I cannot believe that they are finally making a new stake! I figured it was going to happen eventually but not right after I left! That means I'd come home to a new Stake President and everything. Crazy. I love seeing the growth in the church though. The gospel is real and the church growth is only a testimony to that! I know it's true!
I wish I could be over there to help out with Grandma and Grandpa. Tell them that I love them!
I did a double take when you said Danielle was going to Pittsburgh... haha! you gave me a heart attack! But Nashville is so cool! And I'm so excited for Miguel too.
You are going to do so great as the Sunday School teacher Mom! you've done that before when I was 15. You were so good at keeping us in line. I wish I just would have listened more in Sunday School back then. But I know that truly you seek for the Spirit when you teach. You are going to be great!
I do remember singing at that conference last year! I sang "Learning for Myself" right? Christ the Apple Tree is just a great song. Can I get a copy of Dad's talk? I would love to be able to read through it. His talks are always so great. I posted the lyrics of Christ the Apple Tree on the wall in front of my desk when I study so I can read it every day. It has such a beautiful message. I love the verse "For happiness I long have sought
And pleasure dearly I have bought
I missed of all, but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the Apple Tree."
I know that true happiness is only found in Jesus Christ and through His Gospel.
I also know that my previous experiences are what give me faith that things will work out. There are so many times when I have been able to use my experiences to help me get through a situation. It really makes me think about how Heavenly Father knows exactly what I need to help me learn and grow and help someone else out later. All our trials are for our benefit.
I went on an exchange with my District Leader on Friday! It was so great. I have missed going on exchanges almost every week... so this was a nice change. My district Leader Elder Black is super fun. And I was able to learn a lot about how to talk with people. It's important to let people know that we actually care about them. A lot of people don't really care about when you talk about yourself, but when you ask them questions about them, they start to open up! We were able to have a lot of really good conversations with people. This one lady opened her door and we talked to her for about 7 minutes, and then she started asking us all these questions about what we believe about life after death and resurrection, and a lot of other things. We were able to have a really good conversation with her for about 25 minutes. At first She didn't want to have us come back because all her questions were answered and she said she has a problem with Joseph Smith, but we invited her to church and she said, "I can come even if I don't want to convert?" And we said "Of course! We have a sign on the front that says 'Visitor's Welcome'" She said she might come to church to see what "You Mormon's are all about." And she said we could stop by any time to see how she's doing! It's just little things like that when you know you made someone like the church a little bit more than they did before that make you feel good about the day.
Later that day we also went to dinner at a members house and it was a lot of fun! We were able to really connect with them, my District Leader and I. After dinner they asked us if we wanted to see their snakes and we were like, "Sure!" And they brought them down and we got to hold them. At first I was a little nervous but it ended up being really cool! I have a video and some pictures. They also had some geckos that were super cool. It was a really good day on that exchange. Also as a side note, I have another picture of me at a different members house with her pet Possum. No joke, she has a pet possum! She found it when it was a baby, and she takes care of it and lives on their porch! She holds it and everything!
|Jonny with the snakes and Gecko!|
|Jonny with the Possum|
Also I finished the Book of Mormon again! It just keeps getting better and better each time. I decided to start it again, but this time I am going to mark a color for every time it talks about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. It has been interesting to see not only how much They are mentioned, but you can see how much They work in unity. But also how much They are different from each other. I love personal study time! We also are reading through Preach my Gospel as a mission, so we are reading a couple pages every day. I have been able to learn so much more than I have before from that book. And we only finished Chapter 2 today!
|He says.. "Yes, I know I am blinking!"|
We had two investigators come to church yesterday as well! They are both doing really well, they just don't want to commit to baptismal dates yet. But they are keeping their commitments! And I really love talking with both of them. One of them we thought was married to a less active member... but apparently they are just living together... So we will need to address that soon. But other than that they are doing great! And our new investigator that we got last week, Bryce, had to reschedule, but he said he has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon! He's doing great so far.
I honestly love being out here as a missionary. Lately it hasn't really been hard. Some mornings it may seem hard to get up, but I just apply what I used to apply all throughout high school. Every morning you can decide to be grumpy and miserable, and then you can be sad and have a bad day. Or you can get up and choose to be happy and cheerful, and then end up having a fun day. I personally would rather choose the latter. I know sometimes it's harder to do that, but I know when I put forth the extra effort to be happy, I feel so much better. The work is hard, people yell at you, people aren't interested, yet it's the reason why I'm so excited to get up every morning. I just keep in mind what Jesus Christ said to His apostles after He was resurrected, (Which is also what I'm ponderizing this week,) "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:19-20)
I know that when we do what he asks of us, and go and Teach all nations, He will be with us always. Even to the end. We just have to be faithful!
I love this Gospel! It's so true. The Book of Mormon is true.
I love you so much and I will talk to you next week!
Love your son,