Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17, 2010 - Week 53

1 Year Shirt Burning

Elder Williams

Hello Everyone,

Hows it going today? It has been an alright week this week. It is the last week of the transfer and we get our transfer calls this Saturday. Everyone thinks that I will finally be leaving. I'm kind of bummed because I don't want to leave. At the same time, it would be a good change for me. I have no idea where I might go. I think I could stay for one more transfer though. That would be good. I guess it's wherever the Lord needs me. Yesterday was Zone Conference and we had Elder Ringwood from the Quorum of the 70 come. It was an awesome experience. Elder Ringwood talked to us about some of the coolest things. He would open things up to questions too, so missionaries could ask him any question that they had. I was trying to think of a question to ask him, but just nothing came to mind; although, after our meeting my mind was full of questions. Eh I guess I will have to ask the next time I meet a general authority and they let us ask any question we want..... It was such a great meeting though. Elder Ringwood talked a lot about a missionary and the steps that we take to become a great missionary. There is a process that missionaries go through along with investigators. Many people first have a desire to learn the truth, then they put it into action by studying and praying etc., and then they receive a witness from the Holy Ghost. He said that many missionaries first have a strong desire and hope to do good, they sacrifice 2 years of their lives in trying to do good, they then receive the fruits of the Spirit which are love, peace, happiness, etc. He said that this is fantastic and what so many missionaries actually achieve, but he said that there is a different plane of desire and hope that not too many people achieve. He himself said that it is something he only achieved a couple times during his mission. It is a more excellent hope and desire for a better world, then the missionary literally devotes his whole heart and soul into the Lords work, then as a witness he receives the gifts of the spirit. I realized, and as I have talked about in some many of my emails and letters, that I am currently in the stage of my mission where I have received the fruits of the spirit. I am so happy right now. I have gained so much peace and understanding about life and what I should do in the future. The gospel has brought me so much happiness, but there is a more excellent hope. I decided that I want that in my life. It's something that will be difficult to achieve, but I want it so bad. I guess this is a pretty deep conversation for my emails haha, but it is something that really stood out to me and something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Well the zone conference was great. I got to see many of my friends there. Its so crazy because A LOT of the missionaries go home today. Their missions are over. Time has gone by so fast. I remember when I met a lot of these guys and they had only been out a year. Now they are going home and I am in their shoes when I met them. My trainer, Elder Smith, is going home today too. He got the permission to go home 7 weeks early to go to school. I saw him yesterday and we had a nice chat. I introduced him to Elder Williams, his grandson haha.

This week I did hit my 1 year mark. Thanks again for the packages everyone sent and the letter and emails. I can't believe it has been a whole year. That night was one of the busiest I've had too. We had 4 appointments for the day. After our last appointment we went over to our ward mission leaders house and I whipped out my shirt and we did the 1 year burning. Man it lit up fast. It must be all that sweat that has seeped into it haha. Now I am just on the down hill. I feel like I'm moving onto the next stage of missionary work. I'm no longer the new guy or greenie, but I'm the missionary that has been out a while now.

This last week we didn't have as much success as we would have hoped for our new investigators. We did have a lot of appointments to meet with our potential investigators, but many did not go as planned. One person was not interested, and 2 canceled on us. We did meet with Steve and Nancy, the people in the trailer park, and that went well. I don't think they understood a whole lot, but they understood enough. They did understand what the Book of Mormon is and that they should pray about it. That is a good first step. We are hopefully going to meet with them tomorrow. They were going to come to church on Sunday, but unfortunately their ride canceled last minute and they couldn't come. We are going to provide a ride for them this week. It will be especially good because it is our wards Primary Program. Steve and Nancy's kids are really excited to come to church. I guess they talk about it almost everyday. Oh cool story. On Sunday, Trisha Razzolini came up to us and said that she has been hearing stories about us. We were confused and curious so we asked her about what. She said that she was at her work the other day and there were some people talking bad about the Mormons. They were saying all of this bad stuff and then one of the guys stops everyone and he says, "Hey there are two really good guys who are helping my friends Steve and Nancy and they are Mormons. That's good enough for me." Pretty cool huh. We have never even met this guy before. All we know is that his name is Tom and that he is friends with Steve and Nancy. We are going to ask Steve about it tomorrow. Its crazy the influence that we have on people and you don't even know about it. This week we also met with John Janovich's daughter. We have talked to her a few times, but not a whole lot. We decided we would just go over to her house and talk to her. She is married to a Baptist, and he is a real nice guy. We talked to them for a while and then we showed them a short church video. I talked to Ashley, Johns daughter, and asked her if she would like to take the missionary lessons. Ashley is a member, but hasn't been to church in a long time. She said that she would love too. We then asked her husband Anthony and he said, "Well you know that I am a Baptist, but I know that this is really something that is important to my wife so I will do it and do it with an open mind." SWEET!!! They are both really sincere too. We set up an appointment and Anthony goes, "We'll see ya on Wednesday." I have great hopes for them. So we are still just truckin away. Things are going really well. I haven't been able to record my recent converts stories, but I am going to do it this week.

Mom and Dad, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!! You guys are just awesome. I hope you had fun time to celebrate so many years of marriage. Well I hope everyone is doing great. Have a good week.

Elder Garrick

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