Tuesday, September 4, 2012

WEEK 18-Life's a happy song

Well, here we are again! Sorry this is a day late, all the libraries were closed yesterday for Labor Day...
Well, this week was another crazy busy week that ended with us looking at our numbers and going: "Really?! That's ALL we have to show for it?" haha. It was funny.
I went on another exchange this week with my district leader, Elder L. He's awesome and I learned a lot from him. We did some really good work together, and Elder C got to spend a day in an area with a car.
We also had a mini-zone-conference this week, where we got to hear from our leaders, including a new Assistant! That was pretty exciting. Elder Parker and Elder Johnson have been the Assistants as long as I've been here, so having Elder Parker gone and Elder Westover there was kind of weird at first, but it turned out great. Elder Johnson goes home at the end of this transfer, so we'll have yet another new assistant!
Elder C is doing great. Still very "green" in some aspects, but he's picking up much faster than I felt like I did. That's one thing that's nice about training is that he makes it really easy.
We had an elder from the next-door area go home last Friday. He had to go home for a surgery and we're hoping to have him back soon, but it was still weird to see him go.
Also, just a heads up, we're probably going to D.C. next pday, so I may or may not be able to email... we'll find out...
I think the big story this week is N. Wednesday, when I was on the exchange with Elder L, we met with him because he said he was having a rough day and needed some friends. So, we shared a message about prayer and finding comfort in trials, and challenged him to pray and ask specifically if God knew who he was and if he had a plan for him. We asked him to read Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8 after. Apparently, he pulled over on the drive home and did it. He said he just felt so warm and comforted and peaceful, and he was just much more calm about everything going on after that. After that, we didn't get to see him until Sunday. We went to his old church that morning, mostly so we could meet his parents. It went very well. His parents were pretty much just like him: friendly, genuine and warm to be around. Just wonderful people. After meeting them, we ran off to Ashburn ward's sacrament meeting, then went through the rest of our day. N came to Belmont Ridge that afternoon, and that evening, he, Elder Cannon and I went to a fireside at the mission home. The fireside went really well. There were two recent converts who spoke, followed by Elder J (the soon to be outgoing assistant), Sister Riggs, and concluding with President Riggs. The spirit was very strong and we all came out very moved. On the drive home, he said that the concerns the recent converts had had were very similar to his, and it helped him to feel like he wasn't alone in that aspect. He also shared that he wanted to continue proceeding in the gospel, but was just so afraid of not being perfect in it, and he wanted to really jump in 100% and be completely committed and was worried that he might not be perfect at that either. So, letting the spirit guide us, we shared how the atonement allows us to be free of fear from imperfection. As long as we're doing our best, continually turning to the Savior and repenting of our shortcomings, that's all He asks. We were also prompted to share stories from Joseph Smith's life of mistakes he made and how he knew that he could still be forgiven. The conversation bounced all over the place, but the spirit was with us the whole time, helping us to know what to say, and in the end, N said it all. He began to bear testimony of how he was believing more and more the things we had taught. His faith was growing slowly, and he had even found himself recently bearing testimony to his mom of the first vision. Long story short, he's back on the calendar to be baptized. He feels a much stronger desire now and feels much more ready to commit himself to it, knowing that mistakes don't mean immediate and irreparable failure. We're really excited and really grateful that we were living and working in a way that the spirit was able to speak through us the way it did.
Then, we walked back into our apartment to find we had missed multiple calls and text from both District Leader and Zone Leaders asking for our numbers... haha. We were promptly forgiven after they heard where we were ;) haha.
That's pretty much it. We're living the good life, and enjoying the work. It's just sad to me how quickly the weeks go by.
Talk to you all soon!
-Elder Hodgson
Love you all!!! Happy Late-bor Day!

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