Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 57: Everyone can learn something from every day if they look hard enough

Hello again,

I've learned a lot from this week. It seems like I do more and more each week. I think it’s because as Elder Lete says, "Everyone can learn something from every day if they look hard enough, not just missionaries." Something that helps me with this is writing in a journal every day. I have been searching for ways to improve my entries and setting goals on making them more spiritual instead of a routine list of events that occurred in the day. So I came up with the following suggestions.

1. Start writing earlier before I need to go to bed so that I am not rushed in recording the information 
    for the day.
2. Pray beforehand and ask specifically for the help in recording the important impressions, events, and other thoughts that the Lord knows will benefit me at a later date. That way I am confident that I have recorded everything that I needed to and that it will be preserved. It was important to many of the Nephite prophets that their records be preserved to come forth at a later date and help those who were at that time dwindling in unbelief (See book of Enos).
3. Write the impressions that come to my mind throughout the day in my planner (or somewhere else) so that I will remember them and be able to refer to them later on at night.
These three simple suggestions have dramatically improved the way that I feel about keeping journals. I look forward to writing in them every night now. They also serve as a way to help me review with the Lord in prayer the events of the day and what I did. It helps keep us accountable to him for the impressions that he has sent us throughout the day.
This morning I made pancakes on the griddle that we found in our apartment. It has helped and made it easier to have good breakfasts in the mornings. I added some frozen blueberries and it was a great treat.
We took the car in on Wednesday to fix the damage that previous Elders had caused. It was there until Friday so we had to walk everywhere for a while. As a result of all the walking, I resolved to protect my planner this transfer by making planner covers to protect it from rain, sweat and other things that all my other planners had received. Hopefully now they won't be completely worn out by the end of the transfer. As a result of all the walking we did, we ran into a lady who had stopped her car and parked it on the side of the road. As we walked up she looked a little distressed so we were about to ask her if we could help when she called out for our help. She needed us to get some grasshoppers that had somehow made it into her car. We did so and she was very thankful. (She apparently was deathly afraid of bugs). So afterwards she asked us what we did. Elder Lete replied, "We're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." Then something miraculous happened. Her face lit up and she smiled and was very happy. (This doesn't happen all that often when we say we are missionaries. We often get another response.) She then said, "You see. God sent two angels to help me. Where is your church?" It was great.
Thursday was our crazy day when we saw all of our Less Active people that we are teaching. Well we had appointments for all of them. One of them forgot and didn't even answer the door. But we taught them all the Word of Wisdom with different responses from each. One of them denied having a problem. The second one admitted it freely and then asked for our help in overcoming the issue with smoking. The third one we were at his house for dinner. The conversation over dinner somehow turned to coffee. We later brought up in the Lesson the Word of Wisdom and he flipped out on how some people interpret the commandment differently than others do. We finally just had to testify that he could know for himself through prayer. He was upset because he loves coffee, but he felt the truth of what we were saying and knew that he had to start living it.
On Friday we got our car back and also had exchanges. Elder Smith stayed with me in Marshall this time. We searched for a lot of people who weren't coming to church and receiving the blessings of the Sacrament in their lives. As we searched for one, we ran into Sheriff. He was investigating the church when the sister missionaries were serving here. He agreed to have us come back on Sunday after church.
Saturday consisted of fixing my bike (aka flat tire) and also trying to find people to teach. We ended up in the farmer's market looking around and got to sample some pretty crazy jams. Strawberry-Pineapple, mango-jalapeno, and several others were there. Elder Smith tried the Mountain Dew Jelly, but I didn't even want to risk it...
Later in the day Elder Lete and I saw Brother Jim McDonald. He hasn't come to church since we've been here and we were trying to touch base with him. We also had dinner at the Lembke family's home and were able to get a list of people from them to pray for.
Sunday was a great day. The Sacrament meeting was great. The testimonies were very strong and refreshing and we also had great meetings afterwards. We were also able to talk with President Burgess about what we had done throughout the week and asked for his suggestions on who we could reach out to. As we have followed his direction we have received much success because as branch president, he holds the keys of missionary work in the Marshall Branch area. We met again with Sheriff and answered some of his questions about the church. He agreed to come to church every other week when he is not working at his job. We started biking again and it feels great to be able to use a bike to get to places. I'm glad I was able to get it fixed with the help of Elder Smith's wrenches and screwdrivers.
I always appreciate the opportunity I have to email. I'm glad that some of my experiences have helped and I hope they will continue to do so. I am grateful to be serving a mission. It's been and continues to be the best experience in my life despite challenges that arise. I am glad that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all these trials can be resolved. I wish you all a great week.
With love,
Elder Davis

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