Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 - Email from Elder Bezas

Well, hi there!

Shout out to Dad! I give you a hearty virtual hug and a high five and a thumbs up and a fist bump. Oh yeah. :) I love you Dad! You are a great great example to me. Thanks for being there for me!

So this week was just pretty much awesome!

So Elder Daley, my companion was just made District Leader with this new transfer which starts today! So they normally keep a "golden" as they like to call them in the PPM (Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission) or "greenie" with their trainer or "father" for at least two transfers unless the trainer is going home after the first or some other unusual circumstance. President Schaefermeyer doesn't view trainers as a position to give to someone who is struggling, in which case a calling as a trainer might help them straighten out. He knows that the start of anything sets a precedence for the rest of the journey, and as such only chooses exemplary missionaries as trainers. This reflects very well on Elder Daley. So yeah.

So I'm realizing I start off a lot of my paragraphs with the word "so". Oh, well. So trek is coming up, eh? That's sweet, sis! I know it'll take some major effort, but try to be grateful for this opportunity! I wish I had been able to do something like that while I was younger, but alas, it was not to be. You can do this! Philippians 4:13! I'll write you a letter this week.

Little bro, I loved the knock knock jokes! :) You rock! So you been golfing with Dad lately? How's that going?

So anything fun planned for your bday? Y'all do anything cool for Memorial Day?

So when is Mom done with Seminary? Or is she already? You know already whether you're doing it next year?

So I have decided that my mission is all about Hope. Hope through Christ. All things are possible because of Christ. He is my salvation. He gives me the strength to endure/enjoy my mission. He gives me hope for the future beyond my mission. I want to share this hope with those I come in contact with. I love the story in Mosiah 24. They found deliverance from their great trials through Christ. Christ delivered them, as He can deliver us from ours in day-to-day life. Hope and faith in Christ lead us to live lives in closer accordance with God's will.

So something I learned from my leaders this week on exchanges was the importance of setting goals. I am in the process of deciding what my personal goals are for the duration of my mission.

I'm getting to a point where I feel so excited about sharing the gospel. I'm learning day by day to let go of my fear and open my mouth, with faith that God will help me know what to say. There is a MTC devotional in which Elder Bednar spoke about knowing the difference between promptings from the Spirit and our own thoughts. He said that's a question that he's asked constantly by missionaries. His suggestion? Don't worry about it! He said that emphatically. His suggestion. Focus on being a good boy or good girl, keeping the commandments and our covenants we have made with God, and we'll find that a majority of our thoughts will be promptings from the Spirit, b/c we are more in tune with Him. I love that! So cool. It's just the putting it into practice bit that's harder.

So with one of our investigators, there was a period where the missionaries stopped meeting with him, but a different set caught back up with him, and Elder Daley and I have been teaching him. It's amazing to see the change in him and how he is now willing and feels more comfortable praying with us. This last week, as we drove up to his place, I had the thought that we might consider committing him to baptism, but I thought, Eh, we didn't discuss it before hand. We'll do that next time. (Silly Paul) So we were in there meeting with him, and Elder Daley committed him to baptism. And our investigator simply said Yes. He still has some steps to go in furthering his faith and testimony, but it is amazing to see his willingness. We prepare all the time for those who say no to that commitment, so I was caught by surprise when he just said yes. We'll still have to help him with concerns he has, such as coming to church. But it's still just great to see how Christ can take us and make us into so much more.

I love you all! I'll write ya soon.

"Can't wait. LOL. Smiley face."

Elder Bezas