Oh, there is one thing by the way that I thought was really cool that our mission president said. He said that luck = preparation + opportunity. He said that the Lord takes care of the opportunity; our part is kind of the preparation. That's one thing I've found to be true. As we go about doing missionary work, if we are just doing our best trying to help people and prepare and get ready; by studying and being obedient and things like that; then the Lord provides a lot of opportunities because we are prepared to take care of his children.
There is a cool guy who is less active who we were helping. We went to go knock on his door, but he wasn't there. So, Elder Conlin left his scriptures on – there is this little rock that jetted out on the side of his house next to the door – and he set his scriptures kind of jokingly on the little rock ledge. We were joking that he would leave them there as we were writing a sticky note to put on his door saying that we had stopped by. So we were joking that he would leave them, and like two seconds later we left and he left them (haha). But, it ended up working because when the guy came back, he grabbed the scriptures and note and started reading through the scriptures a little bit and started reading all the things Elder Conlin had marked. It brought back a lot of memories of the church to him, and now he wants to learn more. We will talk about the Plan of Salvation when we go back. There is a member of the ward who he is friends with, who is actually the Stake Patriarch too. He really wants him to come to the lessons and support him, and the less active member wants the Stake Patriarch to come to the lessons too. That was kind of a little miracle that happened, kind of going along with that luck = preparation + opportunity. We kind of make our own luck as we work hard and do our best, things happen. If you just sit there, nothing is going to happen.
We are helping about four or five people with the Word of Wisdom. Some people it's drinking, some people it's smoking, some people it's all of the above. It's kind of neat to see how much they want to change and do good and get that help in their life. Yeah, we just have some really cool people we are working with who seek the gospel for what it is and help it can help them. It's just nice to be able to teach them and help explain these things that will help them be more happy, and how their families can be together forever.
We have been doing really good in trying to find some new people to teach, some new investigators. The Lord has helped us find a few people.
We ran into this other less active lady who still has a really strong testimony. It is nice to talk with her and bear our testimonies as well. She is just a little afraid, since they have to leave soon, that they are going to get too attached to ward and have to leave it. She is a little hesitant because her husband isn't a member. It's kind of hard for her to go to church and be an example. But, it was nice to talk with her.
One thing I have been praying for lately is the desire for the salvation of souls; kind of like it quoted from Preach My Gospel. You know, I'm out here because I care about the work and I love my Heavenly Father; I want to help people. But, it's kind of hard to personally connect with people, and like seriously desire their salvation. I mean sure I care about them, but it's hard to like genuinely really have that earnest desire for their salvation, like people in the scriptures. So that's one thing I've been praying for, and the Lord's been giving it to me. It's really neat to see how as I pray hard and do my best, the Lord is slowly changing my heart like I'm asking. I'm starting to really care about people. It makes all the difference when we are teaching people because I really want to help them. I think it helps for the Spirit to tell me what I need to say that will best help them because I'm always thinking about them and trying to see how I can help. It's neat to do that because I feel like that is how the Savior would be. He was going about helping people and doing his best.
It's really fun being on a mission, and I'm learning a lot (haha); definitely about life. I get excited when I think about how much life I have left and the good things I can do; all the things I can learn. It reminds me of the gospel and how there is eternal progression and if we keep doing our best and keep working hard, there are so many more doors that open up to us in the eternities. It's just (haha), neat to be seeing every day how the gospel applies in people's lives, and how Heavenly Father loves everyone. He trying to help everyone. It is so fun to tell people that, because it's true.
I love Elder Conlin. He's a good missionary. He's always trying to do his best. He's a really good listener. He's always trying to listen to the Spirit. He's been teaching me a lot.
That has kind of been my thoughts for the week. In the Book of Mormon, I read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and the people of Ammon, and now I'm starting to get into Captain Moroni, and his title of liberty that he raised, and how he fought to keep the liberties of his people. I just like how if you look in Alma 46:9, I think it says, “thus we see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.” He's talking about the bad guy, Amalickiah obviously who deserts from the Nephites and goes to the enemies' side and ends up becoming the king through deceit. He is a big instigator of this big 14 year long war that happens. But on the opposite hand you have Moroni, so if you kind of switch those words around it says, “thus we see the great righteousness one very righteous man can cause to take place among the children of men.” Moroni was that kind of a person. Mormon even said that if all men would have been liken unto Moroni, the very powers of hell would be shaken forever” (see Alma 48:17). I like that because it shows the example we have and that we all have influence, and we get to choose whether we want that to be a good influence or bad influence. It's interesting to note too that during this long 14 year war where this isn't something that was happening in a far away land, this was happening on your doorstep. You know, your neighbors houses are getting ransacked and everything because these battles are fought in the cities, and they are taking over cities at a time, and so this is a very real, very vicious war that is going on. But in the midst of all this, there is a verse that I find interesting where is says basically that there was no happier time among the Nephites than at that time when Moroni was leading the armies. It is interesting to note how he was preparing them and presenting that good influence, and how much of an effect that had. You know, people think, “you know I'm just a small person, you know I don't have that much influence.” But, we really do. We have a great influence. Like I said, it can be an influence for good or an influence for bad, and we can make a difference; a huge difference. The Lord says in Alma 37:6-7 that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass.
I know that's true, and I'm thankful for the scriptures and the opportunity to serve the Lord out here on a mission, and help others. I am so thankful for how it's preparing me for my life when I get back. I say that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love, Elder Record