This week we went on exchanges with the zone leaders up here in Page. It was a pretty awesome experience. We were able to get a lot done here and meet a lot of people. I was with Elder Christiansen, and we taught the Plan of Salvation to a recent convert who is working towards getting the Priesthood. He had a lot of great insights and he also drew the plan of salvation out as we talked about it. It is amazing what you can learn from the more experienced missionaries and the younger ones as well. Everyone has their own insights and their own personal experience. Our mission in the past 7.5 months has gotten a ton of new missionaries (probably 110 or something like that) so we now have over our alloted amount of missionaries and a ton of new missionaries as well. This past week we had a mission tour where we drove to Chinle and then Elder Paul B. Pieper spoked to us. I believe he is in the first quorum of the seventy. It was an amazing experience, he taught us a lot about receiving revelation and how to find answers to the questions we have and how we can better work with the ward. At the end he gave his testimony of Jesus Christ. It was pretty powerful. The mission tour was awesome.
It sounds like your trip was sweet haha. You basically covered the top half of the mission mostly. I know Valley because we had dinner over at her house twice I think. That must have been fun driving all around and seeing Mesa Verde, Chimney Rock, the Hot Springs, and all around Farmington.
Oh by the way, I kinda forgot to tell all of you but tomorrow is transfers and so we got transfer newson Saturday. As you know we cover 1st and 5th ward here. My companion Elder Griener is going to be staying here training and cover 1st ward and there are going to be seperate missionaries over 5th ward. Elder Griener is going to be a great trainer, I have learned a ton for him and I am excited for him. Sooooo.... I am headed out pretty far away haha. Leaving areas is always a bummer. It is bittersweet because you will miss all the people you were close too. And at the same time you know the Lord wants you in the next area. I am going to Lupton, Arizona. Haha yes I didn't know where it was either when I heard of it. It is West of Gallup probably 30 minutes down by I-40 out on the rez. I have heard a little bit about it and it sounds like a small town 500 to 600 peoples and a really small branch, maybe 25 or so members from what I have heard. I am going to be companions with Elder Ika and Elder Phillips.... I think. I have met one of them once but I really don't know too much about them, so I guess I'll find out. I am sad to leave but excited to go there. Should be an adventure for sure.
There is one scripture I want to share with you guys. Ezekiel 36:36 (You have to read the whole chapter to get everything out of it) but this scripture holds a beautiful promise. The Lord builds the "ruined places" and "plants the desolate places." He doesn't take only the really great people or the "churchy" people or the "spiritual" people and build them up and make their lives great. He literally takes the broken, the discouraged, the lost, the alone, the "unspiritual" and the "unchurchy" and changes everything if they will soften their heart and come unto Christ. Christ, through the Atonement He performed can change lives and change people. This Gospel and Christs Atonement is not just about some people, it is about all people. It is about every single person that has walked this Earth. Christ takes the people who have "ruined cities" and "waste lands" (I am pretty sure this includes all of us) and builds them and changes them in miraculous ways, if they come unto Him. He takes the sinner (which is all of us) and heals them, if they come unto Him. Christ isn't about some people, He is about all people.
One last quote I wanted to share. I heard it awhile ago and I really like it. I am not sure who said it first but ..... "The only way to fail with Christ is to quit." Literally that is the only way. No matter how far we think we are or how hard things get, "the only way to fail with Christ is to quit." Don't ever quit. Keep going, just one small step after another, little by little, following the Savior. Keep on keepin on.
So this weekend was Stake Conference. It was pretty awesome. We heard our Mission President and his wife and the St. George Temple President and his wife and then the Stake President speak. It was an awesome experience. The Temple President and his wife talked about how "CTR" stands for Choose the Right for younger fellows and how "CTR" can also stand for Current Temple Recommend for those who are older. I really have a testimony of the temple. I miss it so much. I wish I could go there more often on my mission, I think we are going in September, but it will just make the experience that much better.
This week I went on an exchange to Kaibeto. Kaibeto is out on the rez about 45 minutes from page. It is where my trainer Elder Soper was trained and so I have heard a ton about Kaibeto. It is a pretty wonderful place. It is super peaceful out there and there is definitely great people out there.
Thank you so much for all the emails and letters and everything. You really don't know the difference they make in my life. It is great to hear from you guys. Thanks for sending me the stuff I asked for as well! I am looking forward to it. Haha have fun on your trip and good luck with school and work. Thanks for all the emails, sorry I can't write back to all of them right away, but be assured that I am reading them and they do make a difference.
This week we actually ended up going to three different wards, and the talks in all the Sacrament meetings were pretty good. A newly called High Council man spoke for the first time. He talked about preparing for Stake Conference (which is next week here) and how we can get a lot out of Stake Conference. This next week the St. George Temple President will be here and President Batt our mission president, so it should be quite the spiritual experience. Tomorrow we have interviews with the Mission President and then transfers in two weeks so we will see what happens with that haha.
About three weeks ago we met a younger lady named Kate. She has the strongest testimony ever. She has really seen the Gospel bless her life and she reads and prays. Her testimony has strengthened my testimony. She wants to be baptized, then make that covanent and be able to have the Spirit with her always, and she is planning to be baptized next week. My companion and I are way excited for her!
There are a ton of good people here. People that care about the Savior and follow Him sincerely.
Just like it says in Matthew (which I can't find it right now) I feel like I have found the Pearl of Great Price and now I just need to give up all to obtain it. These things really matter: family, the Gospel, the Savior, and all of us individually and importantly living the Gospel and returning back to Heavenly Father one day. These things matter. This is the Pearl of Great Price, I honestly belive it is. I just need to do all I can to obtain it.