December 1, 2012
What a week. The reality of the short amount of time I have left is setting in. In our zone leader council meeting yesterday, 4 departing missionaries closed the meeting with their testimonies. I, of course, was one of them. I remember so clearly walking into the room in which we were having our meeting two years ago for my arrival orientation. It was bittersweet to reflect upon how much has happened and the wonderful changes that have taken place in my life and in my heart. A very meaningful scripture to me personally, and the scripture that is on my missionary plaque, is Moroni10:32 - "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ...". This is what I have experienced, I have felt His grace, and I know of his divinity and reality. Over the past several weeks, there have had quiet moments at the end of a day when all the hustling, work, and stress is put to rest. In these instances, I have been overwhelmed almost to the consuming of my strength with peace and fulfillment from the effort I have put into my mission. The Lord has confirmed to me that I have done my best. I would not trade this experience for anything. I love my Savior and King! I am forever grateful for his ever outstretched arm of love that is extended towards me.
Most of the past two weeks have been spent in the office in preparation for zone leader council and for the transfer next week. Our meeting with the zone leaders went very, very well. Our instruction was focused on the principle that true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. We demonstrated how using the baptismal interview questions in our teaching can help our investigators prepare for baptism in a more sure manner. The sprit was present and all in attendance took insights back for their zones. The meeting was a great success! This week is go go go for zone conferences in the second week of December. Because of the transfer next week, our zone conference instruction and agenda must be finalized. We're working on this all week until next Friday when we pick up the new assistant that will replace me. We'll show him the ropes, hit the office for transfer prep, do the incoming/departing missionary program, and head straight for the Christmas zone conference tour the next week. After that, things come to an abrupt end as I'll be home less than 24 hours after conducting zone conferences. I am at peace and am just as focused as I have ever been. This is a gift from the Lord. I feel the spirit and am at peace with what is happening.
Our proselyting area is continuing to thrive! Through our responsibilities, we make an effort to have one or two scheduled appointments a day with investigators. We are teaching a girl who is a referral from a girl in our ward. The girl is the daughter of one of the bishops in Brampton and has a strong background and testimony. We are able to teach her in the ideal venue - in a strong member’s home surrounded by family. She is coming along, working on overcoming things like the word of wisdom, and is slowly gaining a spiritual testimony through reading the Book of Mormon and developing a habit of daily prayer. Her change is noticeable. She has a date for December 9th, but it will probably need to be moved back. She will be baptized in the coming weeks or months.
We are also teaching a great man. He moved from St. Lucia to Toronto about 6 months ago for work. He is 7th day Adventist with dormant habits of church attendance, prayer, and a clean living lifestyle. He came to church with a friend last week, and Elder Sommerfeldt and I were able to teach him the other day with President Scott. We had a powerful lesson on the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. At one point in our lesson we asked him "What are you willing to do to follow Jesus Christ, and in turn experience the blessings of the Atonement?" He responded that he was willing to quit partying and be baptized! It was a picture perfect, spiritually powerful lesson. He is preparing for baptism on December 9th as well.
The man who was baptized last week will be confirmed tomorrow. He is completely active and attends all church activities and in doing everything a recent convert should be doing. He will receive the Aaronic Priesthood on the 9th of December, and will hopefully attend the temple soon to participate in baptisms for the dead.
I am happy. Things are wonderful now. I love the Savior and His matchless life and love that He shows us. I desire through feeling His love, to continually invite others to come unto Christ for the remainder of my life. Whether it is through magnifying my calling as a home teacher or in the ranks of Priesthood leadership, my determination to serve Him to the end will not change.