Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spiritual Workout

We did it again this week! 7 days of more missionary work in Gunnison. I am probably the only man on earth this week who managed to lose weight during Thanksgiving week...I guess running and going to the gym every morning really pay off. Its a blessing being here in Gunnison...they give the missionaries a free gym membership and free key fob. So despite three sizeable dinners on Thursday, my Sunday pants still fit me a little looser this week. Go figure!
It was really a great week for us and our contacts this week. I am loving this area! A Payday moment came this week as M bore his testimony...what a blessing! We are still teaching him and his wife and 5 kids all together and he is preparing to baptize his 8 year old son on Christmas.  M and his family need that experience now of him using the Priesthood in his home and family. As a missionary...you can do so much to ensure that converts like M endure to the end!! It was exciting this week though just to be with and strengthen M. He is going strong!

Actually....H bore her testimony in sacrament meeting too this week!! Thats 2/2 on our converts from this area bearing testimony in fast and testimony meeting. So that was a good thing for us yesterday.  Here's a day by day highlights breakdown
Mon: Great lesson with J and J about the restoration...they are doing great! He should be baptized this month. They are really humble about this whole process and that is making all of the difference.
Tuesday: Taught J G again. Thats a long drive!! He doesn't think he will be ready for baptism in this month right now, but he kept reading and going to church. I learned a lot in that lesson. I hope he gets baptized so bad!!! He knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is the true church, he is just afraid of his boss. As fate has it...his boss is actually a member, but super less active. J told us in that lesson how he gets on his boss about not going to church or following the commandments. Every nonmember a missionary i guess!
Wed: Had a lesson with a man that came to church last week named B D. He is recovering from surgery, and he says that he has a testimony of the church. Wednesday was kind of a hard day for a variety of reasons...but we pushed through it. A piece of counsel that always helps me is "No matter how bad things are today, they will be better tomorrow if you serve the Lord today." If you apply that to yourself everyday and just conciously chose to serve the Lord, your life is happy and blessed. Trials don't disappear, but you become stronger to meet them. Thats what i learned this week.
Thur: Three dinners. Wow. We also put J on date for the 27th of December! Then in the evening we played basketball with missionaries in our district. I guess that was part of the mission initiative to help us not be so fat all the time.
Fri: What a miracle day! We went to a lesson with the butchers and A's boyfriend was there too. After the openning prayer, A looks at us and says, "by the way, B wants to get baptized too" WHAT!? This kid graduated from seminary and we thought he was a member. Turns out he just slipped through the cracks when he was a kid. He hasn't been taking the lessons as much, so they rechose a baptism date for the 21st of December for A, B, and  S. That was such a miracle.

I know that if we just do as Heavenly Father asks, he will provide every needful thing for us. Especially when our desires and our wills are lined up with him. I had a really sweet experience this week on Friday where I was shown how I have changed on my mission...even over this last year I have become more of who Heavenly Father wants me to be. I am grateful that I can actually say that I WANT others to come unto Christ and be baptized not for me but for God and for them. Its taken this last year to get that feeling deep down in my heart, but I know now that it is firmly there.
Sat: Had a great visit with B and his wife Liz . They basically dumped all of their feelings and thoughts on us when we were with them. They really want their kids to be baptized (L will take more time). But it looks like only H will be getting baptized from that family this month. I learned A LOT from talking with them this week.
1. People WANT missionaries to be bold with them. Deep down everyone wants to repent. B asked us to boldly commit him and his family to come to church on a specific date. So they are coming to church with us next week.
2. The most important things in life are the relationships we have with those around us. Think of the whole purpose of the Gospel--eternal families. We need to take time to nourish and develop the relationships we have by giving of ourselves and our time. Those relationships bring life's real joy.
3. Don't worry mom and dad....when you are older and can't take care of yourselves you can come live with me and my family if you want. ;-) Family first, right?
Also on saturday we ate lunch with our Stake President and took his 18 yo son who  on splits. I hope we have solidified that as a tradition in our area- Saturday lunch with the Stake Prez #WorkingWithMembers. President  is a great man, and I love being around him. His son served in the Alpine German speaking mission (funny how that same thing was true of my last stake president in the St. George YSA 1st stake). It was good to share the spirit, food, scriptures, and missionary work plans with that great man. As soon as he recovers from his surgery he will be coming out to teach with us too!

Sun: Had a great fast. Got 11 of our people to church. Sat next to the whole B Family in Sacrament meeting. Rejoiced in the Lord.
All in all....a great week. This week we have Zone Conference with a member of the 70. I hope I learn a lot. I am also focusing all of my efforts this week on building up Elder Becerra for whatever comes at the transfer. I know if I focus on taking care of Elder Becerra, Heavenly Father will take care of the area. He has show that time and time again.
I love you all so much. I cherish our relationships and I am glad that we can still strengthen each other and grow our friendships at a distance. I am realizing just how important you all are to me. As I draw to the close of my mission my heart really is full of not things...but people. I know that if we do our best to be a good friend and to help each other in the gospel our friends will be eternally with us. I think of the most treasured people from my mission....companions, converts, local members, etc and I can't wait to share all of that with you all face to face at the beginning of next year. You better mark your calendars for a mission tour in Summer 2014.
This is Gods true and living Church. It is lead by the living Son the of the living God, who has called servants to guide us. I love being one of his "swift messengers" to these people. I love you so much!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Michael Stewart

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