It's good to hear everything went well this week! Flattered that you'd use my email in your lesson. It's so true.... the field is white and ready! We just have to have the guts to get out there and share what we know! I've been having a thirst for theater lately. I'm having withdrawals from not being able to be on stage and just let loose! I sang Sobbin' Women in the shower this morning and I even got Elder Christensen humming along. I still remember all the good times. All of the guys that are out right now have an email string all together so that we can keep in touch. Like Tyler, Jonah, Will, Kristian and the rest. It's been good to stay in contact. James Call shot us an email on that thread that told us that his mission papers got submitted and he'll be getting his Mission Call soon. I was so pumped! I'm so proud of that kid. He's a boss.
Superbowl Sunday. How I miss it. I'm with you, I am really just in it for the food. I think the only one I'll really care about when I get home is the Stanley Cup, but as for the Superbowl, it's still all about the Lil' Smokies ;) Elder Christensen and I had a long talk about that one as we were driving out on the Reservation. It was pretty sweet. We both talked about all the same foods and things. It's good to have a Utah companion!
Speaking of the Reservation, I've got a story this week! About Wednesday of this last week, we got a call from a Native lady who said that her mother would like her home blessed because she had a spirit that was bothering her. So we decided that we would go out and see what was happening. This lady lives pretty far out on the Reservation, so we drove for awhile to find it. When we got there, things were pretty normal. She's a sweet old lady who believes in Jesus. We asked her about some of the things that were going on in her house, and she told us that she was having trouble with a spirit that kept on bothering her dog and walking up and down the stairs at night. This is a legitimate problem on the reservation. The people don't live a very righteous lifestyle, and all of the traditions that they have are a huge opportunity for things to get out of hand. Her house felt different as well. The whole reservation does, but it was a different feeling. So we explained to her some things about the priesthood and that it was through the authority of Christ that we were going to act. We told her that it was according to her faith that things would clear up, but also that she would need to commit to live more righteously in order to make things get better. We told her how the Lord requires effort from us as well. She agreed with what we said and told us about some of her struggles. It was pretty tender, actually. She had made some major changes in her life and had been addiction free for over 5 years. So then we started to bless the house. She asked me to give the blessing, so in the prayer I commanded whatever was in the home to depart in the name of Christ. The spirit was incredibly strong. We felt the previous feelings wash away and the right Spirit was back in the home. It was really cool to see this lady's face light up. After the prayer we told her that one of the best ways that she could keep the good feelings and to have the spirit of the Lord in her home was to have us over to take the missionary discussions. She agreed to have them, so we'll see where it takes us. Her daughter - the one that called in the first place - is a member, and I think it would do her good as well to see her mom investigating the church. Pretty awesome stuff! If she's faithful the Lord will look out for her. I really do love the natives. There is good in them, they just need the gospel to bring it out.
That story about Jake is so awesome. What a guy! Just taking the Poly's down. Did everyone go beat each other up in the parking lot after the game like in Hawaii? ;) Jake is my hero. I tell all of my companions all of our crazy adventures at the Ranch and in Cali and all that. My companions are always pretty entertained. The glow-stick war at Auntie Carri's house (you'll have to ask Jake if you don't know what that is all about), the time Grandpa caught Ben and I in the kitchen at 1 in the morning fishing around for some food.... The stories are endless and all my companions get a giggle out of them. I will for sure be praying for Jackson. The Lord will look after him. I know it. I was reading a talk by President Faust called "Hope, an Anchor for the Soul" and he talked all about how we can find happiness and peace in the gospel through having Hope. We have to look forward through our present situation and find what we're meant to learn. Which reminds me of ANOTHER thing that happened this week!
We had a really terrible night a few nights ago. We were doing what we call "Lost Sheep-ing". This activity basically involves getting shouted at for a few hours by a list of Sheep who quite frankly would just really love to stay lost. We were doing this for awhile, and I started to get really down because of all of the people who were just outright refusing the Savior. The only one who can perfectly heal them consistently gets rejected and slandered at almost every door. This was weighing pretty heavy on my mind. God bless Elder Christensen.... He did everything in his power to help cheer me up. He was whistling tunes in the truck and just being outright stoic, but it couldn't break my stubborn hold on my own hopelessness. But! I thought back to the words of the Wise Elder Hernan Cervantes currently serving in Cranbrook B.C. I was on an exchange with him, and we were having a slow night then as well, but he told me that we were earning what he called "Affliction Points". Affliction Points are gained when one goes through a hopeless period but still keeps the faith. So I did everything that I could to try and stay calm and I fought to be cheerful again. The night didn't get any easier, but it was alright. Then, just last night, we went to that lady's house out on the reservation and picked her up as a new investigator. Our mission goal is to get 1 new investigator per companionship per week. We weren't going to make that goal and it was really starting to peeve us. But we did it, and Christ provided us with a miracle. I seriously believe that it was because we had gained some Affliction Points by being hopeful during a trial and remembering the Savior.
My point here is this: It seems impossible to keep going when things are that dark. But there is a point to the darkness. The Light looks so much better when we've experienced a bit of darkness, and if we can hold on, it will get better. I heard a quote once that got me thinking. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially it said that we have memory so that we can have roses in the winter. I think that that is also another key reason as to why we have hope. Hope is what brings us light in the darkness. Hope is that longing and that yearning for something better, but it isn't conditional in our minds. We always say "Gee, I hope it stops raining" or things like that, but in the gospel, hope isn't just a shot in the dark. When you have hope in Jesus Christ, you KNOW that things will be good. You KNOW that things are going to get better. You KNOW that "Even the darkest night will end, and the Sun will Rise."
I'm grateful that I have a Savior that leads and guides me. I've never seen Him, but I most definitely am seeing more and more of the effects of His actions on my behalf, and on behalf of those that I teach. He's everything to me.
Thanks so much for everything you do for me! I love you so much!
P.S. Rob blessed the sacrament in church for the first time yesterday. It was beautiful. Testimony meeting in the ward was basically centered on the McLachlan's, haha. Love that family!