Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31st Letter-It Was a Blessing to See Elder Raines

Hey family!
Well, it's been a crazy week. It all started off with the exchange to Kielce. It was a quick trip down there on Monday. I served with Elder F, who is a baseball player from the cottonwood area. He's a good kid and a solid missionary. It was fun to serve with him and be in Kielce. It's a really cool little city down in the south of Poland. Elder Lanham spent 8 months of his mission there, so it was cool to get to know the city a little bit.
It was a real blessing to see Elder Raines before he went home. I truly feel that the Lord sent him here to Poland for a lot of reasons, one of them being to help me. I was glad to be able to express that gratitude to him before he left. I highly doubt he knew just how much he influenced me and how much help he had provided for me. He's been an excellent missionary. I've been blessed to know him.
I'm learning more and more about revelation and the way in which the Spirit works. The more I learn, the more I realize just how willing the Lord is to give us answers that we seek. He only asks that we be aware of them. Elder Lanham and I had been talking for a while yesterday about whether or not we were budgeting our time wisely. We have been busy with many different things, and I wondered if we had been busy doing the things that matter most. I wanted to make sure that the Lord was pleased with the direction we had taken and the things we have done. Well, today, in the course of reading my emails, Dad sent me a quote from my setting-apart blessing that I had not remembered. It reads as follows:

"You will have the opportunity to be a trainer of other missionaries and by doing so you will double your effectiveness in moving forward the work of the Lord."

Reading that brought peace to my heart. I may not have been on the street as much while being an Assistant, but I feel strongly that the things which I have done have affected others for good. I hope they have done so. The Lord places us in certain positions in order to do what He would have us do. There's been a rhyme and a reason to everything I've learned and dealt with on my mission, and I think I'm beginning to see the fruits of that now.
It was a great experience to teach at MLC. The spirit was incredibly strong, and I felt blessed to be a part of it. Elder Lanham and I didn't have all the time we would have liked to be prepared, but it was obvious that the Lord helped us out. We had done all which we were capable of doing, and the Lord came in and made up the difference. I'm so grateful for the help He gives us and the things which He does for us when we are worthy and do our part.
I'm enjoying serving with Elder Lanham. It's a real pleasure. He's a stellar missionary, a good kid, and we're learning to get along well. We had a bump or two this week, as does every companionship, but we're stronger because of it.
We have a chance this Sunday to go and sing in a Catholic mass down in Łódź. There's a lot of great things going on down there right now, and a priest has invited the missionaries to sing a do a little bit of an introduction during mass. Kind of crazy. We're trying to put together a dream team choir for the event, so it's been pretty fun. We won't really get a chance to see General Conference live because of that, but we're planning on watching, so don't worry. I'm excited to see what all the general authorities have to say. Conference is always a blessing. I hope you all watch as well down in Arizona!
Hopefully you'll be able to get in touch with Elder Raines and meet him before I come home. He and I never served around each other all that extensively, but we grew to be great friends. He's a solid kid, and I look up to him a lot.
Anyway, apart from that, I've got to run. I love and miss you all. Emms, good work in track! Run the 400!
Heath, great pics. Enjoy spring break! We're gonna be neighbors!
Hannah bear, keep Starszy company for me.
Mom, thanks for the schedule. I've got the best mom ever!
Dad, thanks for your inspiration!
From poland with love,
Elder Vernon
Emergency exchange in Kielce
Elders Lanham, Vernon and Raines

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