Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sticking it out in "The Promised Land"

Sioux City District last Transfer (Only Sister Gomez (front left) was transferred)
I'M STILL HERE IN SIOUX CITY!!  Holy cow I feel so blessed to still be here.  The days before transfers I was worrying pretty bad that it'd be my turn to be transferred out of "The Promised Land" of the Nebraska
Omaha Mission but prayers are answered and I get to still be here for at least 6 more weeks.  Also I'm still with Elder Shipley!  I'm pretty excited to get to work with this kid for a little while longer.  The growth that both of us have had during the past 6 weeks is amazing. Both of our Spanish has increased a TON and our testimonies of our Savior Jesus Christ have never been stronger.  I'm thankful that the Lord has blessed me enough to work with Elder Shipley a little while longer.  I know that there's still a lot I can learn from him and I'm excited to figure out what it is.
Me and the poor guy that's stuck with me 24/7
I'm also very blessed to be able to work with these investigators and members for a little while longer.  Some of these people I've been teaching since my very first transfer here.  I feel such a love for them its ridiculous.  These people have become like family to me over the past 6 months that I've been here.   They feed us, take care of us when we're sick, celebrate our birthdays with us, come to lessons with us or allow us into their houses to share a message about the true Gospel that we love, and they feed us!

Let me tell you about the great lesson that we had last night.

Last night we went and visited Jose again.  This lesson made all the stress of Transfers, all the hard times, all the other stuff that happened this week totally worth it.  When I think of anything awesome that happened this week, I just think of him. Let me explain the 3 reasons why this was such a great lesson.

1) Lately Jose has been arguing with us a lot because of some confusion that he's been having with some certain requirements for baptism (He's on Probation until January and therefore has to wait) but there was no arguing last night!  He just sat, listened, and soaked it all up and learned.

2) Hermano Zobell, one of our favorite members came with us and was able to share his testimony multiple times throughout the lesson, which only helped to enhance the Spirit that was there with us.  He wasn't only occasionally adding a testimony like a lot of members do but he was teaching and asking questions.  It was awesome!

and 3) The most important reason.  Jose truly came to know more of what his Savior, Jesus Christ did for him.  Almost everyone that we talk to knows that Jesus Christ suffered and died for our sins, but he did so much more than that as well!  In Alma 7:11-12 it says:

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

Notice how it doesn't even say "sins" once in there?  He did so much more than that.  He suffered all of our pains, afflictions, temptations, struggles, sicknesses, doubts, hard times, and so much more so that he could know how to make it easier for us.  He knows our problems better than we do.  All we have to do is turn to him.   Trust in his Atonement and it will carry you.   I've seen that so much just during my mission.  Jose saw that last night and even said, "He really does know me, huh?"  to which we bore testimony that he does.

I love these people.  I love seeing the progress that they are having as they come closer and closer to their Savior Jesus Christ.  I love my Savior.  He knows each and every one of us.  Of this I bear testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you.  Thank you for being the best "Support Team" a missionary could ask for.  I hope you have a great week!

 Elder Paddock

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