Dear Family and Friends,
I'm just going to jump right in.
Yesterday was P-Day, and we had a district activity at the chapel in our district leader's area. All the chapels here are surrounded by a nice big fence, with heavy gates and a motion-sensing alarm on the building. We were in the chapel for the activity, which was supposed to be cook food and watch a movie. Then, the power went out. On this particular chapel, the gate is electric, opened and closed by a key fob. Sadly, when the power is out, electric gates really don't do much good. This gate has a smaller door-sized gate in it, but we didn't have the key to it. We had to leave, so this meant that I had to learn a new skill: how to climb a chainlink fence. I climbed up, and made it safely to the ledge near the fence. Then, I climbed down. Unfortunately, this didn't go quite so well. I made it down the fence, but the fence is on top of a short wall, but I thought the wall was a little shorter than it actually is, and I fell. I'm a little scraped up on my arms and legs, and I got a light sprain in my right ankle. Fortunately, after walking a lot yesterday after we got back, my ankle is back at about 95% to normal. It was hard, but I kept up with my companion for most of the afternoon. I was reminded of the Doctrine and Covenants, section 84, the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood, where it says ye shall be sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of your bodies. I am very thankful for this. God has blessed me with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, so I didn't feel down all day. Sure, I was limping for a little while, but I didn't let that stop me. It was one of the best days of my mission so far.
And the good news through it all, was that I got to have some extra time to practice the piano!
That was really the biggest event of the week.
My companion is awesome. He's pushing me in the right direction. He's pushing hard, but with love. He tells me when I'm progressing well, and when I need to fix something. We get along really well! He has told me several times that he's here to help me succeed, and I love that. His new energy and faith has already worked wonders in the area. Our weekly goal in the mission is to find 10 new investigators. Last week, we found 10 in one day, with 19 in the entire week!
Also, I've been reading in Doctrine and Covenants some. Section 31 is all about the blessings of missionary work, and what one has to do to receive them. It's really awesome, and it just reminded me that I have to keep trying harder. I love the work. I love the people.
We're also trying to help the members more. There are a LOT of less-actives or inactives in our area. More than those who come to church weekly, and that's around 100. We're trying to find them, and get them back to church, and cultivate more love between the active members as well. The Branch President, Pres. Mirón, is with us 100%, and we're trying to work with him and the rest of the leadership to get this area back to be a ward. We're on the border, we just need a little more Priesthood and we're there!
This week, I would like to share a spiritual thought as well. I would like to talk about love. Love for your fellow men, love for any random person you meet. Yes, sometimes it's hard to love. Sometimes someone's habits just irk you, or you don't like the way they talk or whatever, but I can tell you that the Lord can change hearts. I've been out here in the mission less than 6 months, and in the Field less than 4, and I already feel that I've changed. I still have a long way to go in humility and patience, but I know that the blessings will come as I try to forget myself and work for these people. As stated in Mosiah 2:17 "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God." Service is also a great way to develop love for someone. Serve them, and you will love them. Service doesn't have to be anything big, either. Maybe it's just a smile or making a bed, but it makes a difference. And remember, when you're in the service of your God, he will bless you. He loves you, and he wants to bless you. He just wants to see a little faith, and he wants you to ask in prayer, and he will bless you.
I love you all. As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
They have made and continue to make a big difference. Thank you.
Yours in the faith,
Elder Nicholas Banks