It's hard to believe the week is over. The days keep going by faster and fast!
In answer to Grandma Wortham's letter, this last transfer we received 11 new missionaries (one of which was a Kirtland Sister). We had a meeting on Thursday for the new missionaries and their trainers here in the mission office. It went very well; I had to give a workshop on Baptism and Confirmation/Love. I used Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk from last conference called "Desire" and talked about how if our desires are righteous and correct, we can reach our mission goal of 50 baptisms in one month. We are close, but still have a ways to go before we reach our goal!
The Tuesday prior, we had another meeting with the Zone Leaders. This was my first time conducting a meeting as an Assistant. I think it went well. I had to lead the discussion in our mission council. Afterwards we went on exchanges with three different companionships (we're taking advantage of being in a triple-up) and I went down to Canton! I got to see the Nevilles and the Griffiths and had an amazing lesson with them. The Spirit was SO strong as we read from Enos 1:1-12 and talked about how our faith needs to become "unshaken" like that of Enos'. The Nevilles shared an amazing experience about tithing - they weren't sure how they were going to pay it, but faithfully set aside the money and sure enough the Lord provided as His promise in Malachi was fulfilled: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse...and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10). Brother and Sister Neville received a check in the mail for more than they originally needed to pay their tithing. What a great testimony builder of tithing. The Nevilles, Griffiths, and I somehow started talking about temples and talked about all the wonderful blessings we receive from temples. It was such a great evening and I felt so blessed to be reunited with my friends again.
We've been doing lots of finding (tracting, contacting, member work) and are starting to see some of the blessings. We are finding part-member families and other families found through contacting who are interested in learning more. I am excited for these next few weeks when we will get to start teaching them all more regularly. This week we are going too many Zone Development Meetings (similar to Zone Conferences) and going on many exchanges. So I will not work our area as much as we'd like.
Today in church, I had to give a talk on how the young men's program prepared me for my mission. I told stories about my Dad's conversion, my Mom's conversion, and Kevin's conversion and tied them all to being prepared. As I told the stories, I didn't mention that I was talking about my parents until the end, telling them all that I would not be standing before them at that very moment had members not magnified their callings and treasured up their minds. I got lots of laughs and many compliments after the talk. Now the ward knows who I am and it almost feels like they've "accepted" me.. haha. Oh, and in my story Dad was a hippie with looooong hair :) I don't know how true it is, but it made the story more exciting! :)
In a few weeks. a General Authority will be coming to tour the mission. Elder Tracy will have gone home by then so Elder McClellan and I will be doing a lot of work with him and President Sorensen as well as putting on two Mission Conference type-meetings. I am a little nervous, but know that as I rely on my Heavenly Father that I will be okay. And I really don't have anything to be worried about... So yeah.
I know the gospel is true! I know that Jesus Christ IS our Savior and that God DOES live! As I talk with people on the streets and at parks and see what some of our youth/young adults believe (or what their attitudes towards life are) it scares me a little to think that that's our future generations. I know that God will watch over us, but seriously people. Figure it out! I know that the only way we can be happy is as we diligently serve our Father in Heaven with ALL our heart, might, mind, and strength. Exact obedience will bring us closer to Him than anything else. I have never been happier in my whole life than I have these past (almost) 11 months. And I probably have never worked harder. There are hard days, don't get me wrong, but as we apply the Atonement in our lives, everything is made good again. Jesus Christ's Atonement... Use it. Use it, use it, use it!! As we do, we will BECOME what our Heavenly Father wants us to become. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. If you can't believe it, read the Book of Mormon. It's incredible. It's life changing. Just read it. I don't believe these things, nor do I think them. I KNOW these things are true. And you can too. We all can. Search, Ponder, and Pray. It's true...
Love, Elder Dransfield