Dear beloved family and friends,
I have had an amazing week of learning. It’s like the switch has been flipped in my personal study and learning. Last week Elder Vest and I had a discussion with a very faithful and very intelligent baptist that sparked something in my biblical understanding. He spoke of the clear emphasis on the necessity for baptism in the teachings of Savior and the early apostles, but shared that he had noted a deemphasis on baptism in the Epistles of Paul. When he said that, I remembered what Elder Petersen had once shared with me in one of his angry rants on Paul as the most misunderstood apostle ever. He said "He was writing to members of the church!". In that moment, so many of the doctrines of protestant churches became clear to me! Since then I’ve been studying the epistles of Paul and the other books of the New Testament. My mind has just been flooded with understanding, and my love for the New Testament has grown immensely. I kept writing "Virtue" as a study topic in my personal study plans, and amid studying for lessons and studying the NT, I couldn’t ever get to it! But I will be studying Virtue this week again!
Truly, I am finding a new love for the scriptures in general. Elder Vest and I began creating lesson plans as advised in Chapter 2 of Preach my Gospel. We’ve been searching out the principles of the missionary lessons and trying to find passages of scripture that teach the doctrines simply and clearly. IT’S BEEN SUPER FUN! I really really feel like I’ve had an awakening in the past 2-3 weeks. I am so grateful for it. I will be sharing more of the things I’m learning in the weeks to come, as well as the incredible miracles we are seeing here in Lynchburg. I love love LOVE it here, and the people we are finding and teaching are so incredible. Thank you for your prayers and support. Thank you for your testimonies of the Gospel. I hope that your love for the Savior and His teachings continue to grow. I hope I can help in some small way with the things I write here.
Please continue to pray for missionary opportunities! The Lord’s work has hastened, and is continuing to build! It’s happening, and it is so exciting to be a part of it. I love this work, and it is work!
Special note to a friend:
Today I received your email from October 22nd. I want you to know it meant the world to me. I have wondered about you throughout the time since we’ve spoken. I wish I could express to you how much it filled me to know that you’re still going, and that your testimony has continued to grow. You amaze and inspire me. Thank you for writing. Mission guidelines ask that I not email or write to people within my mission boundaries during my missionary service, but I haven’t forgotten you. Keep going. It will all be worth it. You have my deepest admiration. =)