Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 8 Ups and Downs

I really don't feel like writing a super long email today.... so I'll try to keep it short and simple.

Monday we had a blast playing ultimate frisbee in one of the parks close by where we lived. The cool thing is we get to be with the district in my area unlike other places where you can't hang out with other missionaries. That's just how some mission presidents make rules, but I love President Wilding and what he has done for this mission. He's an awesome mission president, and I wouldn't want anyone else. Anyway, after that fun p-day, we had a lesson with Zack. He is so solid and is getting baptized this Saturday. I can't wait. It'll be my first investigator that I've gotten to sit through all the lessons with, and i get to see him be baptized. We talked about tithing and fasting with him, and it was a good lesson. We also had FHE that night which was really great. We watched Meet the Mormons and met some new people. Two of them were recent converts that had barely moved into the ward, and the other person was their friend who tagged along, so we may be getting a new investigator soon. Her name is Rachel, and she's going to Western Washington University with those two friends who's names are Trever and Diana. Cool people.

I went on an exchange with the Spanish missionaries, and it's a whole different culture many tacos and other things I love so much! There are a lot of Hispanics up here. I enjoyed meeting everyone. The two elders that are running the Spanish branch are Elder Rilly and Elder Eastwood. Elder Rilly leaves this week, and Elder Eastwood is new and does really well at teaching. I can't speak the language, but I can understand most of what people say when they speak it, mostly because we had Spanish missions all around our classroom in the MTC, so everyone spoke in Spanish. I sorta got the gist of what they would say all them time, but I never really understood how to say it all. Pretty awesome stuff.

Wednesday was ok. Nothing much there...just taught lessons, tracted and didn't find many people to teach, so not much then.

We exchanged Elder Manezoine for Elder Hatch from Everson, another missionary that leaves the same day as Elder Rilly. We did some painting and had several lessons that day. We had one with Ivy and Zack. Ivy decided to move her baptism to November because she isn't going to be here when we could do it. We taught here about what general conference is and that she needed to watch it because it's so cool. We taught Zack about the priesthood and how he can get it after he's baptized. Ya, pretty chill day.

Friday was such a fun day! We had a fun carnival at the institute, and we had a good amount of people show up and play games. The ward set up for the opening social for institute, but during it we had to leave to have a lesson with Zack, and we taught him about baptism and other things he needed to look forward to.

Saturday and Sunday I watched general conference and enjoyed it all. I'm still getting quotes from it so don't quiz me on anything. Yesterday we also met up with someone we tracted on Thursday. So ya, that was cool. His name is Johnathon, and he's so strong in the belief of Christ. When we told him about the restoration, he wanted to learn more, so we're going to teach him more! Now we have a new investigator.

Well this week has had its ups and downs, and I've loved it all, but now it's time for my spiritual thought:

"Hope... hope is one of Christ's attributes, oddly enough, and we all need it in our lives because hope is what runs our faith in Jesus Christ and in Heavenly Father. 'Hope is the anchor of our souls... hope is the trust in God's promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future' (1999 ensign) Hope is the willingness to look forward in life and expect greatness to come in our lives. We need hope to get through every day of this life. We, like Peter, have to hope that we can take that first step on the water and hope we won't sink, but we also must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who stood waiting for Peter as he started to walk towards him. We must not lose that belief that everything will be fine, like Peter did. As he looked down at the water below him, his faith shrunk, and so he started to sink. We can't sink in the times when our faith is being tested the most. We have to fight back temptation and stand for what we know to be true and hope that things will get better, not worse. But if we have hope and faith and believe in Christ, our savior, we will see an end to our worst days, and our happiness will grow. So will our faith." (Elder Hammond Character of Christ missionary journal) Guys, I'm learning so much, and now I have a journal devoted to finding what the character of Christ really means to me, and it's something I will bring home for everyone to read. As God shows me the tender mercies of this world, I will continue to write as I learn more about Christ. May we all have that same desire to learn of Him, that is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Hammond
We got this in the mail from the Mission Office. I was beginning to wonder where the picture of my missionary with the mission president was and if I would get one at all. It was a happy piece of mail to open. =)

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