Shout out to Jasmine Reffnar, and Bruce Anderson! You wrote me an awesome letter and I accidentally threw away the envelope so I have no idea what your address is!! Please email or write me again!
Shout out to anyone else that might have written me the past 5 weeks. The letters got lost when I got transferred out to Denver.
Maaaaaannnnn oh man!!!! I love my mission!!! This week was a great improvement. I don't ever like talking about negative things but I think it's appropriate to show the change that happened this week. This has been the hardest companionship to get along in for me. My companions and I are just different in the way we do things and we've butted heads and clashed a bit. It's been pretty miserable at times worrying if they hate my guts and also being a jerk back to them. We've also struggled being effective because of the contention and conflicts so we've struggled. This week was the hardest but also the best. I decided to reflect a few mornings in a row for my personal study and to wake up early to have extra time to ponder on how I could be better in this companionship. I fasted and prayed a lot and realized how judgmental I've been and have been blinding myself to their positive side. So I decided to stop judgments completely and start focusing on their good and we had a great few days. Then on Sunday we had a comp inventory and all apologized for our wrongs. That last day we worked our hardest and saw miracles and had our best week the whole transfer. It's helped me to finally learn things I've struggled with my whole mission of being judgmental and not as loving to missionaries.
I went on exchanges with Elder Mataalii on bikes. We taught 5 lessons together and set 2 people on date after just meeting them. We found this lady named Letty and her 3 kids. Ely who is 13 and the only one over the age of 8. She said that her sister converted when she was 18 but she wasn't ready to look into it then but felt she would in the future. When she saw us though she said she got excited for us to teach her and when we asked if she'd be baptized she was hesitant as people normally are so we got nervous but then said "well I have to have my brother in law do it so as long as he can, ya" It was a great testimony that the Lord is preparing people all over the world and in our zone.
On Wednesday our mission president, President Murdock came out with us for a few hours. It was awesome being able to teach with him. And hear him testify to our investigators.
Natasha and Ben decided to move to Indiana! Her nephew doesn't really have functioning parents right now so she and Ben talked and they decided to move down to take care of him and gain custody. Everything has been going so perfectly for them. Ben found a new job that pays 3 X's more money and is way more fun. They already bought a great house with 8 acres for super cheap. They already called the Bishop and are excited to drag Natasha's parents to church as well. Our President came with us to teach them and is getting in contact with the mission president over there so we're not worried at all about the transition.
As I mentioned before I've done a lot of thinking and praying. I wondered a lot on how I could be a better leader and what a leader was in the first place. I thought a lot about the example of the Savior's leadership and how he was perfectly loving and understanding to everyone. He never judged his people. When they lifted them up all instead of thinking "man these guys are idiots!!! Why don't they ever get it!? Why are they so deficient?" He said "Father forgive them. For they know not what they do." I've been humbled a lot this transfer in the way that I treat others and the need to focus on their positive and to just have an unconditional love for them despite their weakness. I'm so grateful for Atonement helping me to change my nature and to be able to keep getting up and trying again. I'm so grateful for my mission. I'd be in a gutter if I hadn't served the Lord and given up my desires to do the will of the Father.
Funny/awesome story: Last night an older lady refused to talk to us or let us in when it was freezing cold outside. We joked around with her about how cold it was but she had a little bit of an attitude and told us that we thought we were Christians but really weren't. Elder Rhoades with so much love for her said, "Jesus would let us in. You can claim that your Christian all you want but until you prove it through your works, you're not a true Christian." BAM LADY!!
I love you all!!