area: Baytown Ward (Texas)
companion: Elder Leftwich
We had a pretty fantastic week! It's rained quite a bit though... they say a tropical storm is supposed to hit today but we'll be fine. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is pretty much the most organized and fastest working group on the planet, so we're super taken care of.
Quick story: a couple weeks ago when all the flooding was happening we didn't even know about it because we never watch the news and it wasn't happening where I am now. But there was an apartment complex in the City of Houston that was mostly Hispanic residents and it got wrecked. After the really dangerous flooding was gone the city workers were trying to help but there weren't enough police officers or firemen who spoke Spanish. So someone suggested the Mormon Missionaries to come and help clean up and translate. Within 2 hours from the time it was suggested there were over 30 Spanish speaking missionaries there.
I felt the Spirit so strong at the Zone Conference yesterday! When we read Doctrine and Covenants 31:6 I got such a reassurance that my service as a missionary truly is preparing a place for my family in the Kingdom of God. I know that the promise found in scriptures as well as all the blessings I received before I came on my mission, that a missionary's family is cared for by the Lord, is true.
I've also always struggled with promising the blessing of salvation. Mostly because any church can say that they can get you salvation and then you can't find out until you're dead whether they were telling the truth or not. I have felt that people are more likely to be accepting and committal if I've told them about the more instant blessings the Lord has promised us. But I guess I've been underestimating these investigators preparedness. I know that true salvation -- Eternal Life -- is only found by making covenants with God through ordinances performed by proper priesthood authority, and if I testify of that then these people will feel the Spirit. When Elder Foster said, "this isn't a membership push. This isn't about the church getting more members. This is about these people who need something that we have. Salvation." I really felt the Spirit telling me that salvation is the greatest blessing and as the Lord's representative, I can promise it. Anyway, I learned a lot from the Conference.
I'd like to tell you about one of our investigators. There's a 15 year old girl we taught her whole family once but the next time we went over there the parents dropped us. But before they did that this 15 year old girl told us that she's been reading the Book of Mormon and is really enjoying it. You could see the light in her eyes as she talked about it. But her parents are holding her back. There's a picture at the beginning of Preach My Gospel depicting Lehi's dream and on the right side of the picture there's people walking towards the great and spacious building. Some of these people are parents, holding the hands of their children. It makes me really think about all those who are in that building just because they were led there as children. We'll continue to pray for and invite this family.
I love all of you! But I love Jesus Christ more. And this is where He wants me. So this is where I want to be.
(additional quick email Nathan sent - he wrote "don't be scared" in the subject line) we just got a tornado warning. that's kinda cool. now I know what it'll be like to hide under the stairs with juice boxes. Joshua 1:9!Love you mom
(when I was little we lived in a 2 story townhouse in Kansas. I remember "hanging out" with my mom and little brother(s) in the little half-bath under the stairs during tornadoes)