|A reflection back to the start. Here is Alex's with his trainer, Elder Cooper.|
My dear brothers and sisters, I will first off apologize for the complete novels these next 2 emails are going to be. This last week has just contained a lot of lessons learned, miracles, and reflecting. And being that I am down to my last 2 emails (this one and the next) they might have some length to them!
This week definitely had its ups and downs. We saw some miracles and had some disappointments. We found a kid named Nam recently, and we were working hard with him. We had him on a baptism date for the 24th of July. And when we came back for another lesson his mom let us in, but he bailed out of his bedroom window and disappeared! It was kinda sad, because this kid really needs the gospel to help keep him out of trouble - but because of that we had the miracle of his mom and his grandma coming to church today! They skipped their church and attended all 3 hours! So we are going to start teaching them!
We also had Sarah and her son Josh come with us to do temple service this week, which was great! They loved it, and they were surrounded by like 30 missionaries, and got to help the temple out. And probably the biggest miracle, is we have been slowly working with an investigator named Marie. She is good friends with some members and has been taught all of the lessons previously.. Well.. She called us this week randomly and said she wanted to be baptized! So we are working with her and set another date for the 24th because she wants us to take part in the program before we leave!
A few weeks ago we knocked on a random door and found a girl named May. She wasn't interested In the gospel, mainly because she was hungover from the previous night - but she told us where her mom lived and that she was a Mormon! We finally caught her mom home this week, and to our surprise, her daughter ran away from home and they have been searching for her for 5 weeks. They had even filed a missing persons report! So we gave the address then told them what we could. We have no clue what happened, but it was just a wild experience helping find a missing runaway child. haha!
Last night we had a sweet BYU fireside, with a few players and the head coach. We took another of our investigators named Jackie to it, she loved it! It was a very interesting and spiritual meeting, with a lot of good quotes and stories, but I'll most likely save those for another time to share. This entire week I've been battling out in my mind what to share, I feel the sense of urgency to share these messages especially as I near the end. And this is what I have for the week:
This is a story from Randall L. Ridd - "I learned the importance of real intent when I was a young seminary student. Our teacher challenged us to read the Book of Mormon. To keep track of our progress, he created a chart with our names down one side and the books in the Book of Mormon across the top. Each time we read a book, he placed a star by our name. At first I didn’t put much effort into reading, and it wasn’t long before I found myself getting further and further behind. Spurred by a sense of embarrassment and my innate competitive spirit, I started reading. Every time I got a star, I felt good. And the more stars I got, the more motivated I was to read--between classes, after school, during every spare minute. This would be a great story if I could tell you that as a result of my efforts I finished first in the class--but I didn’t. And that would be OK if I could tell you that I got something better than first place--a testimony of the Book of Mormon. But that didn’t happen either. I didn’t get a testimony. I got stars. I only got stars because that was why I was reading. That was my “real intent.”
What is our real intent in this life? Are we those who just do it for the stars, or do we have a desire and motivation to act behind our intent? I think intent consists of a few things, 1-Desire 2-Believing 3-Effort 4-Action on what's received. Our real intent in this life should be to follow the paths and ways that our Savior walked -to do as He did, To learn of Him, to look to Him, and most importantly follow Him. It reminds me of a quote from the April 1974 conference:
"As you and I walk the pathway Jesus walked, let us listen for the sound of sandaled feet. Let us reach out for the Carpenter’s hand. Then we shall come to know him. He may come to us as one unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside he came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words, “… follow thou me …” (John 21:22), and sets us to the task which he has to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings which they shall pass through in his fellowship; and they shall learn in their own experience who He is. We discover He is more than the babe in Bethlehem, more than the carpenter’s son, more than the greatest teacher ever to live. We come to know Him as the Son of God. He never fashioned a statue, painted a picture, wrote a poem, or led an army. He never wore a crown or held a scepter or threw around his shoulder a purple robe. His forgiveness was unbounded, His patience inexhaustible, His courage without limit. Jesus changed men. He changed their habits, their opinions, their ambitions. He changed their tempers, their dispositions, their natures. He changed men’s hearts" -Thomas S. Monson
Let us have the real intent to do what we need to find and follow our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us strive to reach out and learn of Him and His saving gospel.
Thanks for all the support and love everyone! You guys are amazing! I
appreciate the help everyone has been since I've been on my mission and am excited (yet depressed) to be down to my last two weeks on my mission.
Thanks again for the love. have a great week everyone!
-Elder A. Olson