Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013

This last transfer just flew by. My time with Elder Sumrall has been incredible, but it's coming to an end. I've been transferred to Eagle, I will be shotgun (a new area) training a new missionary. There's no end to wealth there, so it will be fascinating seeing how the work will go forward with this change.

The mission will be up to 201 as of tomorrow, and so it's amazing to finally see the transformation as it's shrunk from 45 to 16 stakes over a 6 month period. There's such an incredible density of missionaries in Ada County. In southern japan there was 100 missionaries for 13 million people, we have 200 for 500,000, approximately 50 times per capita here in Boise.

There were so many tender mercies being poured out upon us as I've prepared to leave this area. Just to name a few:

On Saturday we were able to serve Billy B., the husband of a very active woman here in Kingswood ward. I left him my parting testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration, and for the first time he listened to us. You could see the Spirit working on Him as I bore my heart-felt testimony. Yesterday he came to Church.

"Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." (D&C 11:21)

Annette K., the foster mother of Thomas who has become more interested gave a fireside last night where she discussed her trials and tribulations as a foster mother. She didn't like how Ada County did things, saw a need for the more misbehaved children with aggression or other problems and has been housing the worst behaved children for a long time. She's seen everything, every kind of evil patterns that families tend to pass on in this world. Yet they do it, even with their biological children there. They've been able to adopt a few, reunite many families and help struggling parents become fit for the State to reunite them with their children. The theme had been leaving the ninety and nine and going after the one, and they have truly exemplified charity. It was the most incredible form of service I've seen. Truly one that has impacted and will impact tens of thousands of people as many of them would have ended up in jails, drug addictions, and preventing them from spreading them to future generations.
They have sacrificed so much, they don't go out and do things because they have to watch the children constantly. such incredible sacrifice and love was manifested as it's a constant battle to watch these children. Keep in mind this is therapeutic care, not the traditional foster care for well-behaved children.

In the Church many of us shelter our children from the evils their peers are introduced to, and for seeming good reason. However these people have acted on faith rather than fear, meeting the tremendous need of the community. She had a heart attack two Fridays ago, drove herself to the hospital not thinking straight, and then a week later had another one, only this time she woke up her husband.

The Spirit of God has been poured out upon us and the inhabitants of Boise so strongly, it's truly the baptism of fire spoken of 3 Nephi 11.

While I've been here in Boise North A very close relationship with investigators members, recent converts, less actives. I've told everyone as I've departed to come to the baptisms of the Schumaker children and Brandi A., and so I'll be able to see everyone come December. The members have loved us so intensely, parting was just so difficult. Whenever we had a need they would fill it or find someone to fill it. Anything and everything has been taken care of. It's been such an example to me for love, and it's one I'm trying to emulate. It's not easy to love but it's worth it.

We're instructed to share with you our spiritual experiences. It's so wonderful being on a mission, we can look at spiritual experiences and start checking off ones that we've had.
After we went to the temple two Fridays ago we were serving an older lady in my district leaders ward, and something was pulling at me, I listened to the Spirit and felt in my heart I heard Charles J White thanking me for what I did for him in the temple. I am anxious to help my family history along, but don't have the opportunity to do much, only an hour a week. Take the opportunity, you need them pulling for you on the other side of the veil!

With a small step of obedience to a counsel in my patriarchal blessing, the promise to the Lord's servants in His vineyard was fulfilled, 
And he said unto the first: Go ye and labor in the field, and in the first hour I will come unto you, and ye shall behold the joy of my countenance. And he said unto the second: Go ye also into the field, and in the second hour I will visit you with the joy of my countenance. And also unto the third, saying: I will visit you; And unto the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. And the lord of the field went unto the first in the first hour, and tarried with him all that hour, and he was made glad with the light of the countenance of his lord. And then he withdrew from the first that he might visit the second also, and the third, and the fourth, and so on unto the twelfth. And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season— Beginning at the first, and so on unto the last, and from the last unto the first, and from the first unto the last; Every man in his own order, until his hour was finished, even according as his lord had commanded him, that his lord might be glorified in him, and he in his lord, that they all might be glorified. Therefore, unto this parable I will liken all these kingdoms, and the inhabitants thereof—every kingdom in its hour, and in its time, and in its season, even according to the decree which God hath made.

He truly does visit His servants, this occurred after I had received my mission call, the Spirit was poured out upon me without measure for the whole hour.

The work is true, the Lord is mindful of us and wants to pour out His Spirit upon us. Wait upon him! The hours of the trial of our faith will end and we will have the righteous desires of our heart answered.

I love the Lord, His help and power to lift us from sin back to the path of discipleship is infinite. He has overcome every trial, bore every burden, and felt every pain in His truly infinite atonement. May we all turn to him and with faith say to Him, "thy will, not mine, be done."

I pray for you every day,
Elder Szendre

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