Dear wonderful, magnificent, noble, family and friends,
I LOVE THIS SEASON! I know I say that a lot. But I really mean it. I LOVE the Holiday season. Ok, really quick, scroll down to the bottom of this entry and look at the first picture and will someone please tell me what the heck that thing is?! That is the second one I’ve seen. The first one was knocking on our front door trying to get in. It wouldn’t let me send in-line pictures, but in the second picture I want to introduce you to Elder Ryan Vest, Companion Extraordinare, and Richard. =) Richard is one of our very dear friends. He’s been in Lynchburg for some time, and we met him about 12 weeks ago. He’s been coming to church with us quite a bit recently, and he’s basically become one of us. =D But Richard is moving to Texas. =( Please pray for his safe travels and his success in obtaining work when he arrives. He is a good man with a great road ahead of him. We love him and will miss him.
I’m doing something really fun this month! I call it “No-ask November”. Basically, I don’t ask for anything when I pray. It forces me to be creative in my prayers when I’m seeking specific blessings. As a result, my prayers turn into faith-filled prayers, where I consider what I have to do and commit to do it. For example, instead of saying “Please help me to have the strength to resist temptation”, it turns into something like “Heavenly Father, I know that you want me to stay clean and worthy always, I know that you have promised that the scriptures provide a shield from the adversary, and so I commit to read from the Book of Mormon for 20 minutes each day. I know that you will strengthen me to resist temptation as I do so.” It makes such a difference in the way I feel when I pray. Instead of pleading from a position of weakness, I express confidence and trust and faith in God and in myself, and I commit to DO something to help the situation. This process has led to some of the most faith-filled prayers I have experienced on my mission, probably ever.
Elder Vest and I are working hard to become Preach My Gospel missionaries! We received a magnificent promise from President Salisbury this past mission conference, and it has filled both of us with a renewed determination to be the best men and the most dedicated missionaries we can be! It’s super hard, and Satan knows our weaknesses definitely, but there is a different Spirit as we are reaching for that goal. Our trials and stumbles aren’t discouraging anymore, instead, they provide us with learning experiences that feed our ability to move forward. When we stand back up, we are even better equipped for the journey ahead. I don’t know what that stems from… Faith? Hope? We know that God’s promises are real. Always. EVERY time. And we know what He has promised us right now. And we know what we were called to do! I love being a part of this work, so much. I am so grateful. I look back on what I went through to get here and I am just… amazed, at what the atonement of Christ has done for me individually. I see it working in the lives of the people we love here every day. But it doesn’t come until we ask for it, and not until we’re willing to do what he asks of us. But when we do… it’s indescribable.
Please know how grateful I am for your prayers and your support. Know how much I love you, and love to be missing you right now. =)
This work is true. The Lord is in command of this church and Gospel. I bear my witness of it, in the name of Jesus Christ amen.