Date

May 7, 2018

Area

Powell Valley Virginia

Companion

Elder Wilson

Put your Shoulder to the Wheel

The highests highs, and the lowest lows. This week hit a pretty major low, probably an all time low for the mission, but with it came a powerful testimony of the savior and of fasting and the gospel.

The work of salvation really is a battlefield. I felt especially battered one day this week as working came to a close. I felt alone, tired, and annoyed at the attitudes we had encountered that day. Furthermore the realization that we likely wouldn't hit our goal for the week of finding 9 new investigators was weighing down on me like a bag of bricks. We had set this goal in response to zone conference where president had shown us the trend for the mission on how much finding it takes to bring one person to baptism, I was fired up and all in, I was determined that we would do everything we could this week to hit that goal. We did so, we spent some serious time finding. We didnt meet our goal and Satan, that crafty little punk, started working hard to drag me down. I thought of all the time Ive spent talking to random Baptists while ive been here in the south and I thought to myself: man I really dont like these guys, they are often downright rude or too wishy washy and this whole mission thing really hasnt been all that fruitful. Then for the first time in my mission I thought about going home. Im pretty sure this was the first time in my life that I could identify thoughts so pointedly wrong that Im sure it was Satan working on me.

Now as Im writing this I hope I'm not scaring anyone. The glorious truth is that whatever we might be going through, the victory is already won, and we know who we need to turn to in order to find the strength to get through. I realised this myself at this moment of darkness and so I stopped, said a prayer, started to fast, and opened up gospel library. I happened to have a talk opened up from 2016, Joy and Spiritual survival by President Nelson, (I happened to have shared a piece from it with Trevor earlier that day) I felt that Joy and Spiritual survival was just the topic I needed and it really was. Among other great things here is a line that stuck out to me.

        That’s it! Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year!

My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.[...]

How, then, can we claim that joy? We can start by “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” “in every thought.”

And so Sunday I studied the sabbath and turned my thoughts to him. I read another great talk by President Eyring, Gratitude on the Sabbath, and went to church determined to find someone to try and comfort and bless. That prayer was answered as I was able to help give a blessing to a new member going through troubles with their health. The blessings of the day continued as the sacrament and fasting seemed to increasingly lift the burden of the week. I went from thinking of all the people i havent affected, to the wonderful experiences Ive had so far.

Heavenly Father is so good! I honestly think back to the thoughts of despair I had not many hours previous and wonder how and when such things happened. The Joy that comes through Christ is so powerful!

I feel this quote sums my current epiphany up perfectly so i shall close my long sermon on the struggles of the weeek with this:

“[Mortals] say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it,’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. … The Blessed will say, ‘We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven.’”

God trully sanctifies our hardest trials to our gain! If you dont believe it put Him to the test! I testify that he always fulfills his promises,and serving a mission is so worth it.

Well as far as actual details from the week we had some interesting and some great visits.

We ate dinner with the Rumbergers and also came back later in the week to talk about religion, we visited Trevor several times and got to see him testify of the Book of Mormon to his friend who now wants to meet with us (#EveryInvestigatorAMissionary), we were invited by Scott, Leanne, and JoJo to come to JoJo's birthday party (relationship goals) (we didnt actually go though),  and we got a referal from a potential investigator that turned out to be super solid. Looking back we had a really good week. I suppose I just set my expectations really high. Once again I am learning to be patient with the Lord's timing. Everything worth while takes time to build.

The Dinner with the Rumbergers was delicious, we had a BBQ pork. Oh man it was so good, we dont get good BBQ often but when we do, I love the south again. So having 4 missionaries there was interesting as we never got into gospel topics, I suppose that Eric was just intentional in picking his topics. The same thing almost happened on Saturday but this time we got into talking about church and he proceeded to tell us his philosophy on religion which is that it is just a tool to control people. It pretty much came down to the fact that he thought that walking in faith is a bunch of Baloney. He did say however that he thought Mormons were proabably doing the best in a lot of respects.

Well we are about to get going with our day so I will wrap up here. Have a great week Yall!

-Elder Harris

P.s. behold the most delicious mushroom ever. Eric Rumberger gave us about 8 of these. They apparently sell for about $35/lb (the dude is super generous)




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