Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aug. 18, 2014 in Concord, NC

Answering some questions first:
The weather isn't actually too bad, many of the people we've talked to have said that its been a pretty mild summer so that's been helpful.

I'm allergic to something here and every morning I think I'm going to die! I cant even imagine Hunter being out here. Its like sticking your face in a bowl of freshly cut grass.

So once again the week started out a little rough. Most of our appointments fell through and we found ourselves with lots of time. So we put this time to use by trying to find less active members and former investigators. As we visited different houses, we found that many of the less active members didn't even live in those houses any more and we were able to talk to lots of new people about the gospel! Not all of them said we could come back but they were all kind and we were able to plant seeds in each person we talked to.

A funny but sad experience happened this week. We were out on Wednesday night near our apartment and it was almost time to head in. We walked up and down our street real briefly to see if there was anyone we could contact who was outside. We didn't find any people but we did find a tiny little kitten that followed us around the block and back to our house after we pet it. We got to our apartment and it sat outside the screen door and meowed!! It was horribly painful so we tried to give it some tuna fish. It didn't like the tuna though. We took a picture with it and then decided to walk with it over to the house we thought it had come from. We knocked on the door and it turned out to be theirs! It was a young couple named C and T and we talked with them a bit. We were actually able to schedule an appointment for the next night! 

At the end of the week we really got to see the power of inviting and following up with inviting people to church. One person we invited was named D and when we invited him he promised to come if we could find a ride. This was the night before church so we had to make a few different calls but we were able to find a member who could drive him. He had warned us that he stayed out really late last night so he wasn't sure if he'd be up unless we called him. We followed this up by calling him 3 different times that morning until he finally woke up. It was a good thing he did too because the ride was there 10 minutes later and he was able to come. He really enjoyed it and said he wanted to come again so we are planning on following that up tomorrow!

One other important principle I've been working on is how to measure my success as a missionary. A number of really promising investigators let lessons slip or just completely dropped us, including M that I wrote about last week. He said that the Plan of Salvation didn't agree with his beliefs. We're giving him a couple of days and then we will be going back to visit him and see if we can answer questions. So pray for him!

As I've been studying and praying, I've gained a testimony that my success is really based on how hard I work, how obedient I am, and how well I react like the Savior would react in different situations. I like how Isaiah put it in 1 Nephi 21:2-5. "...though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength." The Lord wants the people of North Carolina to accept the gospel even more than we do. But even if they reject the gospel as we share it, he definitely doesn't want us to fall away or feel like failures just because of someone else's agency. He is happy that we tried, and that we trusted, and continue to trust, in Him.

Thanks so much for the email! Love ya!
Elder Branch

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