Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lessons Learned......the weather is getting COLDER!

Hola Padres!                  31 October 2011

         This letter is late in the afternoon because we took a little vacation this morning since it is a holiday. We went to a place called
Bryce Canyon. It was pretty awesome. It is something that you definitely have to experience for yourself. I hope that the pictures that I send will do it justice. I also sent some home from last week with the baptisms and all that. I hope you enjoy.
         This week has passed by pretty quickly. I can hardly believe that it is November already! The last few weeks I have learned a lot about being physically tired vs. being spiritually tired. I thought I really understood what being tired was before I left. I have had some extreme weeks of sports practices and have been pushed to my absolute ends, but being on a mission I have learned that those feelings barely compare to those of being spiritually tired. If you exert one or the other yes, you may feel tired. But when you exert both of those all day long for the whole week, you truly know what tired feels like. There is something about having the Spirit there and continually using that just drains your body.
         We had some pretty crazy weather again. We went to sleep on Tuesday with it raining pretty hard, then on Wednesday when we woke up to go run, we saw about 3 inches of snow on the ground. We prepared for the cold that day. We went to a meeting and when we came out, the snow was completely melted and it was just brutally cold with the wind blowing. I guess that is just something I will have to look forward to during the long winter here in Cedar City.
         Last week I mentioned a potential investigator named Carlos. Well this week he became an investigator. He actually read what we had left him and he had gained a ton of knowledge from it. We touched up on all the points of the Restoration again for him and it went really well. He seems to have a genuine interest on learning more. We have an appointment with him this evening to give him a "church tour" so he will feel more comfortable when he can come to church.
         I went on exchanges with the Assistants to the Mission President this week. I actually went back down to St. George and was with Elder Hultgren. It was pretty amazing. We had some really awesome lessons with people that I didn't know at all. I just went by what the Spirit directed me to say, and it went amazing. That is one thing that I have really grown a testimony of lately, that no matter where you go, the Spirit is still the same! After I got back from being on the Dixie Campus, Elder Castro and I had an awesome lesson with Cris. He has been having some struggles while his dad is in the hospital in Mexico. He originally thought his father was going to pass away, so we prepared a lesson about the Atonement to help him. We read an article called "The Atonement Heals All Pain" from April's General Conference. As much as this lesson was for Cris, it definitely helped me see a lot of things in my own life. In this talk, it says how the pains and struggles in our life do one of two things. One, help us come closer to our Heavenly father; or two, push away from Him, but it depends on what we do. I thought so much on how I felt when my father was in the hospital and how I felt when he had cancer. I can see now, that this struggle was a big learning step for me. I learned how fragile life really is and how I could not continue to take it for granted. It was pretty tough to pass through this just a few months prior to my mission, but now I look at it as a great tool. I can really talk to investigators and members who are passing through really tough times and talk about how I was able to learn and grow from my struggles.
         This weekend I also gave a talk in the Spanish branch. It was pretty short, because I was the last speaker and only had about 5 minutes. I didn't mind too much! (A good friend, Brad Romm, gave his "farewell" talk in church this last Sunday before leaving on his mission to the Philippines.) It is crazy that Brad gave his farewell and Jared (Scrimsher) gave his homecoming all in one meeting. It is crazy to think that Jared is already home. (He served a mission in East Los Angeles, Spanish Speaking.) It feels like he just left. It feels like I just left and now I have been out for 14 months! Time just continues to fly by! I really liked what Brad shared about how he had worked really hard to become a physical giant, but he would gladly give it up to become a spiritual giant. He has the attitude that will take him to the point to becoming that spiritual giant. That is the first step, to decide who and what you want to become, and then it can happen. It is so weird that Brad is headed out on his mission. It is a crazy thought to think that we are all old enough to be out on missions and serving the Lord. I echo what Brad said about RMs though. They are really those people that you want to be around them and the missionaries who are serving. That played a big part in why I chose to serve a mission. It was because I looked at them and saw how they were able to carry themselves in such a bold, strong, and dignified manner, that the choice was easy to make. I wanted to possess those characteristics so I knew that I had to make a change and serve my mission as well. I love every moment I have to be able to be part of the Lord's army.

Live it, Love it, Preach it!  les amo!    ELDER D

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