This blog chronicles Matthew Staib's progress as he serves an LDS mission over the course of twenty-four months.

You can also read his personal blog at different, defined.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Agency is a part of God's Plan

This week has been incredibly difficult. My faith has been tried and my spirits lowered. A few of our investigators are backing off. This has probably been the hardest week of my mission. People I love very much are destroying their own souls and ignoring the feelings of the Holy Ghost, and it breaks my heart to see it. I know that when someone won't listen to us, they/re actually rejecting Christ, but I can't help but feel I'm not doing enough on my part as a missionary. Still, agency is part of God's plan, and I have no power over that. I've really been praying hard for God to be with me at this time.

I'm not in a terribly talkative mood today. We're going to a museum as a district after I email, so I'm looking forward to that.

This past week, I got my new companion, Elder Smith. Elder Smith has two transfers left in his mission. He's from Alpine. We actually went to middle school together, so it's pretty crazy that we've ended up together. He's a good guy, and knows how to teach plainly and with love.

The mother and uncle of our recent convert have commited to baptism, so we're excited for them.

This past week, several of our investigators have backed away from learning about the gospel. People that I grew close to, people that I love are choosing to follow the ideas of Men more than doing the things we've been teaching them (reading, praying and coming to church). Our teaching pool has been diminished to near nothing.

We're counting the blessings we can during these times of spiritual and emotional struggle. It's amazing what small things can hold someone back from receiving the blessings of the everlasting gospel in one's life. All these things can be overcome by gaining a divine knowledge, just as Jesus said to Peter, "Blessed art thou,...for flesh and blood hath not made it known unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

I know how I can receive this divine knowledge, and anyone can have the same happen to them. They just have to make the choice to receive it. We don't force anyone to do anything. Just...bluh. We need to find new people to teach.

Please keep me in your prayers, praying that I might have people that are willing to hear the gospel, and that they won't be hit with the opinions of those that have no sacred boundaries. I'll try to continue to find the people who won't muddle up the plainness of the gospel with concerns that can be solved by simply going to church, praying, and reading the Book of Mormon.

-Elder Staib

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