"FAITH IS KINDLED BY TESTIMONY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH"
The members are awesome. The branch is bigger that Russellville. We eat Mexican food EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. This area was just opened 3 transfers ago so there is lots of work here! It's nice to be speaking Spanish more! I already feel a difference in it. I really like being full Spanish finally. It's a super huge area; we cover anyone Spanish who lives in Memphis or surrounding areas, which also covers Mississippi.
It rained all week. Literally all week. We also have had some tornado warnings. The sirens went off last night. Spring time is here!
I did get my root canal taken care of. They did the first half on Friday and I'll go back in the next week to get the second half done. LAUGHING GAS!!:) I was in heaven. They were awesome, I think I ended up at a place that specializes in root canals and such. So it turned out good. I haven't had to stay in or not work at all which is also real good. They also docked me $100 because I'm Mormon :) haha just kidding. They did dock $100 but probably not because I'm Mormon :)
A quote in PMG by President Ezra Taft Benson says "I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work!" I love this. This is my favorite answer to everything. Tired? Homesick? Stressed? Just get to work.
We had the most members present this area has seen so far this year! Which is awesome! There are so many good members to help so we hope to keep that up.
We are teaching a new family- they were a referral from the ZLs. They are from Alabama and had elders visiting them there. They hadn't made contact with missionaries in Memphis until they saw the elders at a restaurant and approached them. The elders were going by but got moved so now we are teaching them. They have 2 kids who were baptized a while ago. And now have 10 year old who is just absolutely adorable and loves the Book of Mormon. They like the missionaries and the church but don't want to be baptized and don't feel like this branch is as welcoming at the one in Alabama... So we are working on that. We set a date with the ten year old though!
Saturday was insane. Elder Renlund was in Memphis all weekend. We were allowed to attend the adult session if we brought a less active or investigator with us. We really wanted to go and we knew nothing would be more beneficial than for them to hear directly from an apostle. It was a crazy day finding rides but it all worked out. We had 2 investigators and 3 less actives there. MIRACLES. All the missionaries were all over trying to get people seated and passing out papers about the BOM testimonies for next week and I look up and see Elder Renlund right in front of me coming through the door. Y’ALL, I SHOOK HIS HAND. He asked me where I was from and then asked if I was a Lancer. Yep that was my 10 seconds of glory and it was awesome!
The Wakolos, Kopishkes and Renlunds spoke to us. Mostly they spoke about sustaining our prophet and apostles and not "casting rocks" of selection and picking and choosing the council that we follow. Elder Renlund spoke on keeping the bigger perspective. He and his wife mentioned a little bit about his setting apart. It would be the coolest thing in the world to see that happen. The Renlunds bring such a strong presence it's incredible.
In the bible dictionary under "faith" it says "our faith must be centered on Jesus Christ to produce salvation." Faith on anything else but Him will not provide the same security and peace. As awesome as we think we are sometimes, if we have more faith in ourselves, we always will face disappointment and become upset because our imperfect selves couldn't produce a perfect outcome (imagine that!). Christ was perfect and pure, and because of that we can fully place our confidence in Him and his example. Faith is also a principal of power and action. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the whole "yes I have faith in Christ but I'm just gonna do whatever I want and sit back and then take my place in celectial glory." Noooo. Whenever President Wakolo addresses us or anyone in whatever setting or closes a phone call he says "Thank you for what you do but mostly thank you for who you are." I imagine the day standing with Christ we won't be looking at a white board full of tally marks of the good and bad we did during this life. He will want to see who we have become. Our goal is to become like Him and we do that by living His doctrine. And the first step is to have faith in Him. His doctrine. His power. His way. Faith in His name. Any other doctrine, power, way or name is simply wrong. I'm continually trying to increase my faith in Him. It's been even more of a push lately because the bible dictionary also says that "faith is kindled by testimony of those who have faith." I hope those of you who have lost some of your faith in Him can be rekindled through my time here as a missionary.
I love this gospel. I know it's true.
And no I haven't seen Elvis yet. Soon though :)