J Mo!!! happy 19th birthday man!!! I hope you had a great one. I can't believe that you are flippin 19 years old now! How is that treating you?
Yeah I'm at it early today because the sister missioinaries invited us to go play some tennis with them, and then we are going to play basketball afterwards, so it's a packed day.
Well this week was a very spirit packed one. It started off last Monday night. Elder Stephenson rolled his ankle so he has had a hard time moving around lately. So Monday night I took another missionary with me to our group Family Home Evening. Sister Kreber was in charge of it and she had asked Elder Stephenson and myself to do a role play. Well he wasn't there and she finished early. So she turned the time over to me with 30 minutes left and I had prepared absolutely nothing for this group of like...16 people. But needless to say.... it went really well. I shared a quote out of Preach My Gospel about how we obtain our personal exaltation only with the condition that we share the gospel with others. So then I talked about..... yup, missionary work. That is what the F.H.E. was on anyways.... so it worked out perfectly. So I taught them how easy it is to share the gospel with your friends. I seperated them into groups and had each of them practice giving away a Book of Mormon to a friend. It was a really fun time. And then I had a question/answer thing where I just let them ask me questions about the fears and challenges they come across when trying to share the gospel. I have found that the members really trust you with fears and concerns, because this is what we do as missionaries. We teach. It's when we are at our best...when we are teaching. All of them left that night with a Book of Mormon and 2 folletos to give away.
Then Wednesday, I spent the whole day in Omaha for a leadership training. I left with 4 other missionaries at 6:15 in the morning and we got back that night at 9:15. It was the most amazing meeting I have ever been too! President Kunz gave a great training on our purpose as missionaries. He talked about how our purpose is the same as Gods, Christs', and the Holy Ghost. (2 Nefi 31:11-12, 21). It was the best training he has ever given. And we also had 2 men there from church headquarters that trained us on what we need to do and should be doing when we teach. They taught us that we need to teach plain and simple. It was an amazing meeting! And then to top it all off, we got to go to the temple afterwards.
So yesterday as I was sitting in Sacrament meeting, I was thinking a lot about being a missionary. And how great it is to be able to share my testimony with others every single day. I bore my testimony yesterday in church and just about started crying thinking about how great this church really is. And what it takes to have a testimony of the church. We have to go through a lot of struggles and challenges to gain a testimonio. We have to study a lot and pray daily. But once we've gained that testimony, it's something that nobody can deny. That is one thing I will miss most about the mission, is being able to share my testimony daily. But yeah, I got really sad yesterday sitting there in sacrament meeting. As a missionary you spend the whole mission counting how many days you have left, talking about going home. And I myself am guilty of that sometimes. But sitting there yesterday I just felt really sad knowing that it will come to an end, and that I won't be able to go out and talk about the gospel everyday. So I gained a much greater appreciation for my mission yesterday.
Over the past few weeks we have been faced with quite a few challenges. They were really starting to take there tole on me, and I was just getting so frustrated. But as I was sitting in church yesterday I just felt so comfortable and so relieved. The thought occured to me that Jesus Christ took upon himself EVERYTHING, from EVERYONE that would EVER exist. He understands everyones needs and struggles, including mine. And I realized that I have been trying to do too much on my own and not relying on him as much as I should have been.
So my testimony is that Christ lives. That he loves us. And that he knows our individual struggles. That he took upon himself everything that we would feel so that he would be able to help us in our times of need. We just need to let him help us. He always allows us to repent. It's never too late. And he is always there with open arms waiting to receive us. I have gained such a greater testimony of the atonement of our Savior, and the love he has for each and every one of us.
I love you all!! Hope you have a fantastic week!