Well I have exciting news this week! This last Friday (3 days ago) Portia, Kartier, and Sienna were all baptized by Rob! I am so excited for their family. I seriously love them more than I can even describe. It was an amazing experience. Seeing Rob give his daughters a hug right after he raised them out of the water was really, really touching. They're another step closer to having that forever family that Heavenly Father wants them to have! Then yesterday in Sacrament Meeting they were confirmed. I was asked to confirm Portia, Elder Christensen confirmed Kartier, and another man in the ward (Brother Wayne Johnson) confirmed Sienna. It was a really powerful day.
Other than that, things have just been going per usual. This week is transfer week, so we're about to have a lot of excitement. And sadness! Sad to say it, but Elder Keith is going home this Friday. He's finished his mission and it's time for him to go home. I really can't even describe to you how much it hurts to see companions go home... And this one is really going to sting. Elder Keith and I became brothers in the short 6 weeks we had with each other in Magrath. Thankfully we've been able to go on a few exchanges together before he left, but I'm really going to miss him. After he goes home I'll only have 3/8 companions that are still serving. Super sad! But it's not a huge deal because most of my companions are all migrating to Utah after the mission anyway. So that's a relief. It's just going to be hard to say goodbye.
I had an awesome experience this week! The Lord is really helping us out lately. We were having a really rough day on Thursday. It was crazy. We were having a hard time feeling productive, and it was like pulling teeth trying to get people to follow through with appointments. We finally got one with a chap named Dave Keister. He is a returning less active that has really turned his life around into the way that the Lord would want him to live. We were talking about some of the struggles we had been having that day and we were using them as an example in the lesson we were teaching. I spoke with Dave about how I really wanted to focus less on the task and more on the Savior. Then he told me some really profound things. He told me that I needed to stop trying to do my own will in the Lord's work. He told us that we should get out of the way and let the Lord do His work. Now, coming from Dave, this was perfect. Dave served his mission in Ontario and his mission President was Elder M. Russell Ballard. We asked him how we could stay positive when hardships came while finding. Dave - who baptized 30 people on his mission that he tracted out - told us that we needed stop looking at door rejections so personally and as failures. He told us that the Atonement had already covered that rejection. Holy crud! I couldn't believe my ears. What an amazing insight. The Atonement has already covered the pain and rejection we feel at a door. That is how far reaching it is! When I heard him say this, I had this visual pop into my mind. Elder Christensen and I were standing at a door and trying to share the gospel with this lady inside. She slammed to the door on us. Then suddenly, I saw Christ standing between us, and he simply put his arms around us, and walked with us to the next door.
I think sometimes I don't realize just how involved the Lord is in my life. His Atonement even covers that seemingly petty feeling of rejection and discouragement when the millionth door gets slammed in our face. It makes me happy to know that He has already taken all this.
My point in sharing this is to remind us all that the Lord's Atonement reaches into EVERYTHING. It doesn't matter what it is. Name a disappointment, a fear, a hurt, etc. I promise that He's already experienced all of the pain and agony for that specific thing, and if we decide to continuously keep dragging that pain around with us, it is our fault. We're not accepting the gift.
I love you all! Thank you for all your support!