Hey everyone (:
I cannot believe that the day has finally come. June 17! Jackson is heading out tomorrow!!! I am so beyond proud of you Jackson. You are going to be such an incredible missionary. Listening to your farewell talk today just brought me to tears. You're right, that farewell talk is going down in the record books (; You have grown in a way that I could have never imagined. You have truly become a man over the past year. I know that you are going to continue to grow and that you are going to bless so many lives. You have blessed my life in a way that I can't ever express. Thank you for the example that you are to me, to our family, and to all those around you. I know that you are going exactly where the Lord needs you. Work hard, do your very best, and remember how much the Lord loves you. He is always going to be by your side.
What a perfect week it was. No, I'll be honest, the week started out very difficult. The past month, I feel, has been very difficult. It's been hard to teach, find new people, help our investigators progress and find those who are truly ready for the gospel. Baptisms were falling through left and right. But I felt that I was following the Spirit. I felt that I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do, even though it seemed as if nothing was working out. I felt confused. I didn't understand why things were going so slowly when I was working so hard and doing the things that He would have me do. I prayed so much this past month so that the Lord would give me the strength I needed to keep going, to continue to trust in Him and do the things that He would have me do.
So I learned a lesson of patience. Sometimes we work and we work and nothing goes the way we want it to go. Sometimes we just become frustrating, wanting things to go according to OUR plans and OUR desires. I'm guilty. It was a predominant thought in my mind this month. I knew the Lord was going to bless us because of the work that we were doing, but I wanted immediate results. I wanted to see the fruits of our labors immediately. I was worried about my own will far above the will of the Father. So we decided that we needed to change and do something else. So we fasted. We didn't know what else we could have done. So we fasted that we would be able to figure out what the Lord would have us do.
In my heart, I was praying and fasting for three investigators specifically that are planning on getting baptized this month. But yesterday, we went and visited another investigator, Mauricio, whose baptism fell through a month ago. And, because of our fast and our trust in the Lord, he has finally decided that he is going to get baptized on Saturday! I can't believe it! I walked out of that lesson with absolute tears in my eyes, thanking Heavenly Father for being so good to us.
I feel that I grew so much this week. I was able to see the fruits of my labors. It wasn't immediate. It took time and it took patience. But it came. It always comes. And it always comes in a way that we don't expect. Heavenly Father blessed those three investigators that I was fasting for on Saturday and also blessed Mauricio. He always gives back more than we ask for. He is so good to us. I was able to trust in the Lord and show Him how much I truly love Him and am dedicated to Him. I want to do as He would have me do. I will continue to do as He would have me do every single day for the rest of my life. I know that it is the only way that leads to happiness.
I love you all so much. I feel so blessed every single day for the opportunity that I have to be serving the Lord right now. I've never been so happy in my life. And I owe it all to Him. I owe everything I have to Him. And this service that I am giving is the very least that I could do.
I love you. I hope you all have such a great week (: Stay strong family! This week is going to be rough sending off Jackson, but just remember that he is going to be a part of the greatest work in the world (: He is going to change lives, including his own. I can't wait to hear all about Elder Card and the miracles that he is going to see. I'll see you in two more years buddy. I love you!