Hello mom and dad! It seems like every time I get to email right after the best week ever for the work. I really like what you wrote in your last letter Dad. I have taken a lot of time to just thank Heavenly Father specifically for his blessings; we feel like He is able to use us as powerful instruments out here. Because of Him Elder Campbell and I feel like we are magnifying our callings.
This week we met with B on Monday (we are having dinner with him again tonight), the man who was referred to us by Bishop "Superman". He has been going to church for months, and he finally wants to be baptized! We might have to do a couple of "marathon" lessons with him so that he can make his date for this month. But B has seen all the church videos, read all of our pamphlets, and loves the Book of Mormon! I had hoped that I would be able to teach this man when we met him 3 months ago, and we are so lucky to be able to see him finally become a member of the church.
This week Elder Campbell and I also made it a goal to talk 50/50 in all of our lessons. You know how I love to talk, but this goal has really helped us out teach better, and more importantly, to leave time for the Spirit to teach. Sometimes just pausing and letting the Spirit be felt does more than Elder Stewart flapping his jaw ;-)
We did exchanges with both of our District Leaders this week, as well as studies with another companionship. As a Zone Leader, I have the opportunity to develop a lot of charity for our 22 missionaries. We pray for them every night by name, and that more than anything else makes me feel more for them and feel more responsible for them. I just love each one of my missionaries and I want to be happy and successful.
Elder Campbell and I have been focusing on leading by example. "It starts with us" is one of our mottos. If we want our missionaries to find and teach better, we have to become better ourselves and demonstrate. If we want them to be more obedient to the mission rules, we have to be obedient ourselves and expect nothing less of them. I just love it :) On our exchanges I went with my last companion, Elder Rawlins, and then with a brand new missionary, Elder Lewis. I have a testimony that when we pray for inspiration to know how to help others, especially those in our sphere of influence. He has definitely done that for me.
I also have been learning so much about covenants this last week. Every repentant person that is baptized by priesthood authority is placed under an eternal covenant with God. They become part of God's covenant people, and then God is bound to us. As week keep our covenants, we receive God's power, he answers our prayers, and helps us do his work, and eventually will exalt us. We were teaching a lesson in a member's home this week and I saw a picture of the temple, and the Spirit bore witness to me that we really are the covenant people of the Lord; not because we are special, just because of the promises between us.
Now for other news.
R S!! R was baptized the week they split our area. I spoke at his baptismal service. Elder Dawson, a brand new missionary, baptized him. I am glad that he was able to be at a baptism during his first week.
S is really popular. He is in the Richfield Residence Hall's 2013 recruiting video. He brought nonmember friends to his baptism :) S got baptized this last Saturday and it was a very spiritual service. During the brief testimony meeting after he was baptized he stood up and said "I will do everything I was asked. I will obey the word of wisdom, chastity, the Sabbath day and I will pay my tithing. Learning more has really opened my eyes and taught me more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know this church is true." I Love this kid.
M C was baptized! This man has made some serious changes in his life. I didn't get to go to his baptism because we had to teach a lesson :-( I taught M C for 4 months.
M! This came as a total surprise. M G asked me to baptize him even though the other Elders have been teaching him in the other stake. I love his family and I have really missed them. It was a very good service. I know his step-Dad is next.
I love you all so much! Thanks so much for the power of your faith and prayers. I know right now is my time to help Heavenly father gather his covenant people in and keep his promises to the world...It floors me that he trusts me with the matters of eternity like this. I just want to work hard and make you all and Him proud of me.
Mucho amorcito! Share the Gospel this week with your friends! Be a good example too :-)
Elder Michael George Stewart