I can't get over how fast time is going. I've been out almost 7.5 months already...and it's September?! The weather is finally starting to go down a bit, I'm ready to start wearing sweaters again. Or for it at least to be Fall!
So it sounds like Jesse had a pretty awesome birthday! HE GOT A PHONE?! Hahahahahaha that's trouble. But it will also be a blessing. What kind of phone did he get? He wanted a flip phone right? And he already knows how to text? I can't wait to text him all the time when I am back home. I can't believe he is 15 either. I'm worried he'll be bigger than me when I get back.
Well not a lot going on this week until the last few days. Eliza, our less-active who was claimed reactivated and then disappeared, is making a real comeback! We met with her almost every day this past week, just helping her to build upon her testimony and Gospel knowledge. So that has been really neat to see her have that drive to learn again! She said she has no desire for coffee OR tea anymore which is awesome, and she is consistently coming to church again! Sometimes we just meet up with her to do scripture study and talk about Christ's miracles. She has been doing her own studies on the temple grounds because she knows that Satan has no influence on her there.
We picked up a new investigator this week! His name is Josh and he just had a friend baptized about 2 weeks ago in a different ward. He is extremely knowledgeable and just wants to turn his life around. We met him at the park and gave the first discussion. Everything clicked for him and he's been reading the Book of Mormon! He was asking all kinds of questions about Nephi and said there was one verse that just made him "feel taller" in his own words. He is date to be baptized the 21st of this month! Hopefully I am around for it, as transfers are in a week. Eek!
I am SO sore from this weekend. Pretty crazy. We had the chance to do a ton of service! we helped a n old family move who had been living in this house for 40+ years. We filled an entire semi, and they had probably 5000 years of food storage (maybe an exaggeration). But there was so much to move out. morning we had the opportunity to plant flowers and various other plants at the temple! There is probably no better way to start a morning, than to make a Temple even more beautiful. I'm learning more and more about my companion Elder Brisco. We were planting pink cabbage, and the soil was really wet. I was digging the holes and asked if he could plant and fill them. His reply was, "With what?" Your hands Elder Brisco. Your hands. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty at all, so we literally had to switch jobs.
night was RIDICULOUS. An enormous storm hit. 75mph wind, 3" of nickel sized hail, 24hr power outage, heavy rain, and 30 ft tree limbs everywhere! We went in the street where there was a full size blow-up swimming pool filled with hail that we ha to dumb out so that people could drive through (while it's hailing still). The sister missionaries living about 8 miles away called us at asking if we could help them move furniture and de-flood the basement of the member home they live at! They live in 8000 square foot homes (not kidding). So we head over there and it is down pouring. We get to these homes and have to tear out their brand new carpet and floor padding, take it upstairs, throw it out, and then use shop-vac's to suck up the 1" high water still on the ground. Crazy! We were up till helping these people and then went home. The next day, Billings looked post-apocalyptic. Mudslides, full size boulders in the streets, hail covered streets, cement walls broken up, tree limbs...it was awful. So President told us to all go to our sacrament meetings, but then go out and give service to everyone. We went to a home where the basement windows were shattered and the floor was covered in thick mud, hail and water. We shoveled all of it into trash cans and carried them out. There were probably 20 of us working on this for about 4 hours. The basement wasn't done yet, so there were probably 100 sheets of sheet-rock that got ruined. So we cut them into pieces, and had an assembly line going out the window and up outside. Such a mess, I felt so bad. So this next week we will be doing service non-stop! It really was a small natural disaster, I have never seen a worse storm.
"I have noted that most Revelation to the children of God comes when they are on the move, not when they are sitting back in their habitations waiting for the Lord to tell them the first step to take." - Dallin H Oaks
In institute this last week, we talked about Nephi and Laban. If God is all powerful, why did he require Nephi to slay Laban? There is a number of reasons. But notice, that Nephi, tried twice a plan of his own. They cast lots and just asked...almost died. They offered all their worldly possessions, almost died. Then Nephi left without "knowing beforehand what (he) should do." He did all he knew how, and then just went, knowing that God would make it happen because he tried everything he could. Also, Nephi did not want to slay Laban. His conscience was fighting with what the Spirit told him to do. The Spirit had to tell him THREE times to do it. Nephi had met his Abrahamic sacrifice. We will also have to do so eventually.
"We cannot expect the blessings of Abraham until we have experienced faith like Abraham."
Have a great week! Love you all!