This was a hard week to realize that a full year has already passed. I was with Elder Gray (MTC companion) for a couple hours on June 6th and we just could not believe it. We were reminiscing our first day together in the MTC and how the 9 weeks that followed were just the greatest. Anyways it was sad but helped me to once again realize that this time is short and I need to always make the best of it.
We went on exchanges again this week and I went with one of my Zone Leaders. He was also my Zone Leader when I was in Houston 8 and he was the one that trained me to be a District Leader. When I was in Houston 8 and went on an exchange with him, I learned so much. We saw miracles and I was in awe of his faith and abilities as a missionary. He is now in a new area that is really difficult and serves in a ward that doesn't help do missionary work. He was pretty depressed about the work and didn't have any real hope that things would change in his last 2 months before he goes home. It was a neat experience to be able to remind him of our first exchange together and tell him of the enormous impact he has had on my mission. By the end of the day, he had the fire again in his eyes and was committed to go conquer the world. It caused me to think about the Atonement and how I am so grateful for the opportunity that I always have to repent and change. It seems that it is often difficult to "always remember Him" but when we do, we also remember His mercy and His grace and His love which then empowers us and allows us to grow and improve.
Then on Saturday, we were poised to have a terrific day. We had members planned to come out with us, plenty set lessons to keep us busy, and the determination to commit everyone to be baptized. But as the day progressed, every appointment fell and every member cancelled. We probably prayed 30 times asking Heavenly Father where He wanted us to be and who He wanted us to teach. It was an extremely humbling experience to recognize that I am not in control at all and that I can do nothing of myself. We finally got into an appointment at 8:30 with a less-active and had a good lesson and then went home. I was trying to keep my faith up but was pretty put out that nothing had worked out for us all day. After planning though, I starting making what we call "ministering phone calls" to the Zone Leaders. We just call and see how they and their zones are doing and if there is anything we can do to help. After being so humbled from the day, it was good to make those calls and the Spirit came and everything was better. I came to understand just a little better that "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God".
We then had a wonderful Sunday and one of our investigators came to church after receiving only 3 hours of sleep. Talk about faith and sacrifice. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the strength that I receive from Him every day. I love this work and know that it is true.
Thank you for your prayers and love, I return them.