Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. Mine was definitely pretty.....missionary-y. But I'll get into that later.
So last week in my letter I talked a lot about investigators that we had discontinued teaching, lack of interest, lack of success, and some unfruitful hard work. But this week was not like that! We were able to really go out and work and we found nine new investigators! And they're all pretty well interested! That just goes to show that the Lord promises success to those that consecrate their lives to Him and work hard.
So on Wednesday we had a branch fall festival. The saddest part about that is that more people attended than we ever see on Sundays. I imagine it has something to do with free food? I don't know really. Maybe if we just made the Sacrament bread a little bigger, more people would come to church. We often talk with our branch mission leader, Brother West, about how we need to go out and baptize people that will "stick." You know, the kind of converts that don't just get baptized and then fall off the radar. It's really sad when that happens. Right now we're focusing our efforts on truly finding the elect who will hear the voice of the Lord when He calls, know it's Him, and then hold onto the iron rod all the way to the end. So with that being said, one convert who is truly committed to living the Gospel is far better to have than ten converts who don't ever come to church. But enough of the rambling. Let's talk about the investigators we saw this week....
A and M: So we went over to their house one more time just to really hold them accountable for judging the church by what they read on the internet and then choosing not to act on the information given directly from the source. So we invited them to really investigate and find out if Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of the Lord. So they will have hopefully started reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.
M: He's a fourteen year old boy who claims he's agnostic. I believe it's more of just a "I don't see the importance of God so why believe in Him" kind of thing. We had a cold lesson with him last night outside his apartment and we talked a lot about the purpose of life, God, and commandments. We left him with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet to read so hopefully he comes to us with some good questions. He's a very logical thinker, so it should all make sense to him.
F: F is a black man with dreads who believes in Rustufarianism. If you're not familiar with that religion, I encourage you to look into it. It's actually quite interesting. Basically he believes that life is what you make it and that everything is somehow an illusion that we have to overcome. So we're gonna teach him the Restoration next time. The funny thing about him is when he introduced himself he said "My name is F...but....you can call me Cowboy." Haha so now we just call him cowboy haha.
C: C is a twenty-one year old who's life is just not where it should be. From the sounds of things, he has no clear direction of where he wants to go. He said that he's investigated many different religions, but never ours. So we taught him the Restoration yesterday (in the cold) and invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. We're hoping he gets an answer because he said if he comes to find out that this is the way God wants him to go, he'll get baptized.
So those are just a few of the investigators we're working with right now. Of course we have more, but to keep things concise, I'll just focus on the ones that you don't know about.
As for Halloween, it was pretty fun. We didn't do anything apostate, but we were able to enjoy the day still. I remember the whole day I just had this feeling that I wanted to go to a haunted house. I'm not the biggest on those, but you want what you can't have right? But we didn't do that. We went tracting for most of the day and had a few very solid contacts. President told us not to do anything after 6 pm unless we had appointments scheduled, so we stayed in for the night. We went to the church and finished weekly planning and then afterward....BASKETBALL. I kind of miss being able to play every week in Pinehurst, but I don't think my body does. As we speak, my back hurts, my knees are aching, and my ankles are stiff. I guess that's what happens when you go all out for two hours not having played for a month. But it was still fun! Definitely a good stress reliever for me. Speaking of basketball, I was thinking about the NBA on Halloween and about how obsessed I was before my mission. Something that I've come to realize since being on my mission is that there are more important things in life. Am I ever gonna stop loving basketball and video-games and stuff like that? Probably not. But there are better things to do. We really should focus on spending time with our families and enjoying the time that we have with them. I guess YOLO would apply in that situation haha. I wish I had realized that before my mission.
There I am rambling again. Well overall, this was a great week. It felt long, but now that I look back, I see what I learned and how I've grown. My testimony of Christ has definitely been strengthened this week. It took me a long time to actually comprehend the fact that Christ is my personal Savior. He knows me perfectly because He's experienced everything I have and ever will. Through His Atonement, everything that is unfair about life can be made right. Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for us to be truly happy, and it's absolutely the only way that we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.
I hope y'all have a great week. Thanks for all the prayers my way. And once again, WELCOME HOME DALLIN!
-Elder Landon Carroll