AAAHHH! I only have 17 months in the field and one of them is already gone?? You've got to be joking.
Time is such a weird thing. I'm glad that after we die we won't have to worry about weird things like linear time. :) I've been thinking a lot about how I've used my time for the first part of my mission and if the Lord has approved of how I've chosen to use it. I'm sure that He is proud of many of the things that I've done, but I'm sure there's also room for improvement. I know I've written about this before, but time is so precious out here and I really don't want to waste it--yet sometimes I still do! So one of the things I'm working on is recognizing when I'm wasting time worrying about myself... and then focusing.
HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: we finally, FINALLY added a new investigator yesterday!!! :) :) :) His name is Moises. He is a very strong Christian (he goes to some community christian church). We're actually teaching both him and his brother (who is only 17--not technically part of our ward since we're YSA) and they both know the Bible cover to cover. It created a few problems for us as we were teaching them--they were whipping out scriptures like I've never seen and explaining why they believe that God and Jesus Christ are the same person. It was pretty tricky! But in the end we just explained that regardless of our differing beliefs, we weren't there to convince them of anything... we were there simply to invite them to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it's true. We also taught them about personal revelation and how they could go to God Himself with their question about whether or not God and Christ are the same person--they don't have to take our word for it. They committed to read the fist chapter of the Book of Mormon and to pray and ask if it's true, and then they said we could come back and teach them more. :) :) :) Rewarding?? YES. Pray for Moises and Reuben to have their hearts softened as they read the Book of Mormon--we need them to be open-minded!
Another great thing that happened this week was a lesson with one of our less actives... one that actually ended up being for ME. We read a talk with him by Elder Bednar about the atonement. In it, he explains that the journey of life is to put off the natural man and to go from bad to good, and then good to better. Most members of the church understand the healing and cleansing power of the atonement--this is what helps us go from bad to good. But many church members don't understand another part of the atonement: the strengthening and enabling power that helps us go from good to better. After we have completed the first principles/ordinances of the gospel, we have to keep progressing from "good" to "better"... oftentimes we try to do it on our own by setting goals, recognizing our weaknesses and improving them, etc... We are not supposed to do it on our own! In fact, we can't. And eventually we'll realize that. Well. I realized it this week. :P We are supposed to continually use the atonement to strengthen us as we keep progressing and keep getting better. How are we supposed to get closer to perfection without the help of the only perfect person who has ever existed? Why do we try to do so?? I don't know if I'm making sense, Elder Bednar says it a lot better. Read it. :) But it hit me really hard as we were teaching him, cause I feel like I'm having trouble progressing, yet I haven't asked for the help I need from the enabling power of the atonement. So that's another thing I'm gonna work on. Cool principle, huh?? The gospel is incredible.
Also, I had a Bishop Larsen moment this week. :) For those of you who attended the EB3 ward, you know that every time he would teach us, he started with the plan of salvation. Why? Because we all need that perspective. :) We taught a lesson about the plan of salvation this week, and it was just so refreshing and exciting! As we talked about each step of the plan and really felt the spirit, I just realized how GREAT it's going to be when if we can just endure to the end!! This earth life is such a short time, and all we have to do is get through it and do our best to enjoy it and follow Christ... and we're rewarded with eternal happiness and glory!! I'm so excited for that time. :)
That's about all the time I have this week. I love you all!! Thanks for your prayers that I know are being sent my way!