Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 40

What a FANTASTIC week. Like seriously this week was a really really good one. Like you don't understand. Really good. Anyway I hope all of you are enjoying the life Heavenly Father has blessed you with! We are seeing progress in the people we are teaching as well as in our area. We had exchanges this week! I went to the High Range area with Elder Summerhays. It is weird because last transfer he was my Zone Leader and we literally switched callings. I still look up to him a lot though and enjoy learning from him. The day we had was awesome! We taught new investigators and had a ton of fun doing it. I laughed a lot that day. A really cool experience we had was going to a different denominations church service. We got invited to attend a local baptist church that evening and we readily accepted. As we sat in the parking lot we were both freaking out and nervous. We didn't know what they would think when we walked in. We thought we would be mocked and reviled and judged. Eventually we got the courage to go in and we were surprised. We were met with smiles and handshakes from everyone. People would stop and introduce themselves to us. It wasn't until people started saying hi to us that I felt more relaxed and comfortable there. It was a huge eye opener to me at how investigators feel the first time they come to our church. That is why having fellowship is so important, so they know someone and can rely on someone to be there for them. I learned so much from this experience and I feel so blessed to have been able to have it. It helped me to improve my missionary work for sure. Thursday of last week was a very important day. It was the day that D had his interview. The interview lasted almost 2 hours and I can only imagine the conversation that happened. The important thing though is he PASSED! He had a huge smile on his face and said he was really excited to get baptized! He also gave me a huge hug. Right after that Elder Summers had an interview to do so I got to talk to D alone for a while. He told me that I am the reason that he was getting baptized. That no other missionary ever has been able to get him to listen until I came here. I testified to him that the reason I am in Rio Rancho is to help him. It was a really great moment and a moment that made me feel good. I am so excited for D to get baptized this week and make covenants with Heavenly Father. It will be amazing. The very next day was an even bigger day for D. It was the day that he got married to M. It was a beautiful ceremony and they both looked so happy. They both made progress in the plan God has for them and I loved that I was able to be there with them. I love both of them and it is amazing to me to watch the gospel change their lives. Blessings are surely in store for them. We had exchanges with the APs this week. My first exchange with them. In order to expedite the 11 exchanges that they have to do every 6 weeks they invited 2 sets of zone leaders and each Assistant took one set for the day. It was an interesting experience. I felt really out of place the whole time. These elders have all been out for well over a year and have been zone leaders for a lot of that. They all know each other really well too. It was a long day and I was happy to watch it end. We did accomplish a lot though and I did learn a lot. Yesterday we got 2 new sisters in the zone! That is awesome to see the zone getting bigger. One of the sisters went home while she was in my district in Belen. That was 6 months ago. It was really cool to see her back in the mission and back in my zone! I am excited to serve with them both. That was pretty much my whole week! We are really excited for the week to come and for it to be even better than the last! I love you all!!!

Quotes of the Week:
"Whether you think you can or you think you can't you're right."
"We are so worried to offend people that we forget to save them." 

Spiritual Experience of the Week:
Last night we had a visit with the new sisters. There were 8 missionaries there so it was a crowded apartment. At the end of the visit one of the sisters asked for a blessing. As my companion gave her a blessing I felt the spirit strongly. Afterwards one of the sisters told us that when we receive our Patriarchal Blessing, that it is the same blessing Heavenly Father gave us before we came to the earth. I felt the spirit testify to me that this is true, and it is now a part of my testimony. It was a really sweet and special experience. 

Miracle of the Week:
Saturday night Elder Summers and I were planning for where we wanted to go tracting the next day. We both decided on the same street. The next day when we got there we both had little motivation to knock on doors. It was a struggle for sure but we knew that the Lord had specifically told us to be there. As we got out of the truck and started to knock we were stopped by a man in a truck. He pointed to his house and said "That is where I live, come back Thursday morning." Not only did he come and talk to us but he set up his own return appointment! It was such a cool miracle. We also found 2 other people who invited us back on the same street. The Lord prepared those people and he prompted us on where to go an when. The church is true.

Spiritual Thought of the Week:
Alma 13:24 - The Lord truly is preparing people everywhere to hear the gospel. We know people right now who are ready to learn of the restoration. It is our job to open our mouths and invite our friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members to hear the message the missionaries share. I can promise as we invite others to act that God will bless us and will soften the hearts of those we know.

 I love you all!!

Elder Carruth

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