How incredible was that missionary broadcast?!
I felt such a deep sense of gratitude and excitement build as I watched it unfold. When I saw the ward council in India, I don’t know why, but I bowed my head and wept. I just never pictured the church being there, I don’t know why. But to see it, I was so grateful. I left my notebook at home that had all of my notes from last night, but there was one line I want to share, loosely quoted.
“Members should fill the planners of the missionaries so much with teaching appointments that they don’t have time to tract.” When I heard this I fist-pumped in the front pew and everyone laughed. Finding is one of the most difficult areas for young missionaries, especially those growing up in a digital age where many have rarely if ever knocked on a door or picked up a phone in their teenage-to-adult lives.
There were moments when Elder Raffensparger and I were so excited that we fist-bumped cheered silently in the pew, and then there were moments when I was so grateful that I just bowed my head and let the spirit fill me and cleanse and sanctify me. There is no greater or more important work in all the world. This is the “work and glory” of the Father. I love the quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith, “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel”.
D&C 18:10 “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God”. Remember that what we share with people is not a new church, it is the keys to salvation, the only path by which anyone can re-enter the presence of our Father in Heaven, and it is necessary for EVERY person on the Earth. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth again, and we have it in its fullness. We cannot let fear stop the work from progressing.
I pray that each of you will feel what I feel. I hope that you will go to a secluded place, if you have not already done so, and kneel and recommit yourself to seek and find and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with more dedication than you ever have before.
With all that being said, OHIO HAS FIREFLIES!!!! It’s amazing! Elder Raffensparger and I were walking into our apartment the other night and I looked over across the grass and saw little sparkles EVERYWHERE! It was so fantastic.
I also need to share this change that has taken place since I’ve been here. Mom, Dad, remember when we lived nextdoor to the park, and we always had the A/C in the house set to 78, regardless of the season? Well, that’s about how I like it. About the middle of the second night living with Elder Raffensparger, I finally decide to go downstairs and find out why I’m freezing, always. He had it set to 65 degrees. SIXTY-FIVE. I fought him on it and swore I would never be comfortable living at 65 degrees. No more than a month later, I’m miserable if it’s above 70 in our apartment. What has this place done to me?
The other day, we were out to lunch with a family from the ward I hadn’t met yet. We sat down at the table and I was meeting them all and shaking their hands, and as I shook the 9-year-old’s hand he said “I’m Caleb”. I said “Sweet! My middle name is Caleb!” and he said “So is mine!” I said “Awesome! What’s your first name?” “My first name is Benjamin” he replied.
Yes. His name is Benjamin Caleb Walsh. No joke. Most awesome kid ever. I am proud to be called by his name.
Sorry to make you wait for my word of the week, but kudos to you if you’re still reading. I write novels, I know. Anyway, this week’s word also came to me while I was in the shower. I was pondering on the wording in D&C Section 4 and the way it says “…with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.” It lead me to wonder what the real meaning of the word “might” was, as it clearly meant something different from strength. This is what Elder Raffensparger and I came up with:
Might (n) Force of will; faith power; SYN: Willpower
I have been thinking about this concept for over 2 weeks, and it is changing the way that I think, pray, walk, exercise, the way that I do anything. We are commanded often in the scriptures to do various things “with all [our] might…”. Might, in my understanding, is the force that allows you to push your heart, your mind, and your body, to their individual capacities and beyond. It is the switch that you flip that allows you to focus your mind in a moment of weakness or exhaustion and do what you didn’t believe you could do. It is the switch that allows you to run faster, jump higher, and push harder than you ever have before or thought you could. Afterward you think back and say “I didn’t know I could do that”. When you exert the force of your will to focus your mind, sharpen your strength, and _____ your heart, you increase your capacity to exercise your faith, and you increase your potential.
Hopefully I’ve shared for understanding. It’s a difficult concept for me to put into words, but it is an incredible day when you do understand it, and if you apply it each day after, your life will never be the same again.
It’s time to head out, but here are a few pictures. I love you all, take care!
1. NEW SHOOOOOOOES!!!! YES!
2. Alex – Sweet 16th Birthday
3. My namesake and myself at the 1st Annual Book of Mormon Festival of the Christ Restoration Branch
4. Elder Thatcher and myself at the end of our exchange
5. Elder Green, Elder Thatcher, Elder Raffensparger
6. George, baptized June 22. One of the greatest men I have ever met. I am eternally grateful to be a part of his life.