What's up everyone!!!
- Met a dude named Chris that randomly came up and started talking to us. Conversation started with "what do you believe in gay marriage???".... I'm thinking oh dear here we go again but it actually went alright. Told us that Jesus' name is actually Iesus so that was fun. He mainly was preaching to us but an interesting experience none the less.... Gotta love Albertson's parking lots.
- There is this random orangutan on a bicycle creepy freakin statue thing way out in no where.
- Kicked the same rock for like 3 miles on our way home one night. You find ways to entertain yourself as a missionary.
- Made celestial brownies again. Words spreading of their excellence so we are getting plenty of orders requested . CAN'T wait to make em for my family someday, soooooo good.
- Had a MLT in Helena.... This time we actually got the date right so the meeting actually happened. Saw Elder Jaques and Elder Hendricks which was awesome and hearing from President and Sister Wadsworth is always a very spiritually powerful experience. I'll go into more of what we learned later, but they are amazing, I'd run through a brick wall for them. Accidentally hopped on I-15 on the way back which was funny, had no idea it went up here.
- Opened the door to a members garage to find 2 bloody deer hanging from the ceiling. Wonderful time of year. Rifle opened up Saturday and Brother Stovall (Belgrade PD guy that fakes arrests us) got an elk this weekend so we were sure to place the dinner calendar on his lap. Ya.... We are pretty pumped for that night... #WelcomeToMontana
WHAT A FREAKIN WEEK THOUGH. It was awesome, but it started pretty rough. Don't know what the heck was wrong with me, but beginning of the week and up until even Friday I was just off my game. Completely forgot why I am out here, just didn't feel like I offered anything as a missionary. It was a pretty sucky couple of days, just 0 confidence at all in me being a missionary.
Then I read 2 Nephi chapter 4... I think most people can admit they have made it to 2 Nephi more times than Moroni, me especially, but despite how many times I have read that chapter, I have never caught onto what Nephi is saying until now, when I REALLY needed it the most.
This is Nephi speaking after Lehi died and once again his siblings want to kill him, poor dude can't catch a break. All of you need to read this so I'm just gonna copy and paste, READ IT.
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains (#MOARMOUNTAINS). And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.
31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way--but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.
*** picture Nephi saying all of this out loud as he writes it down and whenever there is an exclamation point Sam walks into the tent and yells " I DONT KNOW WHAT WE ARE YELLING ABOUT!" Anchorman is applicable to the Book of Mormon.****
Anyway, Gotta love those "rock" references, Helaman 5:12 BAYBAY!!! Rocks aren't only meant for kicking!! What an amazing chapter, one that I needed badly. Nephi's perspective does a complete 180, as did mine. For what reason do I have to be sad? The Lord has blessed me with so much, why I am only looking at the things I'm not, rather than what I am? Look to the Lord, not at yourself. I could type all day about that chapter, but I'll leave it to you to ponderize (iPad just autocorrected to ponderize, #AchievementUnlocked #ChurchIsTrue). Got a little trigger happy with the bold and underlining features but hopefully that'll help.
That chapter changed my life, and I know that regardless what you are experiencing the Book of Mormon can do the same for you. True blessing we have it today.
Good thing I got back to my normal self..... Cause Saturday would be a day I will never forget. A certain scripture was being relayed in my mind the entire day....
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
"How great shall be your joy with HIM in the kingdom of my Father" was all I could think about as I witnessed Brian enter the waters of baptism. It was a very special day. There is just something that feels dang good about turning on that font!!!! Tom, Benji, and Henry all had buzzed heads and were wearing the same outfits. Pretty much impossible telling them apart. Elder Christensen spoke on baptism and I spoke on the Holy Ghost. Opened by telling him the best nap I ever took was on the way back from the beach while sitting in the back seat with my grandma.... And that hopefully that nap for him wouldn't come during my talk. Pretty standard talk. Compared receiving the Holy Ghost to being a receiver in football.
That night we went over for a little post baptism party and even got to witness the Saturday night daddy store. Daddy store is the families economic system for doing chores (++++$$$$$$) and getting in trouble (-----$$$$$). Just fake money and little toys but It's freakin sweet, definitely doing it with my kids someday. Also made tithing applicable to the kids which was cool.
We shared with them what we learned at MLT. Eternal families. The eternities don't start once we die, but we are living them everyday. It's what we do RIGHT NOW, that impacts the eternities. There is nothing that I want more than to be with my family forever.... These 4 months away from them have certainly made that known to me.
Learning about this was one thing, but sharing it with a family that will soon be sealed for eternity was something entirely more special. I'm as equally excited to go to the Billings temple in 1 year with the Robison family, than I am to go to the Salt Lake Temple with my family in 20 months. They have changed not just my life, but my eternity. Promised them I will come back in 20 months to have a Star Wars marathon with them and I'll bring my Darth Vader footy pajamas and light saber. They are as big of Disney fans as me!
Got a text from Belgrade 2 saying they needed a ride home on the complete other side of the area (#CarShareProbs) so we had to end our lesson and cruise over there to get them. Strapped on the lead foot again (it was justified mom, I didn't want the other elders to be attacked by bears) and we jammed to "Ye Elders of Israel" on our way over. What a sweet freakin remix of a hymn. I know I'm weird when I start complimenting the church approved music but oh man our Chevy Cruz was hopping! Either due to the song or speed of the car..... Yes....and on a night like Saturday night, it was a fitting hymn. Go read those lyrics and you'll understand.
Sunday was also very special as I had the privilege of giving Brian the Aaronic Priesthood. First time I'd ever done it, but it was really cool. Complete blur as to what I said in the blessing.... Elder Christensen and I have learned that's when you know the spirit is doing the talking, not you.
Shifting back to D&C 18 now.....
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
Saturday was great, but this upcoming Saturday we once again get to fill up that font!!! Brian will be baptizing his wife and girls and Elder Christensen will be baptizing Oscar. Haven't gotten much of a chance to talk about Oscar but he is ready to go!!! We went over the night before the day of the interview to review everything and as we did so he wrote stuff down to help him remember. It was really something special to see him write down the things we taught him... Can also tell we taught a pretty good law of chastity lesson. Nora and Oscar are amazing, his prayers are probably the most sincere I have ever heard. He is another great example to me of love and happiness.
Sacrament meeting next week will be a crazy one. I'll be confirming Oscar and one of the Robison girls while Elder Christensen takes the other 2. Not gonna be a lot of time for testimony meeting but I think this is a good problem to have. The ward is super pumped!!!! Our giant Halloween party is Friday night, then the baptisms on Saturday! Gonna be another good week. I'll be in Bozeman on an exchange with the zone leaders for a few days so I'll be back on a college campus and looking forward to that. Elder Christensen will be taking charge of Belgrade while I'm away but I got all the faith in him. Lots of work to do! Don't wanna count your chicks before they hatch but pretty good chance we get at least 1 more person on baptismal date this week. Work in Belgrade is heating up as the weather cools down!
This church is true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I'm so grateful that I was able to turn to it and to Heavenly Father when I was struggling this week. So grateful to have the Holy Ghost in my life. I know that he is the greatest gift our Heavenly Father can give us with the exception of our family. He has comforted me so much out here. Not easy being away from my family, but he's comforted me by leading to a family like the Robisons and Oscar and Nora. This work isn't about me, that's something I have really learned, but I am soooooo excited to experience the joy Heavenly Father has promised by bringing souls unto him. If I go these next 20 months without any other success, that's ok, because these 2 families have already made these 2 years worth it. True happiness isn't the Utes or the mouse.... Close though.... It's this gospel, it's families. Think the reason why I love that drum and feather and mouse so much is because... That practically is my family haha. So incredibly blessed to be apart of all of this, great day to be a missionary.
Love you guys