Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week 35

Hello mama and family!

Things are absolutely great!  The mission life is where it's at!  It is seriously so awesome to be dedicating my life for two years to share something I love so much.  I can't believe how many awesome experiences are unfolding right before my eyes - it's truly incredible!  There is something about the giving of yourself that helps you see blessings in different ways.  I love the scripture in Matthew that says, "He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  What a true scripture!  The words of Matthew couldn't have been phrased any better.  When we give of ourselves for the Lord - we truly find who we are.  It took me a little while to realize that, but I am glad that I have early on in the mission.  Blessings come time after time and I know it is because of obedience, charity, and being diligent in the things that I am doing.  But don't get me wrong, the mission has its difficult moments!  The key is to keep your head up and put a smile on your face - keep that positive attitude.  I learned that from an Ensign article I recently read by Gordon B. Hinckley titled "The Work Goes On." Read it!!!

Anyway, a little bit about my week...

One of our investigators, Maria, has been having trouble with a situation and is keeping her from repenting to the fullest.  This past week, she realized what she had to do - restitution!  I've come to realize that restitution is often the most important part of repentance, but it is often the hardest as well.  She has devoted herself to keep staying on the right track towards baptism in just a few weeks - March 9!  With that goal in mind, she is preparing by the three most important ways - church, reading, and praying.  I'm so happy for her and for her desire to suddenly change and decide to fully repent, forgive, read, pray, etc.  THIS is why the mission is so amazing.  To be apart of someone's conversion and watch them change right before your eyes is absolute incredible.

I went on exchanges this past week, and it was great!  I can't remember if I have explained exchanges before, but it is when I go to a different area, or stay in my own with a different missionary for a day.  I went to the English area, and we did a lot of recent convert/less active work.  It was nice to teach in my native language for a change, but Spanish is SO much more fun!  Maybe it is because I was specifically called to be a Spanish speaking missionary, but when I speak with people in their native tongue, I feel a stronger connection with them as I help them realize the blessings of the gospel.  What an opportunity it is to serve!  We also taught an excommunicated member who is wanting to come back to the church.  I loved something he said, "You don't realize the blessings of the church until you aren't a part of it anymore."  It made me think that I need to be more aware of the blessings that I have been given and to be grateful for them.  Sometimes I don't even understand that a trial I went through was actually a blessing in the making.  Time to try it out this next week, and we'll see how it goes!

Service rocks!
I can't remember whether or not I shared this experience in my last e-mail, but I had a huge testimony builder for me this past week.  One of our less active members in the branch called us a few weeks ago and asked us to help him move some stuff for his friend.  We obviously accepted and helped him move things out of the storage complex to his friends apartment.  It took a little bit of time, but the result was fantastic!  Arturo and Adriana were extremely grateful for the things that we did and asked us to share a quick message with them before we left.  We shared Mosiah 2:17 and emphasized on the importance of serving God, and left while the spirit was strong.  We were invited by them the following Sunday to have dinner, and when we arrived we were a bit confused to see about 10 people there.  While we were eating, Arturo was saying how thankful he is for the missionaries and the help they are always willing to give.  While everyone was finishing up eating, having their own conversations, he stopped everyone and asked us to share some more scripture from the Book of Mormon.  We did once more, and he was absolutely stunned by the Promise of Moroni.  I am VERY excited to continue teaching this young family and help them progress in the gospel!

I'm motivated to have a great next week!  I hope you all are too - stay strong and keep your head up.  Realize who we are - children of God!!  I love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

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