I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. It was an amazing time to be sharing the hope-filled message about Jesus Christ, especially focusing on the atonement and the resurrection. We had a great week full of miracles and a lot of walking.
Firstly, I will focus on the miracles. On Tuesday we were walking to an appointment with someone but had a little bit of time so we went down a street to knock on some doors. As we were walking we both felt impressed to knock on one door. (In reality, you actually clap your hands and yell the name of the person.) We clapped our hands and an elderly woman came to the door. She said we could enter and talk with her. We talked with her for a little while. She has a huge family, around 30 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. We taught her about the restoration which she received well and then invited us to talk to some more family members. One of her granddaughters has some struggles in life as her husband left and she feels alone. She had talked with missionaries in the past and was even baptised but hasn’t been active and we haven’t even seen her name or address anywhere. It was amazing that we could find her and help her. She went to church with us and seems to be improving every day. We are also working with her family (specifically her sister) and inviting them all to church together.
We have been helping another family return to church also. The father has had a lot of challenges in life. He opened up and shared a lot of parts of his life. It is very humbling and shocking some of the stories I have heard here. Not just with him, but with many people. The stories of their lives are very different and make you think about how blessed you are and how Jesus Christ truly changes people and brings peace and happiness into everyone’s life.
This week we had interviews with President Thomas. They went well. It is a lot of fun to just talk with him. We talked about everything from the gospel to golf. It is just nice to have a leader that truly cares about you and that you can talk to openly and have a good time with. We also had a conference of a couple zones in the mission. It was great. It was focused on how we can find people to teach. Some of the parts I liked most were when Sister Thomas talked about finding joy in the work which is extremely important. We shouldn’t just endure to the end, whether it be to the end of a trial or end of the mission or even the end of our mortal life here. We should enjoy all moments of our lives not endure. It can be hard at times, but if we put our trust in God, act on our faith, and truly try to be happy, the hardest, as well as the easiest times in life, can be full of joy. We also talked about how we should try to make friends, not just contacts. We always talk to people on the street, but at times we become robots saying the same things over and over again. We are trying to focus more on actually interacting with people. Becoming friends with them is much more effective than just trying to get a phone number and address. And if a person is not interested, we at least have made a new friend and showed the church and missionary work in a good light, not as just people looking to convert without thought of who the other person is. I am still trying to get better at not being so robotic. It happens especially as you feel uncomfortable speaking a different language sometimes. Starting right after the conference I started trying more and it was great. One of the bus rides home I sat next to a guy and for a few minutes, I didn’t say anything. I was trying to get myself to say something. To start is always the hardest part. After a few minutes of psyching myself up, I started a conversation with him. We just talked about simple things like where he works, where he was going, family, etc. He enjoyed talking and we just were able to have a conversation and get to know each other. It is easy and natural to talk about how you are a missionary so the message of Jesus Christ just comes up naturally in the conversation. He was interested in learning more. I got his address, gave him a pass-along card, and gave him our phone number. Don’t know exactly if he will continue talking to other missionaries as he lives in a different area than where I am, but it was just nice to make a friend and share my testimony. I am gonna keep working on truly engaging with people and making a lot of friends.
As for the walking this week, we have been walking a lot. I have a little pedometer that says we walked 13.1 miles on Saturday. It gets tiring, but I truly feel strength and support to always keep going.
That is about it for this week. It was a fantastic week that strengthened my testimony and helped me become a better missionary and a better man. I am so grateful for this opportunity I have and I know that this is truly the work of the Lord. Thank you all for your support.
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