So, this week has been interesting. Lots of various ups and downs throughout the week.
On Monday, we had our zone activity down in Linden. We played a lot of soccer, ultimate, and a bit of football. It was a blast! Well, at least the soccer and ultimate. :) After that, we went to try and visit a few families, had dinner with an awesome family, (all the families we had dinner with this week were awesome!) then went and helped out some of the other missionaries in my district. They weren't feeling too well.
On Tuesday, we had morning studies as usual, then I had the opportunity to go to a training for district leaders. It was conducted by our zone leaders as well as the sister training leaders. I learned quite a bit about not only how to help my district, but also how to help myself grow and be a better leader. After that training, my companion and I got to have lunch with one of my former Texas bishops, Bishop Thorn, and his wife, Sis. Thorn. It was great to sit down with them again! Immediately following lunch, we went to Highland where I had an incredible opportunity to conduct the baptismal interview for a lady that was 101 years old! As I went through the interview with her, and as I posed each question to her, she would answer and then ask me the same questions, asking me the same things. It was an interesting experience being on the receiving end of those questions, but it helped me understand and realize a lot more of what I believe for myself. It helped me more understand the kind of things that we are asking everyone else to do in those interviews. After the interview, we came back to Alpine, and attempted a bunch more visits, had dinner with a ward mission leader, tried visiting some more people, and then ended the night with a canceled appointment. Oh well.
On Wednesday, I faced one of the biggest downs of my week. About mid-day I opened up Facebook with the intention of talking to one of my best friends. As I opened up Facebook, I saw a message making me aware that the friend who I'd planned on talking to - his uncle had passed away in the last day. That was hard for me. Being on a mission when this sort of thing happens is a very strange experience to me. I hear all about it, lots of people are making sure that I know what's going on, but I don't really ever have any closure. I just have to reflect on the last things said or done, but I don't ever see a funeral or read any obituaries; it's just hard. That afternoon, I know Heavenly Father was helping me because as we would try and visit people, even if they weren't interested, they'd open the door and talk to us for a little while. I hope to be really keep my mind off of those more gloomy thoughts and on my work that I'm supposed be doing.
Heavenly Father also blessed us with being able to teach lessons that night, three in fact, with visits and dinner mixed throughout those lessons. In one of those lessons, we were talking with a recent convert who's feeling very overwhelmed. He is the only member and his family is slowly trying to move from California to Utah, and has other family issues and concerns that he's dealing with. We talked a lot about the love of Heavenly Father, and as we talked to him, I felt that same love that we were talking about touch my heart. The sadness I felt earlier in the day at hearing of the death of my friend's uncle was pushed aside. I felt the love of Heavenly Father. I felt his concern for what was bothering me. I was so grateful.
On Thursday, we had apartment inspections in the morning (passing with flying colors). After the apartment inspection, we had morning studies, then following studies we went to have lunch with the Bradshaws. They are one of the senior missionary couples in the area we cover. We had a bunch of visits throughout the day, or at least try to, had two lessons that evening, then nightly planning. Just a relatively very slow day.
On Friday morning, we had the last district training meeting of the transfer. The sisters who serve in Traverse Mountain gave the training. It was titled "No Effort is Wasted". It was a fantastic training that helped us remember what our original purpose is. It also helped us to remember that anything we do helps us with our purpose. It helps us move the work forward, even if we don't see the end results that we want to right off the bat. Elder Cole and I had a great weekly planning session, trying to find those people who we should visit this week, and putting them into our schedule. We had a few visits following dinner, again, not really getting anywhere with them, but trying, then went home for nightly planning.
Saturday was extremely slow! We had visits most of the day with almost no success and very little interest from those that we visited. At dinner, I kept getting shot at by one of the little kids with a Nerf gun. That was fun… Not. Luckily, Saturday had a relatively good ending. One of the Stakes that we cover puts on something called the Book of Mormon Pageant every year. Saturday was the day for that pageant. As missionaries, we were invited to go, but we had to have someone with us that we were working with or teaching. One of the first people that came to mind for me was a youth named Simeon who is less active. He normally doesn't appreciate being dragged to these kind of things, but we begged and pleaded for him to go with us, because if he didn't, we wouldn't be able to go. This pageant is about the record in 3 Nephi in the Book of Mormon of the coming of Jesus Christ to the American continent. I felt like it was very well done and helped me to feel the Spirit that I should always feel at the significance of the events of the book of Mormon. Afterwards, we took Simeon home. While taking him home, he thanked us for taking him along and for caring enough to go pick him up. It was a good ending to Saturday.
Finally, Sunday. Had our Stake coordination meeting at 6:30 as usual, then went home and did a little bit of studies. After those studies, we went to a stake conference, at which the Alpine North Stake was split and a new Stake was created. The new Stake, the Draper Utah Suncrest Stake, will not be in our boundaries as of Wednesday afternoon. :( While I'm still sad about it, I'm also grateful. To add on a new stake would've made it even harder than it already is to know the leaders of the various wards and stakes that we already cover.
After that Stake Conference, we went to the Alpine 10th Ward, then immediately following that had a lesson with a less active, another coordination meeting, dinner, then a few more visits before we ended last night with nightly planning. Oi.
So, that was our week! :) Fun stuff, and I'm ready for this week! I've got some new personal goals for myself that I'm going to be working so much harder to fulfill this transfer! It's going to be awesome! I really want to try and read the Book of Mormon again this next transfer. I know that there's a lot of power that I can gain from reading the Book of Mormon. I know that there's power in it. Even when the day is absolutely gloomy and horrible, we can overcome as we draw on the power of the Book of Mormon. I hope everyone has a fantastic week!
Elder Conrad Hamilton