Wow, it’s crazy to think that last Wednesday, it was 9 months since I entered the MTC. It has been an amazing time here in New England I have loved it! Cape Cod treated me well and I love the members who are and were out there, especially Barbara Phillips, the resiliant and tested Recent Convert that she is, Hartford and it’s stellar members as well and the learning experiences I had out in the city, and now here in New Haven, with it’s inspiring investigators and cool chapels. I love it and am especially grateful for a loving Heavenly Father, an inspired Mission President, and the best mom in the world, who all make it so worth it. I have loved my mission and have grown so immensely and so rapidly over these 9 months, that I can’t even start to number the things that have changed. I still feel like I am me, but my sensitivity to the spirit has increased, my love for people and for the work have definitely increased, but most of all, my understanding of the gospel and it’s precepts have deepend dramatically. The change that has impacted me the most is truly understanding how the gospel works, seeing how each little piece grows together, and realizing that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is puzzle pieces that all have a common theme and all work together to make one big amazing puzzle. I think back to Elder Anderson’s talk “A Witness of God”. He likened us all to small pieces in a puzzle, and how the gathering of Israel seems so big and overwhelming,
but as we start to put the pieces together, side by side, piece by piece, the puzzle comes together. We add on what others have already put together, and understand the patterns that they followed to put their’s together, which helps us see more patterns in what we have already done. The more and more this happens, the faster the growth of the puzzle and the more complete it becomes.
This week has been really cool. Really quick, I’ll give you an update on everyone.
Edet is fantastic! He comes out with us and we are teaching his fiancee, Minteria. Edet is scheduled to be baptized in two weeks and to married on the same day! Pretty crazy, but we’ll make it work. They are reading the scriptures together every day and are really enjoying the spirit. On Monday, they came to dinner with us at Brother and Sister Jones’ house. They fed us steak and salmon (Yum!) and we had a spiritual lesson with them. It was a great member trust experience and Edet and Minteria loved it!
Micheal is not interested right now, which is tough for us, but we will keep loving him and will be here if he comes back.
Sergio came back from India this week, so we were able to talk to him. Our lesson focused on the idea of commandments and we invited him to come to General Conference, but he had a ton of papers plus a conference, so he wasn’t able to come.
Travis is still off the map, but we are still sending him texts of encouragement and are trying to get in contact with him.
Douglas is doing really well. We met with him and he has lots of questions, but once we teach him the lessons, we feel that a lot of his questions will be answered.
We loved General Conference! I loved how it focused on: Pray, Read, Keep the Commandments, Love others with Kindness and Charity, Follow the Spirit, and Live Worthily. The Family was also mentioned a ton. They just called us to repentance like the dickens. It was awesome! They also spoke to investigators a good amount, which was awesome for us! I loved both Elder Costa’s and Elder Palmer’s talks! Elder Nelson’s talk was really amazing. That clarified a ton for me and as I have been thinking about how to make the Savior the center of everything, that clarified and solidified to me how it can happen.. Conference was a refresher I needed. I realized that it really isn’t what is on the outside that counts (circumstances, etc.) but it is truly about your perspective. If you are worthy and prepare yourself, you will feel the love of the Savior every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s “raining” or not, the Savior will enable you!
The weather has been turning over for the better, and we are setting really meaningful goals. I am so grateful for my time here in New Haven so far and can’t wait to see what happens during this transfer!