The library was closed on Monday, due to Columbus "discovering" America 500-ish years ago. Tuesday was District meetings, and I was on an exchange. I went to the other Elder's area, and they had a ba-jillion appointments set up (which was awesome!) Today just happens to be the only day that's available.
I just want to start out by saying: I LOVE Mt. Vernon! It is so awesome here, I can hardly drink it all in at once (one reason why it's so hard to drink it all in at once is because if you think about it, you can't really drink an area). The ward is supportive of the missionaries - more so than any other area I've served in. We actually have a dinner for every night of this week! I thought that was just a myth! ;) #firstworldproblems.
Not only do the members love feeding us, they love to be spiritually fed by us. The Stake President sent out an Email to all of the Bishops, giving orders to have everyone in their Ward Council, the High Council, and the Stake Council to be taught three, 15 minute lessons in a period of 3 weeks by the missionaries. Wow!
This is such a unique opportunity, and we are taking advantage of it. My new companion (his name is Elder White, BTDubbs), has already called the Stake President himself (he lives in our ward), and scheduled a time to teach him and his family one of the discussions. We taught the Bishop, and our Ward Mission Leader one of the three discussions this past week, too. We are hoping to impress and spark the leadership in our ward first, so it will trickle down to the rest of the ward members.
Last transfer, Elder White and his last companion had 10 people on date to be baptized. 10! They were teaching 2 families, and a couple of individuals. Since then, 8 of them have fallen off, so we're kinda starting at ground zero as far as the teaching pool goes.
BUT! There is still hope.
I had a really cool experience today during my studies that I want to share with you. I was reading in Preach My Gospel, Chapter 6, under the section "Charity and Love." I think it's in the last paragraph where it says something like, "As you pray with 'all the energy of heart,' (Moroni 7:48) and do righteous works, then..." then it lists a lot of amazing promised blessings, like, "you will feel love for all men, especially for those among whom you labor," "you will recognize everyone's potential to become like God, and desire their salvation..." Just amazing things like that.
I thought it was a simple thing to just pray for charity and look for opportunities to serve others! I'm already set apart full-time to do just that, I may as well take it seriously. This is my goal for the transfer! I want to experience all of these blessings, because I can't get enough of what Heavenly Father is already giving me!
So I got on my knees and tried my best to pray with sincerity and honesty for charity. I also prayed for opportunities to serve others and the sensitivity to recognize when those moments arise. And guess what happened?
That's right, I saw an opportunity! Already! It only took about... 2 hours for God to answer that prayer. Crazy!
There's a crazy rainstorm going on right now, and it's knocked down a bunch of branches and sent leaves in every nook and cranny in Mt. Vernon. There was an old man with a cane struggling to get out of his car, and as he stepped out, he dropped a handful of pills, and keys on the cold, wet ground. It was raining pretty heavily, and he was struggling to bend down to pick up the discarded objects.
We were sitting in our car, waiting to pick up some other Elders to come to the library to Email when we saw this. I told Elder White that we should go help him, so we flipped on the hazards (A.K.A. 'park anywhere lights,' in Virginia), and ran outsides to help him out.
It was so AWESOME to see that God does answer prayers! He really truly does, and he wants us to help each other come closer to Him. One tremendous way to do that is to pray for opportunities to bring someone closer to Christ, DAILY. Will you each please pray for an opportunity to bring someone closer to Christ every day? I know God will answer that prayer in a jiffy. It is an easy way to participate in the Hastening of the work, and it will bring you peace and joy such as you've never felt before. I know that to be true!
I love you all! Thank you for the support and prayers.
Oh! P.S. some other sweet news, Elder White and I are going to be training a new missionary together! :D how sweet is that?! He is a Visa waiter, and we don't know how long he'll be here, but we pick him up today at 6 o'clock.
It's pretty funny - all of my trainee's will be in our zone at the same time. Elder Davis (he is serving as a DL, so we can go on an exchange! :D) and Elder Grow are in the Mt. Vernon zone!