Monday, November 3, 2014

[11/03/2014] Week 87: Rocks and Rills and Socks for Christmas

Dear fambly,

Again, this week was a looker-upper. We found two new investigators, taught our first member-present lessons in quite a while, and were "this" close to having investigators at church.

We taught Abdul twice this week, and he kep
t all of his commitments perfectly. He understood clearly Alma chapters 40-42 and found that reading the Book of Mormon answered all of his questions that stemmed from reading the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. So when we came to teach him and follow up on his experience reading the Book of Mormon, he had no questions for us! We moved into teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ, focusing on a standalone lesson on repentance. We employed the bold commitment found in Preach My Gospel, "Will you repent of your sins?" to which he joyfully responded that he would. He has a tender heart -- as it seems most African people do -- and was highly concerned with how to properly perform restitution for mistakes he made in Africa when he is now living in America. We taught him that we may not always be able to perfectly restore the damage we do, but that it's important to remember the last step of repentance listed in the pamphlet: "Acknowledge the Savior". We testified that though we cannot ever become clean and pure for ourselves, the Savior provided a way for us to bridge the gap between spiritual death and eternal life--a bridge that, when crossed, is not meant to be looked back upon. I love repentance. I love the opportunity to erase our mistakes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and move onward and forward with happiness in our hearts, peace in our minds, and priceless experience in our remembrance.

Last night, Elder Foster and I contacted a potential investigator that the Thomas Lake elders initially found. His name is Canyon, and he's way interested in learning more, but I want to touch a little on what happened after we got back in the car. It ended up being that I said and taught a lot more during the contact, whereas Elder Foster said relatively little, which is uncharacteristic of our companionship. When we sat in the car, I asked whether there were any particular reason he hadn't talked as much, as I had tried to provide opportunities for him to transition in. When I asked this, I came off accusatory and condescending, though I didn't intend to. What followed was a heated argument about our companionship and whether we communicate effectively enough. Once we calmed down, we had a really, really effective companionship inventory-esque conversation about where the breach really seems to be in our communication. What we learned is that each of us admires the other more than he realized and is internally trying to "measure-up" to the other. We talked a lot about the strengths we see in each other and how, even though we're two very different people and think entirely differently, we can work together really well and complement each others' weaknesses.

I found out today that my trainer, Elder Deakin, is getting married in December. #mindblown

Christian, all of the elders emailing here with me enjoyed hearing about your encounter with the storm trooper. It's little moments like that that make a mission priceless.

Oh, Mom and Pops. I don't really need anything for Christmas. If anything, I'd really like your help getting some things home (like my mission bike, stuff I've acquired, etc.) when the time comes. I think a couple of pairs of gray and blue socks would be helpful just to make it through these last few months. But that's all. Otherwise, use the extra money on other people at home, or on other Elder Martins! On that note, I did get your Halloween package, as well as one from the Sanfords (they are awesome). Thanks so much for your love 'n' care!

I love y'all!

Elder Martin

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