So, let's get down to business. Package. I don't have any major requests besides those Jon Schmidt songs. Maybe one last jar of peanut butter would be good. Smooth preferably (Elder Lanham's not a big fan of crunchy).
Another week is in the books. It's been a busy one, but a good one as well.
We had an opportunity to proselyte this week with Elder Cieślak and Garcia. We contacted using the baptism approach. I spent most of the time working with Elder Cieślak. He was impressive in his missionary work. He's stepped up a lot to fulfill his calling as a District Leader. I've been impressed. As we taught about baptism, it was interesting to see reactions. Many people understood what we were teaching and willingly listened. I'd go so far as to say that they understood the benefits of baptism and why it would be important. Yet, when it came to to commit them to meet with us or take steps toward it, they backed out. It seemed so frustrating. All of them could see exactly what we were teaching. It's exactly what they need and everything they could want, and yet they don't reach out and take it. I've come to learn though that the Lord will give me experiences to teach me empathy and sympathy for those whom we are teaching or will teach. When a crisis takes place in our lives or conditions are such that we are prone to change, it becomes much easier for us to reshape our lives to be more in line with what God would have us do. It is much harder, however, to take someone who is comfortable with life and ask them to change. I guess what I'm getting at is I'm learning to have empathy and patience for these people. Those who are the elect and will hear the voice of the Good Shepherd are those who will listen to our message and change. As much as it saddens me that some will not listen, I feel that this baptism approach is much more effective and quickly weeds out those who are willing to change from those who aren't. I don't know that it will increase our finding numbers dramatically, but I do feel that it will change the quality of the people that we find and the lessons that we teach. That, in my book, makes all the difference in the world.
I've seen miracles happening as of late with my scripture study. I've been making an increased effort to have study daily, and I've seen the blessings come from it. I've started taking better notes of what I'm trying to learn that day and what scriptures apply to it. I've begun to find direction, counsel, and insights more frequently than before. I've learned on my mission that I have come to fall in love with the scriptures again and again. They're there to be discovered time and time again in our lives. I'm convinced of it.
I recently have been pondering the depth of the meaning of the resurrection of Christ. I read the talk from Elder Christofferson, and it was a powerful experience. Truly, Jesus is the Christ.
Really, I recommend that talk from Elder Christofferson. I love the logic he uses as he speaks. He seems to be a very well put together speaker and always covers all of his doctrinal bases. In talking about the resurrection though, I don't think I've ever really comprehended what that totally means for us all. Think about it. It means that we won't ever deal with pain, heartache, sorrow, loss, sickness, or anything ever again. When we really think about all that that means, it becomes and incredible gift that shows us just how much God loves each and every one of us. It's a powerful thing.
Our mission has been focusing a lot on repentance as of late. We have zone conferences coming up this week and we're teaching a lot about it, as well as implementing a new contacting style where we start by talking about baptism. As I've come to study and learn about repentance, including baptism, I've been filled with a sense of hope. There are uncomfortable parts to changing one's life, but in reality, the doctrine of repentance is what each and every soul yearns for. Who wouldn't want a chance for a new beginning, a fresh start, and a way to fix those things that we don't like about ourselves? At the end of the day, those who really understand what this gospel is and what it does are the ones who will accept it. Change will always be hard, and always has been, but without change, we could never become who God wishes us to be. I'm coming to understand just how perfectly this gospel answers the questions of every aching soul seeking for relief. I just read this morning in Mosiah 4:3 where it talks about having "peace of conscience." That's what repentance gives us. It's a beautiful message.
As for our schedule with zone conferences, we'll be in Katowice tomorrow, Warsaw Wednesday and Thursday, and Bydgoszcz on Friday. It will be fun to get out and see all of the missionaries. This will be my last go-around for zone conferences. It's sad, but I'm excited to see all of the missionaries and interact with them.
All in all, there's a lot of great things going on in the mission right now. We're excited to see where things go with Zone Conference and what we will be able to present. I'm enjoying the time I have in the mission field. It's going by quickly.
Yes, Mom, you did read correctly. We will be able to skype. I should have more details on that next week. Weird to think that that will happen in under two weeks. Life is flying by.
Anyway, I love you all. Emms, sorry about the ankle. Heath, glad you had fun at Prom. Hannah, keep Starszy away from the underwear! Dad, thanks for the study tips. Mom, you're the best mom in the world. Keep on keeping on.
The gospel's true!