Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 6 Dare to Stand Alone


This week has been a great one, so let's get started with it. I would like to point out that I did not have a baptism this last week for one of my investigators, rather I went to one because the zone leaders have to go to every baptism in their zone. It's required, so yeah. Anyway, last p-day was really great! We got everything washed and ready for the week to come, got the car washed, got our clothes washed, and prepared for everything. Then we took the whole district and went and played ultimate frisbee in a high school football field. It was pretty fun, and we had a great time. Then after p-day was over, we had a lesson with Jacob who is one of our investigators and has his baptism this Saturday. Elder Kirk is going to baptize him. Then we had an activity with the ward which is something we always do on Monday nights, FHE. You can probably guess what that means. We had a trivia night, and that was a lot of fun.

Tuesday we did a lot of visiting and lessons along with tracting and contacting. That's been getting a lot easier for me as we continue to do it, and I'm becoming more and more confident as we go. We had a lesson with Ivy who is getting baptized on October 8th, and it went well. We talked about "Dare to Stand Alone," a Mormon message, and we taught her that there are going to be things in this world that may bring you down, but you need to stand for your rights and what you believe in. We also had to go to the bishopric training because President Pringal wanted us to be a part of the training with them, and it made sense because our stake is doing terrible with referrals. Please, please, please give referrals to missionaries, guys!!! It's so hard for us to find people, and then our president and leaders get mad at us when our key indicators aren't reaching standards. Plus, we need them badly.

Wednesday I went on an exchange with Elder Goodman and Elder Squire in Blaine, a pretty cool place. They do a pretty good job with their area. They had Elder Kirk and I exchange with Elder Goodman so that I could get out of Bellingham that day and explore what's around me which was good because it's great to see new faces and stuff. We went to talk to a lot of people and had one lesson that day. They have a good area, and I had lots of fun. Good experience too.

Thursday was the longest day this week. We had zone conference in Mt. Vernon. I go there every now and then. It's a good area, and I heard that Justin's friend (Steven's) wife's family lives there.  It is such a good place for them. That took up most of the day, and we talked about a lot of good things. Then we had dinner with our ward clerk, Justin, and talked with him and shared a message. After that, we had a lesson with Jacob, and then we went back to Sister P's for planning and bed time.

The Elders and Sisters of the Bellingham Area
Friday we had a lesson with a recent convert named Audrey. She was baptized the week I came out here, so that was cool. She's a great girl. Then she came with us to our lesson with Ivy that day. We talked about Lehi's dream and the symbolism behind it. It was a good lesson, and we enjoyed it. Then after that, we had a lesson with a less active named Jason, and haha this lesson was interesting. We missed him at church last Sunday, so we went to go see what was wrong. We found out that the Saturday before Sunday, he was on YouTube and was looking up Mormon messages when an anti-Mormon message appeared. He wondered what it was all about, and sure enough, he was shocked by what he watched. It was about how there are stars on our temple and how some people believe them to be pentagrams and that the Mormons are followers of Satan and bla bla bla. It made him scared, so he went to go have a smoke... We told him when we met up with him that people put those on the internet to try to bring us down and to try to convince people that we are an evil church when we are not. Those stars on our temples represent the telestial kingdom. We also told him that he needed to stand for his beliefs and what he knew to be true because there will be times like that (like the pharisees in Jesus's ministry) when people will try to catch us in our words and try to bring us down, but we have to be strong and know that what we believe is true!! Because it truly is. I hope that helps him.

Saturday we went to the baptism in the Bellingham 3rd Ward which was ok, and it looks like she is liking being a convert. Her name is Laura, and I congratulated the elders for their hard work. We also did service and visited a lot of people. Then we went to a lesson with Zack and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a great kid, and he's so solid. He's so ready for his baptism. I can call him kid because he's 18, but he looks like he's 23 because of how tall he is. He's great. 

Sunday was pretty great. We had 3 investigators at sacrament meeting, and some of them stayed for the rest of it. 

I enjoyed this week a lot, and I hope that everyone's week was great. I'm sorry for BYU losing, but that's pretty normal when it comes to their offense :) Just saying, but that's ok. I'm glad the ward is bigger since they realigned the boundaries, and I hope you are all having a great wonderful day today.

Now, here is my spiritual thought. Remember this...when it comes to the times you're scared, frightened to take a task that is in front of you, or you can't go on any longer in your trials, look towards your Savior. He atoned for the sins of all the world, for the heartaches and for all of the trials in this world that would ever happen. When we need a rescue in our life, He will know when and how we need it. His love and grace is sufficient for all of us. It is the one thing that keeps us from going too far into darkness. It is the one thing that binds us and makes us happier in life. When you need His love and support, HE WILL GIVE IT TO YOU. No matter what you're going through, and if you feel that no one has suffered like you have, remember He has and is always there for you with open arms so you can cry all your fears and trials away. When we need a rescue in our lives, Christ our shepherd will leave his 99 sheep and look for the one that is lost. He will find you! He will love you! And He will lift you up on his shoulders and carry you home. Brothers and sisters, no matter how hard our trials have been our will be, there is NO one that truly understand more of what we're going through than our Savior does. I know these things are true. I know I have been sent to Everett Washington to serve the Lord and to show our Savior's love for everyone who needs it here, and that is everyone here. He has blessed me as a disciple of Jesus Christ to lift people on His shoulders and to bring them home. Remember "as Christ turns outward, man turns inward." Let us not be man who turns inward after everything good we do. Let's show people that He loves everyone and that He will never leave us comfortless. His love shines like the sun with perfect light, and we are the earths that need it so continually in our lives. DON'T LOSE HOPE! He's never going to give up on you. Brothers and sisters, I know that my redeemer lives, and at times I've seen His hand pull me through trials that I've faced. When I needed to be rescued, he has lifted me up on his shoulders and has taken me home where I want to be. It is my prayer that we can show this same love He has for each and every one of us to others and help them to be RESCUED! I know these things are true, and I say these things in the name of our endless, loving Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

-Elder Hammond

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