To start this email, I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving this week! It is crazy that it has already been a year since I was picking up Elder Balderston from the mission home with no idea how to be a missionary. I have come a long way! I still barely know how to be a missionary, but hopefully I have improved a little bit. Also it is crazy that last year I was sitting in the Cannon's living room having Thanksgiving dinner. I am eternally grateful for that family helping me feel a little bit like I was home during the Holidays. Mom, tell Sister Cannon I miss them!
To dive into this last week. We had zone conferenceso the first couple of days were spent trying to help get those things situated. It was a pretty wild day. We showed up to zone conference for the morning session. When it was lunch time, we were excused into the gym to find that the ladies in charge of the food didn't show up. Elder Milligan and I and some STLs from Fort Dodge had to arrange for some pizza to feed 80 missionaries. It was pretty wild. Elder Milligan and I missed the majority of the afternoon session trying to get things straightened out. Luckily Sister Badger helped us out and we got it all taken care of. Pretty exciting zone conference. The talks were good too. :)
We were blessed this week to find a lot of great people to work with. We had a tough day when one of our investigators decided that she didn't want to quit smoking and told us that we weren't Christlike for not letting her get baptized because she smoked. It was pretty sad to hear her say these things, we have taught her quite a bit, but I guess it happens sometimes. That being said, we hit the streets to find some new people. We found some great people that we are excited about. We were knocking on this apartment building when this Islamic man came out of his apartment guns a blazin telling us that Christ wasn't real. We did our best to testify of Christ but he was one of the most hard hearted people I have ever met. Towards the end of our discussion, he looked at us and said "Take those silly tags off and do something with yourselves" we told him that there is nothing that we would rather be doing, he then looked at me and said "You look like you need to join the marines, they go in first and absorb all of the bullets for the rest of the army." It took every bit of my power to not deck this man in the face, but we told him to have a nice day and went to the next door. Some people man. Keep that man in your prayers.
We had some other great finding miracles but I won't go into detail. Just know the Lord hooked us up this week.
I will close this email with the thought I mentioned earlier. At the very beginning of my mission, I mentioned a talk called the "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar. The majority of the talk discusses that when Christ was in anguish, he looked outward. It is easy to think of ourselves when things aren't going our way, but we learn that Christ would always look outward. I have come up with a pretty straightforward remedy for those times when I start to feel bad for myself; I remind myself that if I start to feel bad for myself and my circumstances I am thinking of myself too much. I have thought about why missions are the happiest of times and I believe that it is because the majority of the time spent on a mission is in the service of others. I have learned that the gateway to eternal joy is serving others and focusing less on our own needs and thinking more of the needs of others. We are richly blessed, it is up to us to help others who aren't as fortunate.
I want to issue a challenge to you family. This holiday season, think of someone who needs your help, and help them. I promise the joy that comes with it.
I also want to tell you all how grateful I am for you all. You guys are the greatest family a guy could ask for. I hope that you guys have an amazing Thanksgiving. I will be there for the next one! Give Grandma a big hug for me. I love you.
A grateful missionary,
|The APs and some other guys|
|I wasn't ready for the picture, but these guys are my favorite!|