Monday, February 6, 2012

Strong Testimonies of New Converts

Good Afternoon!                 6 February 2012
(No pictures this week...)
       Well first and foremost, I would like to wish a Happy Anniversary to Moms and Pops! I know that it isn’t until later in the week, but I won’t be able to do anything else for it then to just say it through the email.
        This week was pretty good just like most of them. We had a lot of meetings and a lot of things to do throughout the week, but we still managed to get some actual missionary work done as well. We have been having a lot of success with inviting people to be baptized and them accepting it. The only thing now is that we have to translate that into baptisms. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the month plays out. We have a bunch of people preparing for baptism on the 25th of February, so we will put in the work and hope for the best. We also had to make our monthly trip down to St. George for our meeting with President Leonard. It was good, as most missionary meetings are, but we had to learn a lot and have been given a lot of responsibility. I feel I have been understanding more fully my responsibility as a zone leader and how I can better help the missionaries that serve in my zone. My stay in St. George ended up a little longer. I went on exchanges with the Assistants to the President.  I loved being in St. George and the feeling that it has. I am not hoping to get transferred, but if I do, I want to go back to St. George. Well this exchange was in English again, so it turned out to be a little difficult for me to teach in English, but it worked out. It is nice to know no matter where you go or what language you are teaching in, the Gospel and Spirit is still the same.
      It was really nice weather down in St. George when I was there. It was about 65-70 and a light breeze, but it definitely wasn’t like that in Cedar when we came back. I came back to Cedar with 6 inches of snow on the ground and it was about 25 degrees outside. Let's just say that I wasn't too thrilled to be back in Cedar City! (Elder D is a summer boy at heart!) The snow is starting to melt and we are looking at warmer weather for this coming week.
           I had to do a lot of baptismal interviews this week. The people I interviewed were so amazing and prepared for the Gospel. I interviewed this kid named Myles. He is from Oakland, California, but is here to play football for SUU. During his interview I could just tell how much he loved the Gospel, and how much it had changed him for the better. So I asked him if there was anything else he wanted to say before I asked him the last question, and he just sat there for a minute and thought about what was on his mind. He just looked at me and basically bore his testimony to me about how happy he was to be part of the TRUE church of Christ here on the earth and how much he had changed because of the Gospel. It was so amazing to hear him say that. It took me back to when I first got my personal testimony and how much happiness and peace I felt in my life as I continued to live all of the commandments of God and to apply the Gospel to my life. I think I had kind of forgotten how big of a change I had to make in my life and the difference between when I lived the Gospel and when I didn’t. It was pretty cool because he invited us to come to his baptism.  We didn’t want to let him down on his invitation; so we went to his baptism and what a great experience that was! He had invited so many people and had so much support, his baptismal service had to be held in the chapel, and it was completely full! I seriously think that the whole SUU football team was there for him. A baptismal service is something special already, but this one just blew me away. Everything was pretty normal and Spiritual, but the service took a turn when Myles himself came up to share his testimony. He shared basically the same testimony that he shared with me the day before. He invited everyone there to give the Gospel a shot and to try it for themselves. I honestly don’t think that there was a dry eye in the whole chapel. He testified with such power and with his heart. I seriously grew a great love for this man that I had only known for a day. He is going to be a great example to everyone, whether it is on the football field or in a church. Just through this whole experience with Myles and the changes that he made, I started to think about the Gospel as a whole and the blessings that we can receive by living it. I can testify that the Gospel is happiness! Some people may think that we have too many "rules", but in all reality, they are not just "rules" of the LDS Church, but commandments that God has given to us. Some may think that we are restricted by these commandments, but I think that these commandments give us true freedom. I would much rather have the confidence of God on my side because I am doing what He expects of me, then to do what the world promotes as "fun" or "happiness". The Gospel provides long-term happiness that will last for time and all eternity, but the world and the Adversary only offers temporal happiness. I will take eternal happiness over temporal anytime!
         NEWS FROM HOME – we want to make sure Chad has a nice new bedroom ready for when he comes home:  Well Mom, to be honest I don’t really care about my bed. I mean I have always loved my waterbed and I was looking forward to sleeping in it again, but I have become accustomed to a regular bed. So I would be able to do with whatever. I know it would be easier to move a regular bed, and it will be easier for you two in the long run. So you can decide and I will be able to adjust to it. Well thank you so much for all that you do for me! I love you all so much and am grateful for the support that I have here.
Vivalo, amalo, predicalo!    con amor,    ELDER D

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