I was just counting down the minutes all week to the time I was able to call my family! I loved hearing all of your guys voices and especially Milo's! I was debating who's voice sounded cuter... Dad's or Milo's... Sorry dad... the cute voice award goes to the best nephew ever!!! I don't think I have ever really mentioned it.. nor did I ever think it would happen.. but I have been a little homesick. I brag about how awesome my family is to everyone and then I realize how little time I gave to them while I was home. Makes me wish I could come back and just spend all the time with you guys but then I am reminded.... I get to spend eternity with you guys so I guess I can finish my mission first ya? haha
So while I was talking to you I told you I would share the experience over email of what happened when I went on Exchanges with one of the Zone leaders. So I was able to go to their area and I was with Elder G***. A little bit about him.. my first couple impressions were that he is and extrovert and is a nut about missionary work. I have had the opportunity to talk with him a lot because we serve in the same branch but after our exchange... he seriously feels like one of my best friends and I look up to him so much.
We exchanged Thursday night so I was able to sleep at his apartment. We spent like 2 or 3 hours just talking and laughing about all the crazy things we did before missions. He is a lot like all my friends back home and has very similar interests. He is way in to wake boarding and just being weird and making people laugh... which are my hobbies haha! So after all this talking and sharing stories.... Our conversation changed small. We talked about how much fun we had but how our desires are changing. Don't get me wrong.... I will always do weird things with my friends... but my perspective on life is changing. We went so deep and were talking about the desires of our hearts and how it is possible to change our desires. Our conversation went from just laughing and light hearted to one of the most deep and spiritual experiences I have had. He shared with me some struggles he has had and I was able to relate with him perfectly. I cannot even explain in words the powerful spirit that was there as we talked. We both want to be perfect followers of Christ but we both know that we fail... and that we fail often. The only way to really change a behavior is to change your desires. However... changing your desires takes time and incredible amounts of effort. After listening to him share his struggles... I couldn't hold back the feelings I had inside any longer. I told him that everything he said was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. A Tender Mercy as my dad likes to call it. I shared with him about why I knew God wanted us to go on exchanges together and it was for this experience. He spoke to my heart. I felt so much love and peace. We both stood up and bro hugged it out for like 30 seconds. When you have a spiritual experience with someone... you are connected with them on a whole other level. I am eternally grateful for the prompting Elder G*** had to share his struggles with me because it is the exact message God wanted me to hear. There are no coincidences with God.
Elder G*** and I then went on to have one of the most successful days I have ever had. We would get bounced and so we would decide to say a prayer and ask where we should go... and the first people we talked to were itching to hear our message. This happened twice that day. He helped me to understand sooooooooo many things while we were out together. I can't wait to apply what I learned. I am so glad that Elder G*** didn't get transfered and he is still my zone leader.
Lot's of other cool things happened this week. an investigator has been going through a really really hard break up.. He text us one night and told us that he was going to kill himself because he couldn't bear the pain anymore. We were able to rush over and read scriptures with him. I was able to explain the atonement. We gave him a blessing and I have never heard a more spiritually guided blessing. I know Elder Allen was saying exactly what God needed our investigator to know. I was literally crying during the blessing, I need to stop crying on the persons head ha. Sweet experience to be the tools for God. I love being a missionary. for true true one.
Something I learned while talking to my family.... I need to have more fun!!! So if anyone has any weird ideas of fun things or games I can play through out the day I would love to hear them!! I get plenty of spiritual fun but I am lacking in the physical fun! haha
Shout out to my Mom. I love you more than all the stars in the sky. You are the best person and mother I have ever known. I am sorry I am so good at making you emotional haha. I can feel the love you have for me all the way across the world. Thank you for everything. Happy Mother's Day yesterday!
first pic is me and Elder Gherkins at the end of our day....
second pic is me and Harold.. the paralyzed man who came to church this week as well as last week!! woooo!