Thank you for the email this week and for the package last week, the healthy foods have been a wonderful alternative to Halloween candy. People seem to think that missionaries need their left-over candy. We really don't!
I have really been loving the work here and the service that we have been able to provide, no matter how hard it can be at times. We had our investigator, Chris get baptized on Sunday! I met him my first night here in Laguna Niguel and have been amazed to see his transformation over the past two months. The gospel has given him confidence and most importantly direction. He still constantly asks us, and he is 33, what it is that he is supposed to do. As we have consistently and earnestly given him the primary answers to read his scriptures and pray he has had experiences with Christ, his heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost. It took me years and years to understand many of the things that we must do in our lives, and I am so happy to see the spirit working miracles in the lives of those who let it in.
Elder Barton and I are having fun and working hard everyday. I have sometimes felt ineffective and useless being in America. For so long my heart was in Mongolia and I had a vision of what it was that I needed to do as a missionary to fulfill my purpose and be about my Father's work. I have always loved being a missionary and exerting every effort to do God's Will, but I took a long time to feel like a true missionary. I still am working on how I can be better, and I know that will never end, but serving in the same country I was raised in seems like I am still just being a good example and doing my best, but not becoming a new person. The work here stretches me in different ways and builds my personal testimony and conviction of the truth. I want to influence the lives of many and help them receive the enabling and empowering rock of the Atonement in their lives. I pray each and every day that I may reach my potential and do good and be good. I am grateful that I am here and know that there are many reasons for each circumstance.
Rocio is doing great, she is going through many trials and struggles and we have spent some time trying to help her through some difficulties. She is being baptized (if all goes according to plan) this Saturday, November 10 and we are excited for her!
There was a neat opportunity for a few of us full-time missionaries to help teach and train prospective missionaries for the 4 stakes around here. They put on a "Mini-MTC" and had speakers, classes and even taught discussions. One companionship taught Rocio! Two highlights for me:
I carried two ironing boards up into a room for a demonstration. Then I was setting them up and as I was setting one down the other slipped and fell, so I quickly and instinctively reached back to grab it and I caught it! That felt good. But the moral of the story is that when I grabbed is the middle and ring fingers of my right hand got caught by the sharp metal on the bottom of the board and it sliced them open to the bone. My ring finger would not stop bleeding! We went into the bathroom and washed it out and stuck some paper towels on my hand to keep the finger together and moved on.
Part 2: Then we taught some of the 16-18 year old young men how to teach the first lesson. My finger stopped bleeding for the time when we were demonstrating and instructing. There was a great spirit in the room as I got to work with a few companionships and help them teach in unity and with power. My finger should be fine, but everytime I look at the scar that will be there I will remember how I felt working with those young men. I don't think I told the story very well, but it really had a big impact on me.
The time that I have as a missionary to serve is very short and limited. The time we have on this earth is as well. I pray that we may be able to make everyday aligned with the will of the Father. He has placed us in the places that we are in for a reason. The most helpful thing that I have done in order to understand what it is that I should do is to pray. Praying for help and protection is one way God will help us. Praying for direction and confirmation of truth is another. I know that God listens and grants unto each of us according to our faithfulness blessing and guidance in this life because He loves us. I know that prayers in behalf of others have been heard and answered. The love and light of Christ can give us comfort and I am so grateful to be sharing that message of hope and peace as a servant of the Lord!