Monday, February 25, 2013
Awesome Mission Birthday & Prayer Challenge
February 25, 2013
Hey everybody. I'm so sorry. I just didn't have time to create much of a blog last time :/ Well, I'm better this time! I've got a lot more time today so I'll use it wisely here and try to make up for lost time!!
First off, we had a little exchange with the zone leaders and Elder Packard took over the area and did fantastic! He's so solid! Man these 18 year old missionaries are just coming out ready to work and get the ball rollin! We had a big meeting up in Raleigh the next day for all the zone leaders and district leaders, and I got to see my dad! (Trainer). He lives by a gym and goes to it every morning around five thirty so he was looking younger and skinnier than I remember! That was a really good 4 hour meeting in which I was really able to take a lot away from it to bring back and apply to our district, which in just a couple weeks is going to have 4 sets of sisters instead of one... set of sisters... I have bundles of them wherever I go! Haha oh and just a little side note, while I was in Newbern we passed by Nicholas Sparks' house. No big deal though ;)
Anyway, it also happened to be my birthday last week, and it was on Saturday. It started out really good! I opened some of the presents from the family, one of which was a ¼ lb. Peanut butter cup, which I ate instantly. (Not a good idea). We also went to breakfast at Hardy's courtesy of my companion, and then we went out and found a new investigator whose already reading the Book of Mormon and is excited to come to church and learn more! Always the best birthday wish on the mission! After that, the member we were with found out it was my birthday and took us to Golden Corral for lunch! (It's been a big food day) where we happened to see the Reece family (who we live with) while we were there. She came up to me, slapped my face a couple times softly and said happy birthday. Haha! Mom's just can do that huh? So after that, we tried to continue working and not fall victim to our oncoming food comas. We visited an investigator getting baptized, and talked to her husband, and he's reading the Book of Mormon and seriously considering joining, and will as soon as he gets the answer. He's reading and praying about the Book of Mormon sincerely so we have high hopes! After that, we went on down to the Yost's house for a while. Then we went to a lesson, just kidding, I'll say more about dinner. DINNER AT THE YOST'S WAS FANTASTIC! We walked into the Yost home, and they had a little happy birthday thing hanging up with party hats everywhere, and some Reese's Peanut Butter!!!!! That stuff is DAAANG good!!! After we ate dinner, there was also... RASPBERRIES!!! One of the greatest fruits God's given us on this earth!!!! Not to mention the Reese's Ice Cream as well! Good grief I got spoiled sooo bad...I had a bit of a selfish birthday! We put one candle in all of the raspberries piled on a plate, and turned off the lights to sing! By the time the lights went on they were almost gone! Man they were sooooo good!! I ate them a little too fast, someone said something funny, and I may have spit some out.. haha oh man... It was a really good time. THANK YOU YOSTS!!! They sure spoiled me and I'm very appreciative of it :) We went to a lesson afterwards with another and had a great lesson and helped him commit to the steps he has to take to be baptized, and then got home to find a package on the stairs from a Katie Kirkham... Can't argue with that to end the day well :):):) Haha and inside was a box of life!!! I was overly spoiled on my birthday!!! I”m so grateful for everything that everyone has done for me and I pray that you'll be able to feel the blessings that come from being a charitable giver! I love you all very much! Thanks for helping me push onto the 20's! We'll see how these go ;)
Well, birthdays come and go, and the mission carries on!! After church the next day, we drove back up to Newbern so that I could interview 3 of the zone leader's investigators for baptism. They were ready, and it was my first time doing that... it's weird and a little scary to think that You're trusted from God to make the decision if these people here are ready to make this promise and covenant in their lives.. The last thing you want to do is put someone through a promise that they're not ready to make, especially when that promise is with God -_-. But with some prayer and preparation, I was able to interview them, and found them all ready to be baptized. It's great to see that people are really changing their hearts and preparing themselves to enter into the kingdom of God :) it's a good place to be, so I'd like to see a lot more happening! So that was neat, and because of this crazy week we haven't really been able to do a lot of planning for next week, so I feel to an extent, we're flyin by the seat of our pants here! But we're getting there ;) President Burnhisel in the meeting said something pretty bold, but very true. He said the thing that will change your life the most, and will become the most valuable thing you learn on your mission, is the power and ability of goal setting and planning. Interesting how those two things, above everything are the things that bring the most change and growth in our lives. Of course in high school classes you learn about why you need to set goals and plan and what not, but I've gained such a testimony of the importance of goals and planning!!! If you leave the apartment, without your goals prayerfully embedded in your head, your plans are going to mean nothing, and will not be nearly as effective or successful, because when you don't believe or apply the goals you set, you're denying the godliness in you :) so they're pretty important.
Another thing that has really hit me this last week, is the power of prayer. Now as we all know, prayer is fantastic and does miracles! But how much do we pray? If you were to think right now of the average times you pray everyday, is it really that much? How many minutes, or seconds a day, do you give to your Father in Heaven in communication? I remember very well a week on my mission where I just felt very hopeless and a little lost on what I needed to be doing, and how I could bring the spirit back into my life. I studied hard on the spirit and was brought to the necessity of faith to posses it. Faith is action, so I thought of the everyday answers of prayer, scripture reading, and church going, and how those simple things when used constantly allow us to keep our baptismal covenants, and allow us to receive the Holy Ghost as we do so. That next Sunday, we sang, “Did You Think to Pray?” and that was that push over the hill! I've made a very sincere effort to focus on praying almost all the time for everything, and I can promise you from personal experience, that the difference is unquestionable. When you pray more frequently, you are literally allowing yourself to receive God's personal will for you all the time, and as you act on your prayers, you will have sincere hope and happiness in all you do, with the assurance of peace that you are doing exactly what your Father in Heaven would have you do. Ahhh gotta go, but I challenge everyone to think of that average number in your head for just a second, and times it by two or three!!!! Pray 2-3 times as much as you do now on a regular basis, and you will feel the difference!! That I testify and promise to you!! You'll never know until you try, and once you'll try, you'll never stop :) I love you all!!!! Thanks again for a great birthday! Good-bye until next week when I write and send this to my mom and she puts it on the blog for you to read, again!!! Keep up the good work y'all!Love, Elder Langford