Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Greetings to all!                           ONE WEEK TO GO   4 Sept 12

Well this is a really weird email. It is basically my last one. I will have a little time next week, but not too much. Who would have ever thought that this day would come? I definitely didn't think I would ever be to this point two years ago.
         This week was really good for us. We were able to see the blessings of the Lord a lot. It has been so up and down the last couple of weeks, but we have truly been putting in the work and hoping to see the blessings. This week we really saw those blessings.   On Tuesday, President threw a curve ball at us. We found out on Monday that we were having a meeting with him the following day. We had to change appointments and had the meeting where everyone was interviewed. It was a lot of stress that they put on us the day before. It was nice to have an interview with my mission president. President Leonard kept saying, "Well Elder Davis, in two weeks we will be doing this all over again." He is truly an inspired man and I am so thankful for his guidance.
       One of the main blessings we had came from a 15 year old girl named Lizzy. We have been trying to meet with this girl for 2 months now, but we just never have been able to get a solid appointment. Then we finally did. We asked her why she wanted to meet with us, and she said, "Well I want to be active in the Church and to have my mom be active in the Church.” (Her mom is a less active member of the Church.) “I know that it will be a better life for me and my family." So we were a little caught off guard by that statement and so we were thinking, "Is she a member already?" But we asked her if she wanted to be baptized and she said that she had been thinking about it and it was something that she wanted to do. The Lord just continues to provide us with the opportunity to teach those he has prepared for us.
        More blessings that happened this week – Two Baptisms! One of them was for a boy named Kayson. Kayson is actually 8, so we didn't teach him too much, but he is the son of one of our investigators. He is the son of the family that gave me the compliment from last week. It was a really nice baptism and they had a lot of support. I even was able to give a talk and say the closing prayer.
Baptism: Elder Chad, David, Elder Noriega
       The second baptism was for David. I have taught him since I first got to this area. It was a nice feeling to watch him be baptized. I was even able to baptize him. I still remember the wonderful feeling of walking down into the water with him and to just see him come out of the water smiling. As we walked out of the font, David just gave me a big hug and said, "Thank you so much! I appreciate everything you have done. Thank you for sticking around and not giving up on me." It was such a special feeling to know how much I have been able to help this man in his life. It is a very humbling experience as well. He is a very humble man and is ready to make those steps necessary in his life to do all that God has asked him to do. He has had to overcome a lot of struggles to be baptized, but now he has his sights set on the temple and being sealed to his wife. This experience really helped me to see how much my missionary service has meant to me, as well as others.
       I really had been worried that my efforts in this area didn't reach up to the "standard" set by other missionaries, or even my efforts for my whole mission. But I truly felt on Saturday, that the Lord had accepted my efforts as a missionary. I know that I haven't been perfect. I have made mistakes and have had to make those changes in my mission. I know that I was truly sent here to this mission and all the areas that I have served in, because that is where my Heavenly Father needed me to be. I know that I have been able to touch the lives of many. I know that it may not have even been a big thing to me, but I may have changed someone's life forever because of my actions or words. I just continue to hope and pray that I will always be able to remember those that I have met here on my mission, and that they will always remember me as well. I know that I have learned things here in my mission that I wouldn't have been able to learn anywhere else. This is truly where the Lord needed me and I will forever be indebted for my mission and the life changing experiences I have had here.
            On Sunday, we were able to have the confirmation of David. It was great! His brother-in-law was actually able to do it. After that I was able to bear my testimony. I thanked David for his willingness to follow the Savior, and I also thanked the members of that ward for their help. It was kind of funny the reaction that happened. I mentioned that it was no secret  I was going home soon, but that I had grown to love it here in Emery County and was grateful for all the people I had gotten to know. After that it seemed that everyone that bore their testimony welcomed David into the ward and then made some comment to me, thanking me for my service and wishing me luck in the future. I definitely wasn't looking for any response like that at all, but it happened. The funniest thing was that the High Councilman over missionary work got up and said a bunch of stuff about me and that I would be back to Emery County soon, because I had been set up on a bunch of dates. (Of course it was a joke Mother. Don't worry!) Then after the meeting everyone would come up and wish me luck, invite me to stay at their house when I come back, and I even had some more moms come up and remind me that they have some daughters I could date if I ever came back there. It was such a weird meeting, but pretty funny that his one little comment sent and eruption out towards me. It did make me feel quite loved by all those members here in this stake. I know that they truly have seen a difference and have enjoyed having me serve here for the last 6 months. The Stake President even said, "Well Elder Noriega, you are going to have some big shoes to fill here." So I am happy that I have been able to make a lasting impression here in Emery County.
        It is a weird feeling to know that this is all coming to an end, but I know that it has been for good. I know that I have tried to serve the Lord the best that I could my whole two years. Yes, I have come up short, but I have been able to grow and learn from these things. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have had and I grateful for all the support from home that I have had from everyone (family and friends). Well Mom, I am glad you could get the kitchen done and I am glad that Pops is continuing to improve. I love you all so much! I will see you next week!

 Live it, Love it, Preach it! Even if you only have a week left in the mission field!)
del misionero que regrese a case en una semana!    ELDER D


No comments: