Well this last week was a great week. It has been a bit crazy but it has been good. First off, my good friend Elder Peterson finished up his mission and is now back home in Utah. He was a great companion, and I loved being able to serve with him. I am going to miss him, and I was a bit sad when we dropped him off. But other great things have been happening while we have been here. It has been crazy with how transfers have been. They have now been moved to Tuesdays instead of Thursdays. So Elder Peterson left the area on Monday. So I was with Elder Petersen, he was another companion that was with us for the past few weeks. We got calls that Tuesday night to see who would be training. President Pingree called me, and has asked me to train this transfer, I was kind of nervous, because I have only been out 3 months. But I did understand that anything is possible when you have the Lord on your side. So Tuesday was transfers, but the new missionaries didnt come in Till Thursday, so I was then put with Elder Cornwall. And we worked in both our area till Thursday.
That Tuesday though we had a great experience. We went with some other Elders to a dinner appointment at a less actives home. I have met with him 2 times, and the first time he did not want us to talk about the gospel at all. Well the 2nd time I saw him was on Tuesday night. And that night he had a feeling saying that we should stay and talk with him a little longer. He said that he felt like we were suppose to ask him questions because something was really bothering him.
Well this discussion we had was truly inspired. The other Elders started asking questions, and after about 5 minutes of sitting there and thinking, I asked a question to him. And I asked him what was his main reason for wanting to go and serve a mission. He sat back in his chair and you could tell he was really thinking about what to say. After a minute or two of silence he looked at me and said he thought that he would be blessed. So we kept talking, and I then asked him what he wanted to do after his mission. Well he said back to me, "While I was serving I had thoughts that I needed to go to college and get an education. I never had any plans to go to school before my mission, but while I was serving I had that thought to go to school." I asked him if he thought this was a blessing of serving a mission, and he agreed saying that it was a huge blessing of going.
He continued to talk talk with us for a while about getting through school, and how he stopped a couple times. But he kept having those feelings to go back to school. Part of the reason he stopped was for financial reasons. After feeling those things about getting an education he wanted to go back to school and so he took out some student loans. After he had finished school he had about $8,000 to pay back in loans. He had a two years to pay back this amount.So he went into construction for a little while to earn money and he did that for a couple of years. He knew that the time was coming to pay that amount back to the bank, and he was getting ready to price a lot he was working on. He was working on deciding how much to sell it for to make a profit. Well after he had figured the price out he took it to the buyer. The buyer accepted and guess how much he made. Thats right, exactly $8,000. He was able to pay off that debt. I asked him if he believed that this was a blessing of serving a mission. He thought about it and agreed that it was.
I asked him what caused him to have those feeling on his mission and through out going to school about getting and education. He thought for a couple minutes when I asked him this. And he then said it was the holy ghost. There were many other things that we talked about, but one thing he was wondering was what serving a mission did for him. After talking he was able to see that he was blessed for serving, and after we talked he looked at me and said, " That was a good question to ask me."
The spirit can help us so much from day to day things. Those questions that were talked about during that meeting were inspired questions that the spirit brought to our attention. Its just all about listening to the promptings of the spirit. It was a great experience for me to be able to see how the spirit can help lead a discussion.
I mentioned earlier that I was asked to train, so on Thursday morning we went down for some training and to pick up my new companion. When they called my name to go up, I went and explained the area I was serving in. And then right about President Pingree got up and called the name of my new companion. His name is Elder Harris, he is 24 years old, and from Lehi Utah. He is a great companion, and he is so excited about the work. He really enjoys hunting and being outdoors. It will take a little time to get use to the change, but I am ready to continue to work hard and to try and help this work move forward.
We got back to our area that Thursday afternoon, and I got to work trying to get him up to date on the potential investigators we have as well as some of the members of the ward we have been working with. So thats about all that happened on Thursday, but Friday we got to meet with the bishop, and with some other members of the ward council and get him introduced. We also got to teach a family in our ward the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been meeting with lots of families and teaching them the lessons. But it was a really good lesson. Elder Harris did a great job at the lesson, and the spirit was there. It has been so great being able to see the change that has been taking place in the College Park Ward. So many members are now striving to have missionary opportunities. I am really loving seeing the excitement that comes from seeing the ward get involved.
Yesterday was Greg Prows mission farewell, and he is best friends with Austin Carroll who got baptized last transfer. And yesterday for the first time Austin got up to bless the sacrament. We had to run out right before the sacrament because of something, but I got to hear him bless it over the speaker in the foyer. I felt the spirit so strong at that point!! To hear him bless was absolutely incredible!! Just seeing that change that has taken place in his life is amazing! You can tell how much more happy he is, but seeing him continue to progress and to bless the sacrament was a tender mercy for me! It helped me to feel the spirit and to better understand my purpose of being out here.
The gospel is a happy message. I have said this before, and it changes lives. This is so true! I have seen it take place in my life and those who we have been able to teach. This is my testimony that Jesus is the Christ, he created the atonement so that we all could feel peace and the love of our Heavenly Father. He suffered for not only our sins but for our pains, temptations, afflictions and everything else we ever endure. He did it because he LOVES us and wants to be able to help us! He stands at the door waiting for us to open it and let him in. We just need to take those steps to let him in such as daily scripture study, sincere prayer, and continual faith. I know he is there and is always waiting for us. I know he wants to be able to help us in anything we do. And I leave that with you as a representative of Jesus Christ.
I hope all Y'all have a great week.
Elder Joshua V. Christensen