Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So yesterday we got into Boise at around 11 in the morning. We stayed at the stake center by the temple for a few hours, went street contacting, where I actually met someone from CT, strangely enough. Dad you might want to contact him, he was really friendly and a pretty interesting guy. It was nice talking with you Dad, to realize how deeply ingrained Russian is even after two weeks of the MTC and Spanish on my free time.

I'm finally here, and I'm starting to see why you've seen so many blessings in my life from God. I still want to serve a mission, but I can't even tell you how much greater my desire to serve in Russia was and is. Like Zechariah and Abraham some of heaven's most desired blessings don't come for a very long time. So I'm here, learning to give all of my heart, might, mind and strength to the Lord in a time when certain highly desired blessings have been withheld. It would be terribly inconsistent to slow one's stride because of delayed blessings, no matter how desired they are.

It's incredible how much they feed us, we got taken out to an all you can eat buffet for lunch and we have dinner appointments for every night this week. We are excited to get to work, Elder Christofferson said that going forward if the First Presidency sees that you served in Idaho than you are one of the choicest children of our Heavenly Father. This is going to be an incredible mission. I know this work is true, my testimony has grown so much since I've been in the MTC. I've drank from the fount of living water (John 4:13-14). He lives. Time's up, got to go, and thanks for the letters, I should be able to write personally next p-day.

Monday, July 29, 2013

This last week has been quite the challenge. I'm starting to feel like a missionary, in full-time service to the Lord. I'm continuing now to study Spanish at full speed, I use every opportunity I have to study outside of my normal study time. Yo estudio espanol todos los dias. The Lord declared, "Every man shall hear the fullness of the gospel in his own tongue, and in his own language, through those who are ordained unto this power" (D&C 90:11) The language isn't coming easily, but I'm progressing quite rapidly. The scriptures are opening themselves to me, and my love for the Lord is growing. The days do seem like weeks, but I'm enjoying this great work and can't wait to get out there, on my birthday nonetheless.

We've been teaching a 60 year old Hispanic man from our teacher's mission who doesn't seem to understand much of our lessons, so we've kept them quite simple. We've been trying to teach to his needs, and he just really needs to feel love and to learn to reach out to his Heavenly Father. He's been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and feeling the peace that comes from it. It's incredible what investigators actually feel, we've done role plays where I've been taught by my companion and the Holy Ghost really goes into the heart of the investigator and carries your testimony to the heart of the investigator (2 Ne 33:1). The Holy Ghost really does become the third witness of the truth of your message.

When my companion told me I have 714 more days I was shocked by just how much good is going to come out of my mission and how much I'm going to enjoy it. I thought of Elijah coming to visit the widow and her son and the Spirit washed over me, testifying that we're in the same position inviting others to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. It's an incredible opportunity to participate in helping our Heavenly Father direct his children back to him. It really hit me how important it is that we give it everything we have. Since repentance and baptism is the strait and narrow gate (2 Nephi 31:17) and we're the only members of the church who can invite someone to be baptized, that means that God is really depending on us to direct His children back to him so that their progression can continue forever. I'm out of time to email, but I'll definitely write some letters today individually. Love you all, you're all in my prayers.