Day 28 of my full-time mission
Area: Afton, Wyoming
As part of my missionary certification, I had to write my testimony of the Book of Mormon and its value to my investigators and me. Here’s what I wrote:
“I have read the Book of Mormon several times and treasure it for what it contains. Through careful reading and study of that book, I have been able to learn more about my Savior and my Heavenly Father and their plan for me than from any other source. I have developed a knowledge of their existence and know that They love me, and everyone, for we are all God’s children.
“The Book of Mormon has helped me develop in every aspect of the gospel — not just in knowing where I come from, where I’m going and what I need to do to get to my Heavenly Father once again — but in giving me a sure knowledge of the divinity of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and what He has done for me. I know that through obedience to his commands as contained in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and as given through the prophet Ezra Taft Benson today, I will be forgiven of my shortcomings and be able to attain a celestial glory with my future companion, in the kingdom of my Father in Heaven.
“If I have learned one thing from reading the Book of Mormon, it would be that our Heavenly Father loves each of us, and more than anything else, wants us to return to live with Him again. I know that as others read the Book of Mormon and study and pray about its messages, they too will be entitled to an affirmation of its truthfulness.
“I rejoice in the opportunities given each of us if we but strive to be like Jesus Christ, for myself and all mankind. I know that the Book of Mormon can change a person’s life, and its value as a conversion tool could never be underestimated.”
You know, this mission stuff can really be great! I fall short of complying with all the rules each day, and I repent and try to do better. Today, we didn’t do that great with rules. We slept until 7 a.m. and then didn’t go proselyting until 1:45 p.m. Isn’t that awful? But, you see, I have a problem when the White Handbook says proselyting, because this morning we did work on mission stuff. We organized the area book, and I worked on certification stuff, as you can tell by my testimony written above. So, this morning, we were involved in missionary work; we weren’t being lazy.
This afternoon we tracted for three hours. I actually had fun. We biked to Fairview for three (about a 30-minute bike ride) and tracted there. We got our hair cut earlier too. The barber did it for free.
Tonight we had a very interesting discussion with a guy named Paul Jones. He’s 33 and told us right out that he doesn’t really believe in Christ and thinks the word of wisdom, no premarital sex, and one other thing was ridiculous. But, he also believes he should learn about other religions. It was touchy for a while, but you know what, we had a great talk for about an hour and a half. I committed him to read 3 Nephi 11 about Christ, so that he could learn more about Him. He says he’s read 20 pages of the Book of Mormon, but that’s it’s a good story, that’s all. I don’t know; it would take a lot to convert him, to Christ even. But I got the feeling while we were there that it was important for us just to be his friend. He calls us by our first name, but that’s a neat change.
Elder Gatlin complimented me on the way I handled that situation. I just enjoy talking to people, I think. I’ve talked with Gatlin about listening to music that’s not on our list (in other words, rock music), and about sticking to the missionary schedule. He’s willing and to change and do what’s right. We’re getting closer together too! He’s a pretty funny guy. He’s familiar with quite a few musicals too. I think this may be a really good experience.
I have to add that the members are so great here! I’ve heard from two couples now that have moved into the valley that this place is just wonderful. One couple is the Springer’s, nonmembers we saw yesterday, the other are members, and it was good to meet them. We saw the Springer’s today too, because they live in Fairview, and offered to help him sheetrock a room he’s working on. He may take us up on it. I love helping others.
I’ve been learning a lot in my study time too. Man, now I’m beginning to see all the possibilities that await me while I’m on a mission! Sure, there are disappointments, but I can tell success is here, too, as long as we strive to follow the mission rules. I sure love my Heavenly Father and am glad to serve Him.
I’m listening to “You’re Not Alone” right now. It’s so uplifting. It’s great. Music is great. I miss singing and performing so much. I really think that might be my mission on earth, to be a performer. I think a lot of life after a mission, school, marriage, a car, etc. Life is full of wonderful possibilities. Yup, just like Pres. Cannon told me last fall, “Your only limit is your imagination!”