I read my mom's letter just before I wrote this letter to you all. It somehow caused me to reflect how much time really flies by. My home ward is getting 2 of it's missionaries back after their few years of service. The Lord smiles upon our diligence in sharing the gospel and asking for the call to serve. It also made me realize how short our probationary state is compared to the whole spectrum of our eternity before and after this life. The title, "Called to Serve", also reminded me of what the city of Lodi is doing this month. If any of you are aware, California has many kinds of gangs in every corner. Lodi decided to do something about it. Nothing is official, but a member in our ward said that Lodi is going to do something about trying to fix the problem of the gangs and shootings in Lodi. One happened last week over by Jenny's place. I can't remember if I shared this or not, but she told us that one day, when it was going to go down, she was going to take the long way home, which she never does. She then learned that she was protected by the spirit. These gangs are a problem, and a lot of the Christian church's are coming together to 'find Christianity in all homes.' I got thinking about "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." As members of the church, the Lord has called us to serve our community and share this wonderful document. I always love it when I see the Family Proclamation by the front door so as soon as you walk inside you see how important the family really is in that home.
At church, during Fast and testimony meeting, a member got up and said, "Imagine what it would have been like to hear Elohim say to his son Jehovah, it's time. Then imagine what Jehovah was thinking on what was about to happen. They were Gods of perfect knowledge. He knew he would be rejected and crucified, but he couldn't imagine the immense pain in body because he didn't have one at the time." That really stuck out to me. He was so profound when he said it too. Jesus Christ prepared himself from the foundation of the world and communicated his coming for nearly 4000 years since Adam came to be. That's 4000 years to prepare yourself for a 34 year testing period and the final atonement. That is truly a small moment, but those small moments can be so hard. Naturally, our bodies can endure almost anything and can easily adapt to change. We all can get through hard things if we realize that we truly are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. The scriptures have stated, "Be still, and know that I am God."
To move on, I will talk to you a little bit about my exchange with Elder Sitani. Sadly, I totally forgot to get a picture of it. He is Tongan and has been to a lot of places. He was born in New Zealand and moved between Tonga and New Zealand for many years. His family then moved to Sacramento and now are living in Utah. It's funny that he got called to the Modesto Mission being so close to his former home in Sacramento. He is very social and super eager to share the gospel. By the way, he's been out for 3 weeks tomorrow. Oddly, our exchange lasted for 2 days straight. Elder Wardle went down to Modesto to talk to President Palmer for a new temple recommend. That only lasted for 2 minutes. After that, he and Elder Feltman felt that they should attend some of the meetings that were going on at the mission office. After that, they left for Lodi and when they got to Ripon they felt they needed to turn around, so they did. They also took 40 minutes driving around Modesto trying to find a good place to eat. They then got back to the office and they all gave them odd looks and said, "Why are you back here?" They asked themselves the same question. They asked president and the assistants, and nothing. After waiting for a while, Elder Moore bursts into the mission office doors and said, "I know why here here!" They were needed to pick up a broken down car in Lodi to bring it to Modesto. Then the Spanish sisters car in our Zone got broken into and had the credit card and their GPS stolen while they went out walking in the morning. After all that, they ate dinner in Stockton and got back here at 8:30 and we exchanged back. Talk about a long story on their side.
On my side of the story, as soon as Elder Wardle left, we left too for 3 appointments and dinner in between. We kept busy all that night till the next day. We really brought in the spirit to all those houses and had really good lessons. I will just mention one. That was with Gary. He's our new investigator from a year ago with other missionaries. He has been dealing with family struggles and we came by just at the right time. We got him paired up with one of our members, JP Tingey. They both love motorcycles, so they became friends instantly. We taught him the restoration, and then I threw him off by asking, "If you came to know this church is true, would you be baptized?" He paused for like 15 seconds and we waited for the spirit to talk to him. He then said, "Yeah, I feel like I need to change my life anyways." It was a sweet experience with him. I have great hopes for him soon. We will be focusing on the family with his family this week, I believe.
The next day was really boring. Nothing happened, except for 3 people we talked to on the street said that we can come by each of their houses sometime this week, so there's a bonus right there. After dinner we picked back up with work trying to see as many people we could in the evening since that's when a lot of people are available, then we exchanged back at 8:30. I was so happy to see Elder Wardle again. He was making me anxious of when he was coming back. Then he told his whole story. Elder Sitani was rather impatient though.
This is all that happened this week. It's been crazy.
P.S. Brittney, I hope you read my blog, because I am here to announce that you're my favorite again. I saw your name on a street in Lodi and that deserves some awesome recognition. Congratulations to you. I love you.