Hello beloved family!! It’s been a really good week for us and for our Zone...whew! We are back to leading the mission again ;) BUT! Just like Sister Stewart reported, we are also seeing some not so visible miracles and results from our service. I guess I should start this letter with a confession:-]
If you look back a few emails ago to my last week with Elder Fragoso, in Tyler's baptism photo you might notice a nice boot on my leg. Sooo....for a little over a month I had a small fracture in my foot and I had to wear that lovely boot and I wasn't driving. Never fear, the allotted time to wear the boot has passed and I am back in two shoes and walking everywhere.
The way that little break came about was basketball ;) We were down in St. George playing basketball with some other Elders before our meeting in the morning, and I got the rebound, but another Elder landed right on top of my foot while I was moving, and as I fell I felt a very distinct "POP!" in the foot. And it really did hurt. We made it through the meeting, got back to Richfield, and I went to a doctor friend who x-rayed it, gave me the boot, and has been helping me out ever since. Aren't we grateful for good medical service?
It was actually kind of symbolic for me, because during this transfer I had to move a little slower physically. So it was a good experience, and I am very glad that the boot is gone officially :)
In other news...P was baptized this week!
Here she is with her son F who baptized her (F moved to Richfield first, about 20 yrs ago, and was baptized shortly thereafter). She really is amazing :) Her kids and grandkids were at her service and it was really amazing to see the whole family come together. I think I had mentioned early that right after teaching her the Word of Wisdom, she quit smoking and drinking coffee in two days!! She made lots of changes! I think the reward came when the family members came up to us and thanked us for teaching their mother-in law and grandma. I thought how I would feel if someone had taken the time to love and help my own grandma like we took with P.
In other news this week...we were really busy! We went all the way down to St. George and back for a meeting with President and when we were down there we saw J H who I had taught in Snow Canyon! We were just driving by the temple and he turned down the road in his truck, and I practically hung out of the window and waved at him. He smiled big and waved back, but I wish I could have sat down with him and talked more. Just a little nugget that Heavenly Father gave me I guess you could say.
Other good things kept happening in our area this week; we got a lot of referrals from our Bishops for people that really want to be baptized. It’s been fun to contact them and see their preparation to receive the gospel. One of the people we contacted is an 82 year old man named B ;) He is a kind old man, and he started out saying that he doesn't need us to stop by, and then he said he would be in church on Sunday, and then he was saying that "maybe you all are here to really turn me around." Yeah, you could say that, B ;-) It’s just so refreshing that when we really focus on our purpose as missionaries of helping others come unto Christ that the Lord works even harder to help us find people, and helps us teach them and change their hearts.
So a lot could change this week too! We are getting transfer calls this Saturday and Sunday and President has told us that we will probably not be staying together...which gives me mixed feelings. Elder Rawlins and I have worked really hard to talk things out and build unity in our companionship and work towards the same goals...and we are getting there! So maybe we just learned everything Heavenly Father wanted us to learn from this transfer...5 weeks with a companion is so fast! I was averaging 3 months per companion!
But anyway, anything can happen on Saturday and Sunday! We will have to hold on and find out.
I just want you all to know that I love every second of my mission now. Yes I have gained some weight, and yes I had a broken foot for a while, and it’s not easy, but I think I am starting to live more fully the motto I chose for myself years ago at SB2w (Do you all remember Summers Best 2 Weeks? Best camp ever). Anyway, that motto was "God first, Others second, I'm third" I think "I'm third" is a really powerful motto to live by. Matthew 22:36-40
"36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
On these two commandments hang my whole mission as well. As missionaries, we love the Lord by first being obedient to Him and sacrificing for Him, and every part of our work of teaching and lift shows our love for others. Many nights we get home really exhausted, but our cups our very full. We are happiest, when we put the needs of others above our own.
I love you all! The church is true! We are working hard to help our investigators change and to change ourselves as well!
Elder Michael George Stewart