Monday, June 2, 2014

Elder Ballard!

Hello, hello! So yes, Elder Ballard was here yesterday.  It was amazing!!!  Our stake had a special stake conference with him!  And then we had a meeting together as missionaries.  I went into yesterday and left with so many questions answered.  Some of them were questions that I didn't know that I had!  We were counseled on a few different things.  Really, I left the meetings wanting to repent and be better.  It helped me have the desire to keep pushing and work better.  He said something that I really loved and honestly that I haven't thought much about.  He said to have our investigators kneel down and pray and ask if we are true messengers from God.  Usually, we have them pray to know if what we teach is true.  But if they know that we are true messengers, they will know that our message is true and really is from God.  I took a picture of my notes because I don't know how to explain it all. 
Okay, so details about our area... it is really growing.  Fast!  [You asked about what our training that Pres. had us give to the other missionaries]. What we have done is nothing too special or significant.  Well it is, but it's not hard!  We just planned differently.  We put a name every half hour, into our planner so that we never go throughout the day asking what are we going to do right now.  Usually these names are potentials, formers, less actives, members.  We have prayed and fasted a lot!  We continually remind ourselves throughout the day that we really need to have faith.  And that is what we have done!  When we put specific names and plans, then Heavenly Father is able to guide us.  The angels that surround us are able to put us in the path of those that are prepared.  We talk to at least 20 people a day.  It is super tiring, but we do it!  Often times, the miracles don't proceed out of our many contacts.  It could be that our investigator that wasn't progressing, begins progressing.  A less active shows more interest in returning.  The Lord will always provide the miracles if we provide the faith.  So yes, I have learned a great deal about faith and what role it plays in missionary work.  We have an incredible family that have been investigating for years.  She grew up in the church but was never baptized.  They are really special and really need the Gospel in their lives.  They came to church yesterday and said how they are going to keep coming and working towards the end goal.  The woman I told you about last week, well we taught them a few times this week! They have started reading the Book of Mormon!  Their biggest fence to jump over, will be having the faith to do it.  If you could keep John and Sarah and the G. family in your prayers, I would be thrilled! 
We talked to this man a few weeks ago on the street.  He seemed really not interested but pointed to where he lived and said try another time.  We tried the next week and they were all sick, so we tried again this last week.  We talked to his wife a little about the church and what we believe.  They live about a block from the church.  She said that they have always wondered about the church.  They want a church that feels like a family and where everyone knows each other.  They weren't able to go yesterday, but we actually ran into her husband later in the afternoon (not a coincidence..) and he said that he had to work but he really wanted to go and that he will go next week.  Things like this keep happening!  It's amazing.....

No more cookies, I am getting way too fat.  I am cutting out all sugars!!!!!  Believe it or not I eat more sweets in my English area -- members love to give us dessert!  I am doing great!  Loving life here in LA.  My mission gets better and better everyday.  I am working really hard on taking in the moment, loving what I can here.  I am so grateful for how I am growing and changing.  I love you so much!! Hna Michelle

Hi daddio! It's true, I feel recharged.  I will have a little melt down, and then feel so silly afterwards because the cure is always the same - working.  When we work hard as missionaries, the other stuff doesn't get to us.  We focus more on others around us.  We had Elder Ballard yesterday, WOW!  It was amazing.  I have never felt like that before.  I am in such a different spiritual place than I was even 6 months ago.  I truly felt the presence of the Savior as I was there.  We have been working with an active member that has an addiction problem.  It has been really cool for me to be with her.  We met with her last night and she told us that she had relapsed.  She was sad and looked tired but had made plans to keep going.  It helps me to understand how Michael felt. It has given me sympathy on those around me and helped me love them more.  It just reminds me about how perfect the Atonement of Jesus Christ is.  We are so special to Him.  He would do anything for us.  I am so grateful for what I am learning here.  I love my companion -- again that happened, because we work.  Thank you for sharing that story!  I don't know much about your mission, so I love love hearing about it.  I love you so much daddy!! 

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