Lots of changes this week. It was hard to leave my old area and the people there especially because I had to leave 2 days before everyone else for leadership meetings and to meet the new missionaries and help with transfers. The new area is called Arabkir its right by the mission office and we are reopening it, after being closed for a transfer (3 months). I have been assigned to serve as Assistant to the President with Elder Cornett. Oh man its tough, I wish I could explain it all, but I am on my knees for most of the day. My companion is awesome and I always knew I was going to serve with him, I have a special connection with him, even before I knew him. He is the best speaker in the mission and he is a great leader I feel like I am back in my training and its a very humbling experience. I am praying for so many things and your prayers always help. One thing that you might think is funny, is that I am praying for the gift of tongues for both languages, because I am not as good as I use to be at English. And my companion is the best in the mission at the language. I thought I was pretty good, however as I constantly seek correction I realize that there is much more to learn, the small things. He's a stud and I love him, he doesn't see me as junior companion at all and I help him in other areas as well, its a two way street, that's a companionship.
Elder Cornett and I have been trying to get everything organized and figured out, it will take time. We set some goals for the area and have come up with means to accomplish the goals. It still needs the "how" which will come with more planning, however the basic foundation of many things are figured out. As far as the mission goes, Elder Cornett and I feel that we want to focus of happiness in missionary work. Are we really happy? If not why? And how? We plan on using exchanges to help with a lot of that and will ponder and pray to know what else that will include. We feel there is a need for an excitement in the work as a whole mission, especially with our goal of 500 baptisms for the year and the success we have been blessed with.
The area is great, different from what I am use to, however change is always good. We have lots of support from the ward, bishop and priesthood leaders. There are a few investigators that we have been able to meet with that seem to have quite a bit of potential. We look forward to having more time with them this upcoming week and getting to know them and the members personally.
Elder Cornett is an amazing missionary! He is a great example and I am learning much from him in every aspect of the work. I feel the spirit when he speaks and am amazed at the profound knowledge of the gospel he has acquired through diligent study. I am excited about this transfer, something I told Elder Cornett in a discussion we had, was that I have always know that I am going to serve with him, even before I knew who he was, I heard his name and it had a familiar ring to it. Although I can't explain it all right now, I know that it will make more sense later and that this companionship like every is inspired.
I am doing good, Its been a very humbling week for me, in a good way, however still humbling. It has caused me to rely on the Lord more than I ever have in my life, through fasting, and constant prayer. Its the normal feelings of inadequacy, fear, and discouragement that Satan always sends in these kinds of scenarios. All those feelings and more haven't been dwelt on and every time I feel the weight of it all I go down to my knees. I love the quote "Man stands the tallest when he's on his knees." I have been comforted as I confide with him and pour out everything to him. Although many of the gifts promised in my Pat. blessing have helped me, I realize this is the time that I will build upon them and much growth has and will take place.I love the missionaries and investigators so very much, I realize that helping missionaries will change not only their lives but thousands of Armenian's lives as well. I will continue to rely heavily on the Lord to help the investigators and missionaries we serve. Thank you!
A letter to a friend, some of my thoughts on the atonement
The atonement is real and we are the only ones that hold ourselves back from being forgiven, the lord immediately forgives us. I am convinced that Alma the younger suffered the pains of a damned soul for 3 days because he wouldn't forgive himself, it wasn't until he focused on Christ and his Atonement that he was able to come out of the darkness and forgive himself, he held himself back for that long. When we make mistakes, it simply comes down to two choices,give up, or get back up and try then his grace is sufficient for us, because he forgives us immediately. He has given us weaknesses and problems to make us humble, and to help us grow and overcome them. Without our hardships we would be following the plan of Satan and all would make it back, however, we would be worlds away from godliness. I always thought my weaknesses were and trials were from Satan, however that was just giving him credit for something he didn't do. They are from God, so that we have the opportunity to overcome them and become the person he wants us to be through his son's Atonement. It's stuff I am sure you already knew, I hope it helps. Even if it keeps you going through out the week a little longer with a little more happiness,