my missionary journal

Missionary Journal – June 23, 1989

Man, this really has been a challenge to get started out here. I still feel like we’re not doing enough, but I’m beginning to see that things just aren’t that busy now. But the longer I’m here, the more I realize that we are doing work and my companion isn’t completely lazy. In fact, he’s quite a good missionary.

The morning was kind of slow. We had our study time and everything on schedule. Then, we had nowhere to go, so me, not wanting to waste time, I sat down and started letter writing. I got four done and have about four times that to do! I’ll get to that tonight.

It’s 8:45 p.m. now and we’re done for the day. It’s overcast and drizzling and cold.

Anyway, after I got letters written, we went to the grocery store and I was able to get some real groceries. I’m set now for a month or so. We’ve been fed really well by the members, so I’m grateful for that.

Around 10:45 a.m., we took off in the car to go visit some people. We stopped at a few homes and ended up staying at an investigator’s home for two hours. She had to go shopping for a while and we watched the house and her kids. We saw a movie while we were there too, which probably isn’t right, but my companion made the decision.

After that, we came back to the apartment and I studied for an hour or so until one of the stake missionaries picked us up for a 5 p.m. appointment. We worked with Branden Leavitt at a bishop’s house. He’s already started the Book of Mormon. He’s in 1 Nephi. We had a really good discussion. He committed to pray to know if the stuff is true.

That was my first discussion! My companion said I did a pretty good job. I was happy, but there is room for improvement. I was really impressed with him. He’s pretty good!

After that, we had a really neat experience! We were trying to find a home — and there are no addresses on the lower valley! We drove around for half an hour or so and couldn’t find it. Then, we passed it! Elder Gatlin realized we did, so we turned around. We walked up to the door and a really nice lady greeted us — their last name is Roden — and said, “I was just going over some questions I had from reading Gospel Principles and was wishing you’d stop by. Come on in!” Her husband was there too. Don’t tell me the Lord doesn’t direct his missionaries! I even felt the spirit in our lesson with Brendon.

We had a great talk with the Rodens. They’re very interested and have been fellowshipped a lot. It’s so great to see people who are learning about the gospel! I can tell I’m going to love this!

The stake missionary we were out with, Bro. Taggart, bought us dinner at the drive-in. It was nice. He’s a wonderful man! He told us lots of neat stories. He’s been through a lot and known a lot of people. For example, Elder Bruce R. McConkie ordained him to be a Seventy a few years ago. It was a really neat experience tonight!

You can tell my attitude’s changed a little. I just need to adjust to mission life, I guess.

When we went grocery shopping, I bought some light bulbs. This place seemed awfully gray. It’s amazing what a light bulb can do! It turns out, we can use three more too!

Well, I’m setting some goals. I want to have my bachelor’s degree by the end of August. It may take me until September though. There are a series of pass-offs that all missionaries here have to do to get certain privileges, like driving, district leader, zone leader, assistant to the president, etc. Anyway, if I get bored, I’m going to study to become more knowledgeable about the gospel.

I was kind of happy tonight when the Rodens were asking questions and I was able to give answers using the scriptures and my knowledge! But, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

I love my Heavenly Father and he knows I’ve felt frustrated. But, I think I’ve been told to calm down and study when I have free time and to be my best when we’re out on appointments and tracting. I know that as I try, and I am, to be my best and stay in tune with the spirit, it’ll be with me and help me. I love my Heavenly Father and am so happy to be serving him by serving others. The gospel is wonderful!

I’ve got an hour and a half to study now!

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