To begin, we’re going to play a quick game of “Would You Rather…”
I typed in the zip code for Gilbert Arizona and giggled for like a minute straight. Everyone in Clifton Forge is home-bound or driving very, very carefully.
We’re having a great week! It’s been amazing! The temperature drop has brought wonderful blessings to this area. We were invited into two homes on consecutive days, both of which can be directly tied to the frigid temperatures outside. The first was a fantastic man with a living room dedicated to his Native American heritage. As we talked, he told us that he had been looking for a church for a long time that felt right to him. He said he knew that God would give him a feeling in his heart when he found the right church. He accepted a Book of Mormon and promised to read it, and said that he would visit our church. We’re going back to visit him this Friday. He was our first new investigator in a few weeks!
The next day was quite a bit colder, and many people warned us about the storms rolling in, but we had set our plans and we felt like we should hold to them. We were approaching our scheduled 7:00 dinner alone. We had been out walking in the snow and on the icy roads for almost an hour. We decided to knock 3 more houses. We knocked the first with no answer. As we went to the next, we heard some people talking outside. We walked up and found a family just arriving home. The father immediately started telling us about the terrible weather that had taken them off the road as the traveled from Roanoke, causing them to arrive home at precisely the moment we were walking on their street. =) We asked him if we could share a message with his family, and he paused for a moment and then invited us in. He called his wife and 3 children into the room and we sat with all of them and read from the Book of Mormon. The father, said he would like to read it, and the youngest son said “I’m gonna read this whole book!” We had a great visit and at the end, we noticed their mother was in pain, and we offered a priesthood blessing, which she accepted. It was such a sweet experience, and our visit ended right at 8:00, in time to get home for dinner. =)
Yesterday we had a very sweet experience as we finished our weekly visit to a nonmember family. The father, who is bedridden and suffering from many internal and external physical struggles, told us that he looks forward to our visits every Sunday, so much that every day when he wakes up he’s disappointed because it isn’t Sunday. The members that we bring with us each week had tears in their eyes as we walked out to our vehicles. You just never know whose lives you are changing. We had no idea how much our visits meant to him.
It’s just beautiful, all of it. I love it. I am so grateful to be here. I wish I could stay. I truly do. But it lasts only for a moment, and then we go back to “fake life”. =) President Salisbury says that this is Real Life, our missions. This is the really important stuff, so his business partner tells him. I believe it. I know there is so much good for me to do at home, and I look forward to it, but I will miss this tremendously.
I love this Gospel. I love my Savior. I love my mission.
Gift 3: An increased love for my family
I got an email from my mom today. She and my dad are coming out to tour my mission with me and visit some of the people I have grown to love so much out here. She said this “JUST KNOW i LOVE YOU AND CAN’T WAIT TO BE THERE!!!
lOVE MOM” I smiled really big. Someday they might understand how much they have come to mean to me out here. It fills me up to see the things that my parents have taught me becoming a deep part of who I am. It fills me up to meet people who remind me so much of my siblings, I think I’ve found many for Daniel, and at least one for all of the others, and I hold on to those people when I do. I just grow to love these people so much and so easily.
There is a quote from President Harold B. Lee in Preach My Gospel that says “The most important of the Lord’s work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes.” I know that is true. Family is SO important. And my family is SO important to me! Don’t ever forget what an impact your example and your lives have on your children, your siblings, and your parents. I wish I had been better to mine in my youth. I wish I had been more kind. But I will be now. I love you all so much, and I can’t wait to spend time with you for ETERNITY! =)
This is the Lord’s church. The Gospel teachings are true. I know it.