I had an amazing week! It wasn't an easy one but it was one of the most rewarding. A lot of our solid members who go out with us to teach lessons were out of town for the 4th of July and a lot of our investigators were gone too. It was a great opportunity to talk to a lot of new people and invite them to hear our message. As a result we have more people to teach!
Half our zone is brand new this transfer! Almost every companionship had a change and some areas have 2 new missionaries serving! My incredible new companion is Elder Richards from Sandy/Draper Utah. This is his 3rd mission and he only has 3 months left before his accumulative 24 months has finished. His first mission was to Taiwan where he served for a month before family challenges took him home. His second mission was in Oregon where he served for about 11 months and was sent home for a mistake he made at the beginning of that mission that other missionaries were using to justify their disobedience and the mission President decided it would be best for him to go home to be an example for other missionaries. Now he is here serving as a zone leader and is amazing. He's an awesome teacher, really hard working, very personable, and has fun while working. President Toone always gives me the best companions! 6 days into the transfer and we're close friends. Because our relationship is awesome and we both are pumped up and excited the whole zone is becoming even stronger and is catching the contagious enthusiasm!
We had a very interesting lesson this week with a young man who is trying to decide if he wants to be baptized or not. His main concern is that he isn't sure if he's ready to make such a big commitment and leave his old life of smoking and drinking behind. Just so you have an idea, his street name is Blaze. He wanted us to show him where the bible said he has to go to church or where it says he can't do drugs. As we talked things through Elder Richards said to him, "If I held in my left hand a bag of drugs and in my right hand I held the gospel, and you could choose one or the other, which would you choose? One would bring temporary pleasure and one would bring eternal joy. What would you choose?" As Blaze thought you could see the struggle in his face. As I watched him think deep and hard about what he would choose my testimony of the commandments grew so much. How is it possible the decision between 2 hours of pleasure and an eternity of pleasure can be so hard? And yet it is. We all make this very choice at some point in our lives. The temporary pleasure is so appealing and tempting. Satan makes it seem so much greater than it is, to the point where it looks equal to the blessings of the gospel or even more rewarding. Finally Blaze answered that he would ultimately choose the gospel over the drugs. I can only imagine the joy Heavenly Father feels when his children struggle to make this decision but overcome and choose the right. These are our most powerful moments in mortality. That is the test: will we, of our own free will, choose God's plan? Or will we yield to the devils plan?
I love you all so much! Remember that we walk by faith and not sight.
Love Elder Janis