open to having us
teach her more. The best part is that she lives in Shoultes! Another
man we met a few days ago, named John, has seven children and
absolutely believes in the rearing of the family in these rough days.
His mother is a convert, so he knows about the Church, and he invited
us right back for next Saturday afternoon! Two young men walking down
the sidewalk approached us and almost immediately began pouring out
their hearts to us concerning their emotional distresses and their
desires to come unto Christ.
Elder Marsden said something yesterday that will stick with me for the
rest of my mission, if not the rest of my life. His words were:
"Having faith is to expect miracles, but not fear failure."
I have seen the Lord preparing my area in the past few days in ways
that I never imagined. I was only able to witness these precious
miracles because Elder Marsden and I were talking with everyone!
I love the work of a missionary! I am excited to train a new
missionary and show him that miracles do occur in these latter days
and especially in the lives of the Lord's obedient, hard-working,
That's insane that Seth is going to baptize someone! He will have
physically done so before me! I'm so excited!
Dad, it sounds like your workout life is getting pretty intense. That
is so cool! I expect to see you with an eight-pack washboard when I
I love you all! Lots of work ahead!