So last P-day we were all finished with the day and just got back to our apartment. There was a note on the door from our neighbor G**** that asked if we would come over and talk. We knocked on his door and he invited us in. He told us that earlier that day he was working on some work on his porch and someone was honking their horn obnoxiously... he went out to see who it was and ask if they would stop. Turns out it was the Spanish missionaries... they were waiting for some other missionaries and kept honking their horn. G**** asked them if they would stop and the Elders gave him some sass that wasn't necessary. Well, a little bit about G****.. he his a very humble Vietnam vet who has some serious PTSD. He snapped at them and told them how disrespectful they were and told them they weren't missionaries in his eyes. I'm sure that hit pretty deep inside those missionaries. The interesting part is they were the same missionaries who gave him a ride to the hospital when he thought he was having a heart attack. So, it is so important that we treat others with love and kindness ALWAYS.. Not just once or twice but show genuine love to everyone and that's what you will get in return!
Well, it was about to be 9:30 so we asked if he would come over to our apartment and stand outside the door while we stood in our apartment so we wouldn't be breaking any rules haha. We continued talking and he shared some of the traumatic experiences he was a part of in Vietnam. He also shared the event that occurred before he joined the marines that happened between him and his brother. We have really become close to him and built this friendship which is why he was so open. It was obvious that he has been holding in a ton of guilt and hate. His brother that he had the conflict with is a Mormon with 10 kids and is loved by everyone... G**** has tried to have kids for his whole life and doesn't have a single one. He told us he thinks it is because Heavenly Father is punishing him for what he did in Vietnam. He has a huge hatred for his brother because he says that people don't know what he is really like. G**** has been holding in all that hate and anger for over 35 years. I felt so inspired to share Alma 7:11-12 with him. I expressed my deepest feelings of love for him and for the Savior. I didn't know what I was saying but the Holy Ghost was just filling my mouth with words that I know G**** needed to hear. The spirit was pulsing through me and I could see it doing the same thing to G****. I asked him to talk with Heavenly Father to gain the strength to help him forgive his brother and more importantly himself. The past is the past. We Do NOT need to suffer or punish ourselves for mistakes. The Savior willingly "took" that pain for us. I don't know how deep G****'s scars are... but they can and will be filled if he turns to the right source.
"He his ready to forgive, he is plenteous and mercy unto all who call on him" -from a sweet song Tanner sent me.
Another Highlight of the week... it was Zone Conference and you aren't gonna believe who came and spoke to us! Elder and Sister Schwitzer from the Quorum of the Seventy and the Butler West Stake! IT WAS AWESOME! I went up during a break and talked with Sister Schwitzer for 5 or so minutes. As soon as I said I was "Steve Crandall's son" the biggest smile came on her face and of course the first thing she said was.... I can tell... You look just like him! Oh if I only had a penny for every time I have heard that in my life! haha It is such a privilege to be known as Steve's son! We had a great talk and I found out that Elder Schwitzer is in charge of the Health of missionaries over the whole world! So he was the one who was making all the plans to get us out of Sierra Leone! She said that the ebola wasn't the scary thing when we were getting pulled out... it was the government... which is totally true! I talked with President Schwitzer for a little bit as well and he is just incredible. Happiness just radiates off of him! He asked me how I'm adjusting and really cared about how I am doing. He said he knew I was in Sierra Leone but didn't know where I had gone.... well... I came straight to him I guess haha!
Anyways, he gave a beautiful instruction on Repentance. He really put it into a clear perspective. I learned by the spirit because I have studied repentance a lot in my life... yet I learned sooooo much talking about the exact same thing! I love Daily repentance more than I love Lake Powell... and for those who don't know me that is quitttteeee a bit! haha He also talked about finding and how it is a mindset rather than an activity! If we really have the desire to save souls.. then we will talk to everyone... if we are looking at it like "well we have 2 hours... I guess we can go knock some doors to let the time pass" then we don't have a missionary mindset. I am praying to improve my state of mind and I can feel it working! I want to be the Latter Day Ammon!
So my whole life I have heard... Africa is where missionaries get baptisms... if you aren't in Africa... then don't plan on getting very many! Well, that is Bogus!.... there are people prepared everywhere! I definitely saw success in Africa... But I am seeing just as much success in California. We had an amazing Sunday yesterday... We had 8 investigators at church not including 2 others who we haven't made investigators yet! BOOM! That is what I am talkin about!! We quadrupled from last week to this week! We will definitely be having some baptisms in the month of October! I love the investigators we are teaching. I have felt the spirit so strongly with all of them and I know they can do it! I love being a missionary more than anything! I have never seen sooo much real happiness in my life! California is the new Africa!
Thanks for all the love and support!
Shout out to my mom and dad! 27 years of marriage and eternity more to come! Thanks for bringing me into our family! Love ya!
Elder Call dad Corny
p.s loved the pizza benders