Happy Halloween from the Midwest! Halloween on a mission is the best, especially when it falls on a P-Day. Usually P-Day ends at 6, but because people will be trick or treating and because it would be pretty dangerous for missionaries to proselyte in a college town, we have the whole day to pile (pretty much be an unproductive missionary) because we have to be back in our apartments at 6:30. It is a blessing for sure!
On a more serious note, the work here in Ames continues to be incredibly slow. If I thought that the beginning of my mission was the trial of my faith, I was wrong. Transfer number two is kinda kicking my butt. We have a couple investigators but we aren't sure how promising either one is going to be. I have found it pretty difficult to get excited to knock on doors for hours, nobody letting us inside their homes, and definitely no potential investigators. But I can feel it, a solid investigator is coming this week.
The other night one of our potentials got anti'd by her preacher son and decided that it was no longer appropriate to have a Book of Mormon in her home. We were devastated when she told us she no longer wanted us to come by. There we were bummed out, slowly getting into our car when Elder Dunford played a really great talk. It is called Missionary Work and the Atonement. It is basically a compilation of talks by President Eyring and Elder Holland. Elder Holland mentions something along the lines of, as a missionary you will often wonder why it is so hard and ask why it has to be so difficult to be a missionary. His reply hit me right in the heart. The reason that missionary work and sharing the gospel is so difficult is because it is so worth it. Salvation doesn't come cheap. Even the Savior of the World, the Son of God was rejected and asked if there was any other way. I am pretty much slaughtering the lesson I learned but I admonish you guys to look it up. Basically after listening to this talk, those feelings of disappointment and discouragement were absent and I had a new desire to share my testimony with the world.
On a mission there are so many times when you don't want to leave your apartment in the morning and there are times when getting out of bed seems impossible, but there are also a lot of times when you want to run down the street yelling your testimony and shouting for joy because we had a great lesson or somebody accepted an invitation to read the Book of Mormon. At the end of the day or week, or at the end of the transfer, you don't look back on all of the bad things that happened or all of the doors you knocked, you look back on all of the great lessons you had with people and the killer experiences we are having. Without the bitter, the sweet wouldn't be as sweet right?
The moral of the story is slow weeks like the ones we are going through in Ames are going to make it that much better when we aren't having such slow weeks. The great thing is that our "trials shall be but a small moment". These slow times never last long. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and take it so that we can be trusted enough to have good weeks.
Excuse the tangent and excuse how long this email is. I will wrap it up here. All in all, even though things are pretty tough right now, I love being a missionary. I was thinking about how great it is going to be to look back on how much I have grown on my mission. I have grown a lot in just the first couple of months. There is a reason that young men are commanded to serve missions. My love for the gospel is more than I could have imagined. It is the truth when people say that the first conversion of your mission will be yourself. I have strengthened my testimony more in these first few months than I have my entire life.
I love you all so much and I think about you all of the time. I miss you a little as well.
Have an amazing week.
Currently wearing a tie with elephants on it,