Sunday, December 22, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey Family

Sounds like you all had a great week. Mary seems to be going on lots of dates these days. And Coop has a tournament this weekend? Tell Brooklyn hi for me and thanks for sending her emails with moms. Mom told me that she had midterms already; I can’t believe that this month has passed so fast. We are almost in December! Dad I still haven’t gotten a picture of the beard!

Well this week was interesting. It was really busy but we didn’t accomplish a whole lot in the area... On Tuesday we had a 4 hour zone conference... super long, but it was good I think I learned a lot that I can start applying in my area. On Wednesday we had interviews with the mission president, which went well, but they took up the whole morning. And Thursday my comp hit his head on a piece of metal that was sticking out of the wall in the street, and he cut his head open pretty bad. So we were in the hospital the whole day. And the next day (Friday) we had the interview of Manuel and had to go to the hospital again to fill out all the paper work. It was a mess. And one of the streets in one of the neighborhoods in our area has a fair amount of blood! They put one giant stitch in him that is like an inch and a half long. I think they should have put 3, but it worked. It wasn’t long but the cut was deep and that was the problem. It was interesting. But he is doing good now, except for the fact that they cut his hair down to almost nothing and his is really self-conscious about it.

Anyway we had Manuel’s baptism on Saturday and it was a mess getting it all set up (as normal.) No one in the ward wanted to help us with anything (again normal...).  But, we finally got everything figured out and the baptism went really good. The bishop baptized him and I will send a picture.

My favorite part of the baptism is that we assigned Manuel to give his testimony after the ordinance. He talked about how he couldn’t share it all in a few minutes, but that his whole life he had been looking for the truth going from church to church and reading the bible. But nothing ever filled the emptiness in his heart or answered the questions that he had. And he said that the emptiness was filled and the questions answered as he found the church. And that the Book of Mormon helps him understand all of the questions he had. It was a really powerful testimony. And he says he is going to go on a mission in a year!

So that was the highlight of the week. We also put 5 baptismal dates but the people didn’t go to church so they all fell through. I am getting a little frustrated with people telling us that they will go and then they don’t come through on the commitment. But I guess that’s our work as missionaries. I hope for this week we will be able to help them get there. 

I have been reflecting a little on the Book of Mormon and the simple truths of the gospel. It is true that the Book of Mormon answers all the questions of the soul. And we have it right in front of us but sometimes we don’t take the time to read it. I have learned a lot from Manuel, more than any other investigator I think. He has amazed me how he takes those simple truths and applies them so quickly and without doubt. He knows God will complete his promises. And then he opens his mouth and isn’t afraid to share what he knows. Even before he was baptized he came with us on visits and shared his testimony.

We should never be afraid to share the simple truths that we know. And we should trust in the promise that the Lord has given us that we will be blessed for opening our mouths and sharing what we know, and that we will not be confounded before men. I love the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 58:31 that says:  “Who am I, saith the Lord, to have promised and not fulfilled".  I know He cannot make a promise and not complete it. When we feel like the Lord is not completing a promise we should first look at ourselves and see if we are not doing our part. And second have patience because the Lord’s time is not our time.

Have a fantastic week! I love and miss you all

Elder Utley

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