Sunday, March 3, 2013

Those Prayers Where You Really Feel and Know You're Talking to Heavenly Father

Dear Mom, Dad, Trevor, Collin, Aubrey, and Ava,

I think I have about a billion and five different things to answer so let’s start with zone leader responsibilities. It is not too hard... I don’t really feel like much of a zone leader … kind of like becoming a missionary. I didn't feel like one, but the changes start gradually and end up being monumental. We have a lot of time to work and stuff. We just usually have to sacrifice a lot of time doing tradeoffs with the other missionaries, picking people up, running different kinds of errands, extra meetings (first zone leader council this week), and doing nightly phone calls every night to gather information on how the companionships are doing and who is set for baptism. Pretty soon we will have district leaders back in to do that part for us and then all we will have to do is call them, but it's still heaps of fun. As for the big transfers I am pretty sure after this 3 week one it will continue every 6 weeks so we can be in sync with the MTC. As for preparing for the big transfers, there is not really a whole lot that we can do... the most we can is still visit the other wards as much as possible to keep up the investigators who got left behind and keep them alive and kicking. As for my companions it feels like I get along with Elder Wright a little better, who yes, will probably be leaving in a week and a half, and is not a zone leader. I love them both. Elder Florence is a very professional business-like missionary and, well, I'm not... I will be obedient with exactness, but I need to crack jokes over the phone like, "What sound does a forklift make when it's backing up?" I dont know... (Then I hang up the phone) BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Gets um every time...

No worries though. I will have a good chat with him on the way up to zone leader council... I learned if you pray before you settle any kind of issues or anything like that then you usually can't go wrong.  So it will be all right. I will keep you updated on how we are doing. Anyway, this week we did have Zone Conference. That was fun! I got to see Elder Denham again! And yes he is still in Gisborne. He was a little upset when he figured out that I was leaving and he was staying. I think his main concern is not wanting to die (finish his mission) in Gisborne. I'm starting to realize now how good of a missionary he really is.

Anyways Jessica Barney?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Haha. Can you please send me a picture of her engagement or whatever. Elder Denham will get a kick out of that one.
J I’m surprised that I haven't heard of more engagements and stuff... Also, while you are on Instagram or whatever, stalking people, can you please have Collin send a message to Micaella saying I am so sorry that I couldn't write her last week and I might even have a hard time doing it this week, but that I haven't forgotten to. Also, if you want she is in Spain and she needs advice on what to do with the Catholic family that she is staying with that are pretty interested in the church. Please get that done for me Collin!!! THANK YOU!

So a cool experience we had this week was when we were out and about talking with everyone that we could see. It was 12 o clock so we were heading back for lunch when we passed by a lady having a smoke. I went and sat down next to her and we just started talking like we were best friends. She was an older English lady, and we just talked about her and her life and that led into talk about the Holy Ghost and how living a clean life is the absolute happiest way of living there is... We had to go but I asked if I could offer a prayer before we left. It was one of those prayers where you felt and KNEW that you were literally talking to Heavenly Father and I’m sure she felt it too, because when I opened my eyes after the amen she was looking at me with tears pouring down her face. It was cool seeing that look of gratitude, and it made me appreciate how much Heavenly Father does not only for me, but for everyone. Her name is A. We meet with her tomorrow. If you want to pray for her tonight that would be cool.

The thing that I learned that was pretty cool was just simple patience. We need to have patience with ourselves, with our companions, and most importantly with our Heavenly Father... Our mission president’s wife showed us a cool quote saying something along the lines of, “When we fall into the temptation of impatience... something something something... we doubt Heavenly Father’s omniscience...” I pondered on that thought and realized, hey that's true!!! Every time I get angry or frustrated because of my weaknesses, or what I am doing wrong, or just about anything I'm forgetting that Heavenly Father gave me those weaknesses for a reason... He gave me my companions for a reason... Ether 12:27 and Isaiah 55:8-9 I think. I've grown a whole lot more patient on my mission, but I still have a llllllllllllooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggg way to go.

Anyways, I love you family. GOOD job Ava getting that poopy puppy back to the Ridings. You are a hero! Good job on the win Collin! And Dad, if I have any advice on being a YM president, what you did this week discussing the importance of the BOM with two of those boys is a great idea. We did a whole mission conference on it and realized how worthless we are without it. Make sure all the boys are making it a daily priority to at least read a chapter because the Lord's declaration that in the last days men's hearts shall fail them is just as applicable to the Young Men as well! We also watched “Safety for the Soul,” the Jeffrey R. Holland talk and I remembered back to sitting on the couch with you when he hammered all the people that challenge the Book of Mormon during his talk, "From Ethan Smith, to Solomon Spalding, to deranged lunatic, to cunning genious... All of these frankly pathetic answers for this book…" and after he said that you let out a big “HOO HOO!!!” I had a good laugh about that. I hope that made sense and maybe you remember doing that.

Much Love,
Elder Ward

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