Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome to Dallas

 A new area and a new companion. I am now in Dallas Georgia with Elder Anderson. Elder Anderson has been out in the mission field for six weeks and he is ready to work. He is from St. George Utah. He is a big football player. He is going to play football for SUU once he returns home. He is a great guy with a huge heart. He has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He is awesome. I am very excited to be his companion, and to be a good example to him.
     This past week has been an amazing week. But before I tell you about all the great things that happened this past week, I need to fill you in about the miracles that I didn't get to tell you about in my last email. Alessandra! She is amazing. It was such a sad goodbye. Alright, so Alessandra was baptized last Saturday, and everything went perfect. The miracle that I really want to share is what happened Monday night. Monday night we had family home evening with my favorite family in the Lost Mountain Ward, the Sears. They invited Alessandra over to have FHE with them. The lesson was on the Holy Ghost. The Sears daughter, Abbey, taught the lesson and she did an amazing job. After the lesson Sister Sears opened up the lesson and asked us if we had any experiences with the Holy Ghost that we would like to share. Unexpectedly Alessandra shared an experience. As she started she began to say that she's felt the Holy Ghost throughout her life, "But then she stopped and tears started to slowly role down her face (not many, just like 4 or 5). She continued and said, but I've never felt it as strong as I have had since I have been in this Church. I know God sent you all to me, because there is no way I could deal with the things that I've been dealing with without this Church and the Holy Ghost. Sunday was an amazing day, and I know that I have now received the Gift of the Holy Ghost." There was no better way that I could have left the Lost Mountain area than hearing Alessandra bear her testimony. It was honestly one of the best moments of my mission. I will never forget her face and her sincerity as she bore her testimony, it is engraved in my mind. I am going to miss Alessandra so much!
       Alright, one more story. I can't remember if I have even talked about this man before. His name is John. Elder McMahan and I have been working with him ever since I got to that area, and McMahan had been working with him even before I got there. In total John has been taught for about 15 months. He is extremely intelligent. John is a stubborn man, haha. But in a good way. He is sincere. Goodness, I love this guy. John he puts missionaries through the ringer to see if you are capable. He sure put me through the ringer. We've met every week with John. He recently married a member of the Church and has been meeting with missionaries ever since. When I first met with John he considered himself sort of agnostic. After a lot of discussions, spiritual experiences, and amazing member fellowship. John is a completely different person than the first time I met him.
      His story is quite long, and I don't know if I have much time to tell it all. To make a long story short, John is going to be baptized on September 14th. This man has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith like you would not believe. He is going to make an amazing member of the Church. After a lot of blunt discussions with him, and a lot of spiritual experiences. He has began to pray, and received a witness that he needs to be baptized. This is huge! The ward has been waiting for John for a long time. He has been one of the most active and charitable "members" of the church for the last 15 months. He is a great guy. I found out that we were going to be transferred last Saturday. That same day we had the amazing opportunity to go the the Nashville Tribute Concert. Peg and John both came to the concert. When I saw Peg I want up to her and said, "Peg, I am being transferred." Haha. I thought her world just about ended. She said, "No! You can't leave. You are the Elder that is going to baptize John! No! Where is your mission President, I am going to talk with him." Haha. I did not advocate her idea to talk with President. But sure enough she hunted down President Harding in the crowd and gave him the fifth degree... Haha. Peg was not the only one to talk with him, but John too. Luckily John was a bit more understanding. Haha. The Tuesday before we left we asked Peg and John if we could sit down with them and have one last lesson. In this lesson we planned out John's baptism for the 14th!
       Things were great in the Lost Mountain ward, and I am proud of the miracles that happened there. I am so excited to be serving here in Dallas. This past week Elder Anderson and I have been working our tails off. We have been talking with EVERYONE and sharing our story. I can tell that Elder Anderson really loves the way that I do missionary work. He is very excited to be my companion. I am doing my best to teach him all that I know. When we first got together I shared with him my favorite quote from LeGrand Richards, "As a missionary, you never have to argue, if you know how to tell our story." This statement is so true. If you know how to tell our story, you never have to argue. We have really worked hard on being able to tell our story in the most affective way possible.

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