Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Week 43

Hello, hello once again!

Things are absolutely fantastic!  The mission - as always - is a huge blessing.  I am loving everything that is coming my way, good or bad.  Something that I have realized is that we can learn from both!  The positive is obviously easier to learn from, but when we take note of negatives and face them with a humble heart, we are able to learn just as much - if not more!  I'll talk a little more about my week later.

I am so surprised about the wards changing!  WOAH!  I wonder what the new boundaries are.  I sure am going to miss the McQueen Ward - I only know a few faces in the El Dorado Ward.  But, that is something I enjoy about the church, that we continually move around, meet new people and learn from others.  It's great!  Who is the bishop in the El Dorado Ward?

So about my week... As I say in every e-mail, it was awesome!  We had a baptism!  His name is Marcos, and he is an absolute ROCK!  His testimony shines through the roof, and you can see his face glow in the teachings of the gospel.  The service was powerful and touching.  He shared his testimony, and it was one of the most incredible testimonies I have heard a new member give.  Now, his whole family are members.  A year from now, they will be sealed for all time and eternity.  I CANNOT wait for that day to happen with my family.  What a beautiful blessing to know that families can be together forever.  It's something I truly aspire for, and I want to help others know that they can and should do the same.

We have a few other investigator friends preparing for baptism - one is scheduled for this upcoming Saturday, but I think it will have to get pushed back a week.  He went to Utah for a few days and attended General Conference, so we haven't had the chance to teach him as often as we would like.  Another is for May 4th, and we will be putting another one on date for May 21st.  I am so grateful to help others learn about Jesus Christ and help them to make the correct decisions to truly follow Him!

The investigator that went to General Conference, Jadid, will actually be coming to visit a friend in Phoenix during July!  He cannot drive, but if it is alright with you all, I would love for you to meet him.  He is such an amazing friend, and I think that would be a cool opportunity to meet one of the people I teach!  Luckily, he speaks English and Spanish so there won't be a language barrier.

We met a few amazing new investigator friends this past week - Naomi and Santiago.  Santiago was questioning us and asked if the only reason we do this whole "mission thing" is to eventually become pastors of our own church.  When we told him that it was nothing like that, he was VERY surprised.  He didn't think teenage boys could come out here and share a message of so much power and validity.  I love the gospel and the work of a missionary!!!  Naomi is a daughter of some fairly new investigators that sat in on a lesson when we showed the Restoration movie.  It was great, and her and her family actually attended church yesterday!

Today is our district preparation day so we plan on hiking down to the beach and play a little sand soccer, frisbee, and possibly volleyball, if there is a net set up.  If it decides to rain, we'll head to the Stake Center and play some other games.

I hope you had the chance to view General Conference over this past week - because I want to talk about it.  It was absolutely incredible!  Every talk was so pure and heart warming!  I think General Conference for missionaries is like a vacation to Hawaii or something because it is something I look forward to so much!  I didn't have a favorite talk, but one that really helped me understand about beliefs is the talk Elder Holland gave.  I loved hearing that even if we have that small belief, that that is enough for the time being.  We must continually act in faith and improve ourselves as we turn to Jesus Christ. 

I also loved the talk that President Monson gave about being obedient to the commandments.  We don't want to start a forest fire of our own, but as we are obedient to the things God has given us, He will help us.  He will make up for the rest as long as we try.  Conference is a beautiful time to feel of the love and spirit the living apostles and prophets have for us.  It is a time to receive counsel and guidance from the living mouthpieces of our Father in Heaven.  It is amazing to me that as we apply the different things learned during conference that we soon are more aware and open to the blessings and promptings of the spirit.  All I have to say is try and see for yourself!

I love you all so much!  I hope that you each have an amazing uplifting week as you continue to be the best you can be.  I am so grateful for each of you, and for this great privilege it is to serve our eternal Father in Heaven.


Elder Alexander J Annand

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