This week has been a very good week for my me and my companion. So with this past transfer our district has been changed up a little bit. We have a new District Leader and new missionaries we are with. I will definitely miss Elder Hacking. He is a legendary missionary. And he came straight outta Ephraim so he had to put a lot of work in to be a legend. My new district leader is Elder Sirstins. He came out with me. During district meeting we came up with a phrase that I think has a lot of meaning. It is: serve to love, love to serve. I think this is something we all should think about when we are in our daily lives.
Something super cool that happened this week was that I met one of my favorite football players of all-time. So as some of you know I was number 17 in High School football. Well this past weekend one of our part-member families took us to in-n-out burger and their was a guy their and he started talking to me and Elder Payne. He said he had a buddy who was Mormon and that he really looked up to. He said that his name was Lavell Hawkins and he had previously played in the NFL and the CFL. I told him I was from Utah and he explained that the buddy he was talking about was Austin Collie. He said that he played with him in the CFL and roomed with him and John Beck. I heard him, but I did not realize how close they were. As I was telling him how I used to watch him growing up first at my favorite college, BYU, and then in the NFL for my favorite team the Colts... He pulled his phone out and said that he was going to call him up. After that I was just freaking out like a little 5 year old at a candy store. Well... Long story short he got Collie to answer his phone and he talked to me for a little bit. He gave me some encouragement and asked how long I had been out. I told him how I used to watch him play and how he was a big role-model in my life. He was a solid guy... Super nice and was not stuck up like most ball players. He told to me to teach Lavell and that he would come out to the baptism. Haha. Well, Lavell is not in our area so we have given the info to the other Elders. But that was one of the best things that happened this week.
Investigators-wise we had a very good week. Andi is really progressing and I have a very cool story about our last lesson with her. We had a couple members go over to her house with us. Well, we started our lesson with her asking questions that were super deep. We could really tell that she has been studying and she really did know her stuff. We were able to answer all of her questions to the best of our ability and we made sure that we let her know that all of these things can be confirmed by God through prayer. The lesson went on and we taught her the Plan of Salvation. Once we were done teaching we gave her an invitation to read 2 Nephi 31. As soon as I said 2 Nephi she explained that she really liked 2 Nephi and that it was her favorite. She got emotional and started talking about a chapter that had really affected her. She brokenly quoted the scripture 2 Nephi 4:29 "Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions." I recognized this scripture because of the spiritual experience that had burned in my heart 10 months ago as I was preparing for a mission. I asked her if it was 2 Nephi 4 and she told me that it was. I was able to explain to her that that chapter had really affected me before my mission. Before she had even told us all of this she said she felt like Elder Payne and I were a specific companionship that she needed. This really built my testimony that we are here for a reason. My mission scripture is 2 Nephi 4:35 I know that if we ask God not amiss we can receive the help that we need. I love this gospel. Something really cool that she said also was that she felt like she already knew these things and that she is familiar with them. She is gifted. And God loves all of his children.
There is something else I want to share that happened this week that was really cool. We were at Ralph's house and his lessons have always been hard because he was always asking super hard questions. Well this particular time him and one of his friends were asking so many questions it almost felt like they were attacking our religion. Toward the end of the lesson he came out and told us that he was trying to help us by proving our religion wrong. Ralph is a really smart guy so we just testified and told him that what we taught is true. And they asked questions like, "Even with all of these holes you can believe?" I didn't want to try to fight them so we asked Ralph if he had read the Book of Mormon. He answered no. We asked him if he would read and pray about it. He replied that he trusted in his knowledge to know it wasn't true and that he didn't have to read it to know. We told him that we would have to back off and told him that our invitation still stands to him to read the Book of Mormon and he would come to know it is true. When we said that he was confused. I think he thought we were going to try to fight him with words. We didn't. We testified and told him the promises of faithful action. He then said "wait!" And told us that if we read Mark he would read any book inside of the Book of Mormon. We assigned him to read 3 Nephi. He accepted and now we are praying for him. In preach my gospel it talks about being backed up to a wall and just having to bear your testimony. This WORKS. Even when it feels like we have nothing to say and feel as if someone is out talking us; we can bear testimony and they cannot say anything. The Holy Ghost pricks our hearts and it is something we can never forget. I will never deny my faith. I might throw a fit and complain, but this church is true. I know it without a shadow of a doubt. If you have not had a spiritual witness of this gospel just look. Act in faith and God will show you things you would never expect. The Book of Mormon is true. As Elder Holland's Grandpa said, "No bad man could write a Book like that, and no good man could write a Book like that without being called of God."
I love the work