Sunday, December 22, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hey family!

How is everyone? Sounds like a little busy but that’s good. I can’t believe its thanksgiving this week. It doesn’t seem as weird to me as it did last year. I won’t be celebrating it but it’s the last one I will miss. It doesn’t actually feel like thanksgiving to me either. And I am seeing tons of Christmas stuff but it hasn’t quite hit me yet that is almost Christmastime. I think part of me doesn’t want to admit that the year is going to end; it’s my only full year in the mission. And in the next one I have to come home.

I got to go on splits this week to my old ward here in Irapuato. I was a little bummed because only one of my converts was there, but he told me his family is doing well and I saw the family of one of the other ones and she is doing good too. But I did get to see a lot of the people that we worked with while I was in the area. It was super fun to see them again. The funny part was when I arrived at their houses one of the first things they asked was how much time I had left to go home. I told them I still had a lot left but the more I thought about it the time is really flying. And it kind of scares me, the thought of going home. I think it’s going to be more or less the same as leaving. Exciting, but really scary, and I won’t really know what to expect. But the good part is that I don’t have to worry about that as long as I am here. And it’s helped me stay motivated to finish out strong the more that people tell me that “voy de salida”, or I’m "on the downhill".

Today we went to OfficeMax and we saw some people from the States. It was really funny because I was actually kind of nervous that they would talk to me because I know my English is suffering and they spoke it normally. My comp was definitely making fun of me.

Anyway this week went pretty well. We still didn’t get the people we thought were going to church to go. But we have one investigator that just showed up by himself last week and went this week too, whose name is Jorge. He is really awesome, he has gone through some super rough stuff in his life and he is trying to put it back in order again. I think he has like 45 years. He has a baptismal date for the 21 of December. It was kind of cool to see that even in the people we really wanted to go didn’t that the Lord was blessing us. But I am not content because I’m sick of just having 1 or 2 people that are preparing for baptism. I want to have more, and families preparing. And the frustrating part is that we are teaching 3 really good families, we just haven’t got them to church yet. So we are looking at things we can change so that our circumstances change. But meanwhile I think we are learning a good deal of patience.

Anyway we are working hard and I am happy to be working with Jorge. He is really humble and willing to change and be a better and different person. It inspires me when people are willing to make that change in their life, and motivates me to find more people like that. 

Well I have been thinking a lot this week about our role as missionaries, as I read the articles about hastening the work and watch the videos they have given to us as missionaries. The more I read the more I realize the work has so much less to do with us (the full time missionaries) than the members, and even we, think. We are only a tool given to the ward to teach the people they find and prepare. But so many times it works the other way around. The members think that they are a tool the missionaries use to help the investigators. I know it’s not like that. The part the members play is the most important and sometimes the hardest. But the church will not progress only by the pure incentive on the missionaries’ part, the members have to take incentive. 

So I want to invite each one of you who reads my letter this week to find someone or a family and prepare them, and invite them to hear the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of the time we complicate our job. But in Doctrine and Covenants 100 verse 5 it says "Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;" All we have to do is open our mouth, and we have the promise that we will not be confounded. It’s so much easier than we make it, we just have to trust in the lord and speak the thoughts he will put in to our mind in the precise moment.

So I challenge you to open your mouth and speak. To share the gospel with at least one person before this year ends.

I love and miss you all

Elder Utley

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