This week has been... all up-and-downy.
Let me just get the sludge outta the way. One of the members of the branch doesn't want to be a member of the church any more. He says there are things he notices that bother him. I have my own personal thoughts on his reasons, but for now, he is not in a good place. We'll try what we can to show him love no matter what.
Now, about the broadcast. That was so cool! I'm glad they saved everything onto a single website, or else I wouldn't remember it all. But we got some exciting announcements! Digital missionaries are on the rise, both on part of the full-time missionaries and the members. The brethren are right; door-knocking provides just the opposite affect nowadays. I don't know how many times I've knocked on a door and people look kinda scared when we say, "Can we come in and leave a blessing on your home?"
Everyone's on edge these days. There were some excellent stories shared, though. I've seen many similar examples of members reaching out in my mission. One things is for sure: as members more actively show love for investigators, less-actives or recent converts, those people want to stay. And as they stay, they become more solid as they build their faith and foundation on Christ. Member work is half the work.
For example, John, Jennifer and Creanne are very much loved by our branch. Even though they can't make it most Sundays, they come to the activities, and anywhere these three are, the members smile and chat with them. They have found a home here in the branch.
It's about the middle of the transfer, isn't it? I realized a short while ago that at the end of this transfer, I will have as much time as Elder Whetten did when I first got together with him. That's unnerving. Elder Kowalk goes home at the end of this transfer, too. I saw him for possibly the last time this past week. Last time until I get home, anyway. I love that kid. And then Elder Owen and Elder Rich, two of my other friends, leave the transfer after that... and then me. It's tough, having mostly senior companions. Many of my companions are home now. This must be what death feels like, I think? Heh, dunno.
Can I brag for a bit? Kinda like an Ammon brag? Brianna. She's as golden a recent convert as JT and Blake are. She'll be moving back to Fort Smith soon, probably around the same time I (might) leave Pocahontas at the end of the transfer, but it has been such a delight seeing her faith and testimony grow. She's been a great ally in trying to bring members back, and she loves to come with us to teach John, Jennifer and Creanne and others. I'm excited for her to return to Fort Smith where her small children are. In short, she, along with other converts on my mission, fulfill this scripture given by Paul (1 Thes. 2:13, 19-20):
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his acoming?
20 For ye are our glory and joy.
Love y'all! Hope you're having a good summer. Oh, let me finally include a cool poem that was read to us in church a couple weeks ago.
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No. Her spirit is whole and her body is only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No. I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me.
God said, Ah, finally you have the idea.