Bry good to hear that you decided to go on your mission! Maybe you will get lucky and come to our mission so I can train you hahaha slight chance but "It could happen"- JP from Angels in the Outfield :)
Things here are going pretty good. We got to spend some more time with Elder Clarke this week so that was an adventure. We had Zone Conferences and a Zone Leader meeting that he was in charge of and we all learned a lot of things that are going to help our mission out a ton. Some cool things ...so our mission was created and it is how eventually all other missions will be in the future. We have a ton of missionaries in a small area and we just go nuts haha. Now it all makes sense because of the age difference..the church normally has several hundred applications for missions each week but this past week there was about 4200! So it is going to keep going up quite a bit and because they will be having a lot more missionaries they will be able to create more missions like ours...Kinda cool to be the pioneer of all the missionary work, especially when you get to work side by side with General Authorities to make sure it works. They are working super close with our mission right now so that they can know exactly what they need to do with the other missions that they will be creating or reforming here in the near future. They said that it is the last big change in missionary work that will happen before the Second Coming so that is kind of nuts too! I don’t know, but I think that it is kind of cool to take a step back and look at exactly what is happening and realize that I have a bigger part to play in this whole thing than I ever thought I would have on a mission. I got to talk to Elder Clarke one on one before he left which was definitely a blessing and he gave me some advice for things that I could do to be the best missionary I could be and a lot of small stuff that he said would help me out after the mish.
The work is going a lot better here right now. We have 4 people that are getting ready to get baptized! We had a really cool lesson at Temple Square this week with a girl that came back to church for the first time yesterday in a long time. When we went down to Temple Square we talked a lot about the Atonement and Repentance and the Spirit was super strong. We also watched a Mormon Message that is about not looking behind us and that is exactly what this girl needed to do at that time is to leave everything at the Savior's feet and not look back..
It's cool to see people come back to church that haven't been there in such a long time because you can see the happiness and the excitement they have when they feel God's love for them, something they haven't felt in a long time. You can see it in their eyes and it is just something that can't be bought for them. As we are teaching them we can feel the Spirit super strong and as we help them recognize that they are feeling the Spirit they have the same reaction that Alma the younger has in Alma 36. As we help them understand that every time they feel the Spirit they know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is active in their lives!
This next week is going to be super busy as transfers are coming up. I was pretty sick these last couple days and have been dead tired like you wouldn't believe haha. On Saturday I felt absolutely terrible and I was told to stay inside but as I told Jessie before, we don't take breaks..Just break records haha. So we went out and worked and that night we had a really really good night. We found several new people that we could teach and in a couple of those instances we were just in the right place at the right time obviously being guided by the Spirit so I know we were definitely blessed for going out and working...I still feel terrible though haha..Yesterday we gave talks as well. The topic that they assigned me to speak about was planning for the future. I started my talk by talking about how Elder Clarke talked about in conference that we need to have Jesus Christ as #1 on our list of the most important things. I talked about how when I was younger He probably wasn't as high on that list as He should have been but as I grew older and more converted to the Gospel, He became number one on my list and I talked about how when planning for the future we need to have Him as #1 on our list and we need to be happy to do His will because sometimes His will is different than ours. Then I shared my sports story and about how well my plan worked out haha-- but because of that I was able to prepare for my mission way better than I probably would have otherwise. So I learned to follow the will of God with a smile on my face. Then I talked about how the perfect example of planning for the future was Jesus Christ. God knew that in order for us to have eternal life we needed to be clean because no unclean thing can dwell with Him. He knew that we would all make mistakes every day- some big and some small-that would take us farther away from that goal but because Christ performed the Atonement he made it possible from the very beginning to overcome all of that. Christ was the perfect example of doing the Father's will as it says in Matthew 26:39. I then invited everyone to go home from church and to make a list of their top 5 most important things and if Christ wasn't on the top, then to make the necessary changes so that He is on the top.
Well I hope all is going well with all of you!