I definitely thought that it could be a good thing to get transferred, but I kind of felt like I wouldn’t actually be leaving. So, I wasn’t even slightly prepared. No pictures taken. Not a THING packed. When the Zone Leaders called on Friday I was seriously shocked. So was Sister Wilde. It’s pretty nuts. But it will be fun to see a new area and experience new things. And to go to transfer meeting. That’s always a total blast. 🙂 I love seeing missionaries. So it’ll be a missionary filled week with Elder Holland and Elder Hallstrom coming on Thursday! What a treat.
Here’s something super cool… I got asked to sing when Elder Holland comes! Totally singing a solo for an apostle! … Okay I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I’m singing in a small choir of missionaries though, so that’s pretty cool. What an awesome opportunity!
It’s been really hard to say goodbye to this ward. Some of these people here have been such anchors to me when things were particularly tough my first two transfers here. Last night I said goodbye to the Bishop of the ward and that was hard. But it’s always a good experience to feel like you’ve actually made a difference in the lives of those around you and in the places you serve. What a privilege!
This week was pretty slow as far as the work goes, which is kind of a bummer, but it was still good. We had an amazing lesson with one of our less actives who has a really big desire to change. We worked on helping her focus on her vision for herself and her family on a smaller scale. Of course, the goal is to get to the temple and be sealed as a family. But it made things click so much more for us to take it down a few levels and set a vision and goals to help her to feel how much power she truly has to obtain those things, so that she can eventually get to the temple with her family!
I think that most missionaries experience this, but it’s pretty crazy how rapidly things seem to be changing as I get nearer and nearer to the end. Satan works hard to get you distracted, and sometimes he succeeds. But it’s so amazing to be able to overcome that and just GET TO WORK.
There’s this awesome talk that Sister Holmstead shared with me called “The Mortal Christ” by Jack Christensen (I think?? It’s one of those Covenant Communications things…) and there’s a part at the beginning where he says this:
SATAN DON’T KICK NO DEAD DOGS.
Terrible grammar, he recognizes. But knows that if he said it properly it wouldn’t be remembered.
Satan has to work so hard to get at the people who are doing righteous things. When someone’s already down, he’s not wasting his time kicking them further, because they tend to do that on their own. But he works at those who are on an uphill. We are at WAR with Satan. And when we think about the amazing tools we’ve been given to combat him, how can we not feel at peace? That’s so awesome.
Anyway, I’m just rambling. But in a round-about way, it’s kind of cool to know when Satan’s trying really hard to get you down and then you can just laugh in his face and be like.. “TAKE THAT, SATAN. I’m doing what’s RIGHT. Awwww yeaaaaahhh.”
I’m looking forward to reporting on my future adventures.
I’m so appreciative of the endless prayers that are offered on my behalf.
I love being a missionary.
And to bring it back to the title of the email, Beaver Valley, “Let’s not say goodbye, let’s just say ‘au revoir.'”
And for anyone who actually knows that quote…. You’re the best. (Ahem ahem tyleraimeeheatherjoe… )
(Tyler Weeks, Haley Weeks, Me, Bonnie Weeks, Bishop Kerry Weeks)
So.. Family, sorry this isn’t really in the correct form it would be if I was just talking to you.
Last week, Dad sent me a great email about a spiritual experience he had. While listening to a homecoming talk from a boy in the ward, he had a realization that although all missions are different, MISSIONARIES and their desires really aren’t. We all have this great desire to help fulfill our purpose of helping others to come unto Christ. He sensed that I’ve been frustrated with the fact that our teaching has been limited at best. I definitely had been feeling that way, despite the amazing experiences we have here almost daily. But he decided that he would recruit the help of my siblings and some dear friends and neighbors to pray earnestly for my companion and I to find someone to teach that can progress toward baptism.
I was so touched by that and very inspired. I told Sister Wilde after email time of the experience and we both got pretty excited. And then, I kid you not, three hours later we received a media referral from a man in Utah who wanted to tell us more about his friend that lives in our area. Then, that night, we were at a dinner appointment where there were three nonmembers. Two of them have invited us over to learn more about the Restored Gospel. And another member who was at the dinner appointment gave us the contact info of her cousin who wants to learn more and just recently moved to our area.
3 really solid potential investigators. Faye, Kathy, and Jack. We are setting up appointments with them this week.
1 NEW PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR WHO HAS COMMITTED TO BE BAPTIZED.
Renee. She’s a gem. She invited us over and we brought a member to teach her the first lesson. It went great. She told us her goal is to become “truly converted and be baptized.” She attended Stake Conference this weekend and it was greatly focused on the safety and guidance that comes through prayer and scripture study. Perfect for a new investigator. We have a lesson set up for tomorrow and we are planning to set her with a baptismal date in the coming future.
This is no accident. The Lord answers prayers. I am so indebted to all those who faithfully called upon the powers of heaven in behalf of my companion and me, as well as this beautiful soul who is coming unto Christ. I cannot be more grateful and excited for this opportunity to teach.
Quickly, I want to share another experience. Yesterday was kind of a tough day. Nothing terribly bad happened but it was just kind of hard because I wasn’t as obedient as I should’ve been. None of us missionaries were. We definitely overstayed our welcome at some members’ homes who we love dearly. But anyone who’s ever been a missionary or even knows anything about it knows that it’s a pretty big missionary no-no to do that. And I definitely felt responsible for not sticking up for anything. I gave in to peer pressure and I’ll just say this. IT WAS NOT WORTH IT. Yes, it was fun. Yes, we had a good time. But it was not worth the time we spent there and wasted. I will disclaimer all of this with saying that this is not a normal thing and I really keep the rules as best as I can. But I slipped up and made a mistake. I apologized to those who I needed to apologize to, including the other missionaries, for not taking that responsibility and I have committed to myself, the other missionaries, the mission president in my email to him today, and, most importantly, the Lord, that I will not be making the same mistake again.
I don’t tell this story to show you how bad of a missionary I am or anything. But instead, I just felt that it’s so important for you to know that missionaries are not perfect and we are learning so much. I’ve been out a year and I definitely know the rules! But I made a mistake and I felt the awful feelings that come from it. And then I felt a calm assurance that guess what? Heavenly Father still loves me and is so excited that I want to do better and BE better. What a marvelous feeling that is.
I’m sure you’re all thinking I’m totally crazy now because in reality that whole situation was not that big of a deal and I have been out on my mission way too long. But that’s okay. 🙂 I just felt like I would share the imperfections and normal experiences of missionary life. Haha.
Everyone, this work is great. I’m blessed to be here. What a privilege to serve the Lord in His divine work!
Keep on keepin’ on, everybody! You’re awesome. Have a great week!
Here’s me and my entourage. “Hey Ken, do you wanna be a part of my entourage?!” … 30 Rock anyone?? Okay. Love yinz.
L to R Sister Sara Wilde (McKann’s comp), Sister Alyssa Aston, Sister Hanseen, Sister Amber Gates
Sister Amber Gates and Sister Hanseen
Sisters Wilde, Hanseen, Gates, and Aston by the bridge