So I have found out this week that the mosquitos here are crazy big, but not as aggressive. In Idaho you put on bug spray and the mosquitos keep coming. Here you put on bug spray and they leave you alone.
On Tuesday and Wednesday Elder Walker and I were on exchanges. He is from Idaho Falls and is really funny. He also likes Doctor Who so we get along really well.
I also managed to notice this week that the hardest part of planning used to be filling our days with productive things to do, but now since we have a really great weekly planning session and we have been working so hard, the hardest part of nightly planning is finding enough time to do the things we need and would like to do that day. It was quite the interesting phenomenon. The Lord is truly blessing us.
Thursday was crazy and involved the whole day serving others. We started out by scrubbing down the stainless steel counters and food warmers in the Bagley Senior Center. As a reward we were able to eat the fry bread tacos that they made. As a result of the whole day being a day of service, I decided to study the importance of service in order to gain a better testimony that what we were doing was pleasing unto the Lord. The result was as follows. I came to know that the reason we serve God is not only to help others when they are in need, not only to fulfill our baptismal covenant requirement to serve others, but to develop charity in our lives. Moroni has said that without charity we are nothing and now I know why we emphasize so much on serving others in the church. I also have come to know why serving a mission allows us to be changed and become more Christ like. Because with a full time service towards others we ourselves grow in charity and in faith and in hope which allows us to work on our weaknesses and come closer to Christ with no distractions in our lives.
After the senior center we booked it over to the new library site with our bikes to help put together some shelving units to hold the books. This ended up taking most of the day and the rest was spent in doing our weekly planning session where we receive inspiration each week as to the needs of our investigators and what the Lord would have us focus on as far as goals for the week and where we need to be on what day.
Many of the Less Active Members here have moved away. So when we seek them out we are trying our hardest to determine where they could be so that we can help President Niswander in his efforts to organize the branch roster. Because this is so high on his priority list we do a lot of searching for these people, but I have noticed that the more we follow the direction of our priesthood leaders in the branch, the more success we end up having so this does not bother me in the least. In fact I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead in this great undertaking despite all the paperwork that is involved and all the planning and preparation. It is all worth it in the end when it makes things easier and faster to perform throughout the week, such as separating the names of members on the branch directory into the towns that they live in and then re-alphabetizing them. But when we plan each day we don't have to look for several minutes to find people in a particular city, we can just look at the new papers that we have spent so much time creating. We have already seen the improvement in doing so.
Friday night had a HUGE thunderstorm with lightning every 5 seconds that lit up the sky. We had to come in an hour early because of it. The weird thing about it though was that there wasn't much thunder, but there sure was a lot of pounding rain. I've never seen the sky light up purple before right above our heads in clouds everywhere. I think it was the biggest storm I have ever been in. It was great to lie in bed at night and fall asleep to the pounding of the rain and also to see the great storm.
On Saturday we met with a new investigator named Jim. He is a retired Lutheran Native American Preacher who was really interested in the missing books from the Bible and is reading the Book of Mormon at the fastest rate I have ever seen anyone read it. He took one week to get into at least 2 Nephi 2. We know he was reading it because he described in detail Lehi's vision, asked questions about the brass plates, said it makes sense that we would have not known joy without misery and even commented on the great and abominable church. He believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God and was even telling us about how the Ojibwe tribe believes that Jesus Christ came to the America which of course is outlined in 3 Nephi 11. We are so excited for him.
A significant part of the week included fast and testimony meeting where I was able to bear my testimony on how the Holy Ghost testifies of the truths of what we already know as we share the Gospel with others a second witness to what we have already received. That is why we as missionaries gain so much of a testimony while serving. Because we constantly are testifying to the truths we hold dear and are constantly feeling the reaffirming witness that everything we have been taught in the Gospel is true. And the best part is that not only missionaries, but also everyone else who does so can receive the same blessings.
After church we had a wonderful lesson with Mia about Temples and Family History where we showed the video "Between Heaven and Earth" and also showed her familysearch.org. She was very excited to go do baptisms for the dead for her deceased family members that she cares about very much.
I am excited for the week. It has gone by so fast. My mission is flying by and I can't believe that I am 10 months out on my mission. This past month and a half that I've had with Elder Briggs has gone by faster than any other time in my life. Yet when I look back it feels like all these things have happened forever ago. I love serving the Lord. I feel it is a great gift to do so. I love it here. BAGLEY IS AWESOME!!!!
I love you all so much.