Sunday, September 1, 2013

[08/26/2013] Week 24: District Leading and Motivating

In my email last week, I mentioned that I was determined to make it a good week, both in my relations with Elder Julius, and as far as working hard in general. I am happy to report that in both respects, it was a great week!

We found two new investigators in Mateo, an unbaptized child of record, the son of a less active who is returning to activity with fire, and in Noah, a seventeen-year-old who wants to learn more about all faiths. We have had contact with a number of other potential investigators and have committed them to read the Book of Mormon.

Stroller Cat
I'm not sure how, but I've received a greater desire and motivation to do the work over this past week. I think it had something to do with trying to see people as sons and daughters of God who need a knowledge of His plan for them, but I was also praying really hard to have an increase in zeal. Maybe it's kind of like praying for charity (Moroni 7:48). All I know is that it worked. As I've had a motivation to go out and work hard, I find more satisfaction in the day I put in, and so I seek that satisfaction the next day. I guess that's kind of selfish-sounding. But I like to know at the end of the day that I was an honorable servant of the Lord.

One of my favorite aspects of being a missionary is learning to follow the promptings of the Spirit. On Saturday, Elder Wells and I went to visit a less-active, Brother Lothyan, that we hadn't seen in several weeks. We actually caught him home, but he was very sick. So we went to visit an active member around the corner who just had surgery. We parked in front of his house, got out, and before taking three steps away from the car, I stopped. I received a clear prompting that we needed to visit one of our new investigators, Sister Sowell, in another neighborhood down the street. I stood considering this prompting for about ten seconds, and then I told Elder Wells, "Nope. We're not going to see Brother Quayle. We're going somewhere else." So we hopped back in, drove to Sister Sowell's house, and caught her on the porch. We shared with her a short message about the cleansing and uplifting power of the Atonement and repentance. We discovered that it was the anniversary of her marriage to her late husband, and she was getting ready to go to dinner with her children to celebrate his memory. We had planned on seeing Sister Sowell after visiting a few others first, but had we done so, we would have missed her. Because of the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we were able to provide her with a spiritual boost on what must have been a disheartening day.

Sometimes, the best things happen at 8:40pm, right before heading in. This week, we decided to knock on the door of a less active lady named Heidi Bennett. We had tried her home several times before and only caught her dad or her daughter home. But when we knocked late at night, Sister Bennett answered. In an instant, she was pouring out her whole story and all her emotions about the past year and the struggles her family has faced. Her son is struggling with addiction, her daughter seems to be stalwart, and her ex-husband now has custody of both. She doesn't get along well with her father and works on Sundays because she needs the money. She concluded by asking us to put the names of her and her children on the prayer roll at the Temple and to include them in our personal prayers.

Another night, around 8:40pm, we street contacted a guy named Matt who was pushing his cat named Zahnn around in a stroller. Zahnn had done ten miles that day. Apparently, this is a common thing in the Seattle area. Matt has a friend he met through World of Warcraft who is a Mormon.

That was cool too.

Sunroof Deer Head
The other attached picture is of a stuffed deer head hanging in a guy's sunroof. Apparently, that's a fad here too.

Elder Larson continues to struggle with his area. He expressed to me last night that he has this attitude of "enduring" until he gets called somewhere else. He knows that isn't the right idea. Having also come from an area where got to teach more, I know how he feels. I'm trying to help him work through it in the same way I have. I told him the piece of advice President Bonham gave me about seeing others as Heavenly Father does, and I think that helped. He also committed to think more about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice during the in-between time (riding bikes, door-to-door, making lunch, etc.) of missionary work.

I had a lot of opportunity to work with Elder Wells this week, as Elder Larson was sick with a nasty head cold for a few days. So we exchanged--Elder Julius' knee was out of commission, too--and Elder Wells and I spent Friday and Saturday covering both areas (good thing we've been careful with our miles all month!). We got to do a good amount of teaching in my area, (including Noah, whom Elders Wells and Larson originally found) which was really good for Elder Wells. He expressed both days that "it's days like those that make it easy to be a missionary." I think it was a much-needed morale boost for a young missionary in a tough area.

Well, Brandon is home now. I'm glad he was welcomed warmly. It's weird being the only Elder Martin in the field. Maybe I'll get to receive all his strength and awesomeness now!

I can't believe he has an iPad. The guy that comes back from Ghana is the first one in the Martin family to purchase a tablet! Sheez.

That French kid [Audren, a young man from Marseille who was vacationing in the US] looks like he and Seth could be good buddies. With the Hollister shirt and the shorty white shorts. Match made in heaven right there.

Transfer calls should come any minute now. This transfer, I learned: how to be bold, how to be a district leader, how to do missionary work in a car area, how to better follow the Spirit, how to bite my tongue to diffuse senseless contentious debates, and how to do handstands. I also learned that the arrow on the dash next to the little gas pump indicates what side your gas cap is on and that you can stick a key fob under your chin - key pointing up - to make the signal travel farther.

Just got transfer calls. Elder Julius is leaving, as are Elder Wells and Sister Jones. The whole district may be found at transfers tomorrow. Which means I can hopefully run into Sister Van Leuven at the mission office. Yay!

Did the elder from London happen to be an Elder Taylor Torbit?

Thanks for the advice, Dad. I will see how that works out. Also, any advice Brandon has to offer is much appreciated!


Elder Martin

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