MAN. This week. Talk about sweatin' up a storm.
On Monday this past week, I was asked by the branch president to give a talk in church. After preparing the night before and the morning of my talk, I managed to sweat and stagger for 20 minutes as I spoke on missionary work and the gospel we are to share with the world, as well as how to find out its truthfulness. I kept the notes from my talk to remember the moment. I'll just say that it didn't feel like it was me giving the talk. The Spirit was there, and I think I'd compare the boldness of my speech to Paul towards the end of Acts.
There was a Stake high councilman who spoke after me, but he only had about 15 minutes to speak. I didn't realize so much time had passed. I was just pouring my heart out over that pulpit. I noticed that was the first time I've ever held on to the sides of a pulpit. Weird fact, but true. Maybe that's the transition to becoming a good speaker: grabbin' that pulpit.
Later that evening, we were to have a cottage meeting at a member's home. Cottage meetings are like firesides, but they're open for everyone to come, both members and investigators alike. Not too many investigators showed up, but I would still say the event was a success.
Elder Bigelow and I prepared a spiritual thought on temples, using clips from the films "Between Heaven and Earth" and "Mountain of the Lord". If I can just say really quick, "Mountain of the Lord" is my favorite church history movie ever. Hands down. I can't believe I hadn't seen it before my mission. Anyway, we used a combination of movie clips and the Socratic method, i.e., asking questions and having discussions, to give everyone a chance to share their temple experiences with everyone else. It was wonderful.
I'm really excited for this upcoming weekend. I'm having a combined birthday party with a recent convert in the eveining, and earlier that day is the branch's turnk-or-treat party. We've got candy to help out. It'll be a great day. The only downside I can see is that I'll be 21. Bluh... that's so weird... I still feel (and look) 18.
The missionary work itself has been sluggish. There aren't any excuses I can give for it. I desperately need to revitalize my hopes, really. But that'll all come with time. For now, I need to serve and love the people here in West Memphis, and let the Spirit guide me to those that need the gospel.
I love you guys. Thanks for all you've done for me. My mission has changed me. There's no doubt about it. You'll see.