Something I really loved that my brother shared in an email this week was being in the moment. Everyday we are around people and talk with people... but how often do we give them our full love and attention? We live in the moment... not the past, nor the future. Spiritual experiences only happen if we act in the present! When we worry about the uncontrollable, we leave the present and leave the people we are with. It is so important to let those you are with know you are there with them! Heart felt compliments and encouragement will go a long way!
The month of June did not turn out the way we had hoped as far as baptisms... but that is nothing to get down on. These past 3 months have been the biggest learning experience I've had my whole mission. I've had some of the toughest days and some of the best days. We should come to a total around 40 baptisms. We were shooting for 75. It made me think about the experience of Zion's camp. No fighting actually happened...They didn't accomplish what they had planned to do. However, all of those that showed their faithfulness to the Lord ended up growing in testimony and conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Many of them later became the future leaders of the Church! I'm not saying that because of this I'll be a future leader... but I have definitely strengthened my testimony in trying my hardest and letting Heavenly Father make up the rest!
We had a pretty great lesson with T** this week in which we asked him what he wants more than anything else in the world. His answer was to go to Heaven... which I think most of us would say the same. Well in order to go to Heaven you have to be baptized... in order to be baptized you have to stop any behavior that keeps you away from Christ... in order to do that you have to feel the spirit so you have the strength and the desire to overcome those bad habits... and the way you get the spirit is by good ole' fashion CPR... Church... Pray.... Read....He felt exactly what we were talking about when he came to P**'s baptism the next day and had no desire whatsoever to smoke!
There is a Sister in our ward that just reminds me so much of my Nana Banana. Her name is Sister L* (She's Hawaiian) and she is one of the sweetest, most kind, and genuine people I've met on my mission. She shared her conversion story in Sacrament today and it amazes me at how she hasn't always been the way she is... but through the Atonement she has changed completely! She was baptized when she was 8 but went less active until the age of 50. She was talking to her father on the phone one day and he asked her like he had many many times before.."Are you going to church?" She wanted to please him after so many years of disappointing him so she responded yes just to make him happy... the second she said that she said she could hear him in tears on the other side of the phone and he told her that his prayers had finally been answered after such a long time of waiting. She finished talking to him and realized what a horrible thing she had just done... she had lied to her father! She about broke down and went into her bedroom and at the top of her lungs she prayed and wanted to know if there really was a God! Her father seemed to be best friends with him yet she didn't even know if He was real! As she offered that very sincere prayer with real intent she said that it was then that she received an answer that she cannot ever deny! She was rebaptized because her records had been lost. It wasn't for another 4 years of going to church on her own that her less active husband decided to return to church with her! She was sealed to him but he has since passed on. She continues to spread the Gospel and won't let anything slow her down from serving another in need:)
I'll be playing tennis with a new brother from our ward tomorrow! He played in college so I'm pretty stoked to get a good hit in! Woot Woot!
Shout out to many of my friends that have returned from their missions! Well done! Can't believe how fast time flies when your having fun!!
Love Elder Crandall the Vandal!