Its crazy how when one little thing changes, everything else changes as well. Tuesday night I was sitting on the couch, about to write in my journal and pondering all the stuff that was happening, and like a sack of bricks it hit me just how much I love this area, my assignment as a District Leader, and my companion. I absolutely love Crete. I absolutely love the people that we are seeing. I love that we are ALWAYS busy and that the people that we're seeing love us as much as we love them. I love the District that I serve with. These Elders are powerful teachers. When they open their mouths, the Spirit is so strong. They all know why they're here, and working with them is the funnest and most rewarding thing I could ever ask for. I love Elder Kummerman. I haven't always, but now I absolutely love serving with this kid. He cracks me up on an hourly basis just with the things that he says and does. He's also grown a TON and the progress he's made and the missionary he is now just within these past 10 weeks is mind-blowing. Its a true privilege to be with him and to be his trainer.
This week's been so full of miracles and important life-lessons that I wish I could share them all with you, but sadly I don't have much time. So let me share two of the highlights and then you'll have to read about the rest in my journal later.
I think one of the biggest miracles of the week was with a man named Victor. We've been seeing Victor and his family on and off for about 3 months now. It seems like they're impossible to find at home. So last Tuesday we stopped by their house and they said, "Yeah come by tomorrow!". Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Royal and we went over and they all said, "Victor will be here in 5 minutes! Come back in a little bit!" So we went and grabbed my jacket from the house and came back. When we pulled up to the house again, Elder Royal looked at his phone and said that the other Elders (Elder Kummerman and Elder Johnson) had left us a message saying that Victor had told them that tonight wouldn't be a good night.... but there we were in front of the house and both felt inspired like we should try the house anyway. They had told us to come back after all! When we knocked for time number 2, Victor answered the door and said, "I've only got about 10 minutes but come on in. When we got to talking, we got on the subject of prayer and right when he started talking, I knew we were going to be much longer than 10 minutes. He started telling us about his life's story and about why he trusts in God so much. I was amazed by his humility and his love for his Savior. We taught him about the importance of the family and the importance of prayer and the Spirit was so strong. He really wanted to learn, and you could see it in his face. I'm pretty sure that at some point in the lesson all 3 of us were crying.
When we got done with the lesson, Elder Royal and I went back to the house and started talking. Recently he's been having some difficulties with a few things and he was EXTREMELY motivated by Victor's humility. That night, not only did I feel a change in myself, but I saw a change come over both Victor and Elder Royal. I love the Spirit. I love what it can do and how it can motivate us to become better than we are.
I learned a very important lesson from a 7 year old boy on Sunday. Due to the fact that church was canceled on Fast and Testimony Sunday a few weeks ago, in the Seward Branch we had it this week. When the Branch President, President Roundy, got up to start off the testimony part of the meeting, little 7 year old Mikey, who was sitting on his mom's lap right in front of me, got a big smile on his face and asked his mom, "Can I please go share my testimony next?"
Imagine if all of us were THAT ready and THAT willing to share our testimonies. Imagine if we all were that driven to go out and share with others what we know to be true. That's how this true Gospel spreads. I think there's a lot that can be learned from Mikey and the rest of the children of the Church. They're all so happy and so willing to share the truths that they know and I know that if we were all like them, this world would be a lot better. The Lord needs us to be as "little children." He needs us to go out and bring others to the truth and I testify that as we follow the Spirit in looking for opportunities to share the Gospel with others and open our mouths to testify, that our words will be powerfully carried unto the hearts of the people we love. I know this to be true and I invite you all to look for those moments throughout this next week, and I do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
I love you all. I hope you had a very great week. Look for those small moments and they'll teach you a lot. I love this work. I love each and everyone of you. Have a great week!
Lots of Love,
Elder Zachary Paddock