Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014 - In which we have our concert

Dear family,

Last week was pretty interesting! Last night we had our concert. The theme was what sort of characteristics God has, and so each hymn that we selected had something to who He is, from "Our Savior's Love" to "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" to "A Child's Prayer". (Mom should get a kick out of the fact that women sang and I accompanied "O, My Father"!) It turned out really well. A lot of members came and a couple of the sister's investigators, as well. We were really hoping that a lot of brand new people that we had contacted on the concert (we handed out several hundred flyers) would come, but no one came that we didn't already have contact with. It still went really well, though :)

We didn't have the chance to teach a lot of people last week; of our investigators we were only able to meet with P P. This is mostly because Elder Jaynes got sick and we had to spend 42 hours inside the apartment... and during these 42 hours was when were scheduled to meet with half our other investigators and a couple of other members :) Exciting sutff. I went a little insane from staying in our apartment. I failed the quiet patience test there :)

Our lesson with P P went pretty well. We taught the Word of Wisdom to her. I don't know where our communication barrier broke down, but for some reason during the lesson it wasn't immediately apparent that not drinking any alcoholic beverages at all didn't rule out drinking socially. I'm still trying to figure out how that one happened, but we should be meeting again on Wednesday. We still have a lot to teach her before her new baptismal date on the 11th.

Frankly I don't have too much additional news to relate! The weather here is still changing in fits and starts. When we were out running with a member this morning, he pointed out that some of the trees' outer leaves are turning yellow, which means that soon fall colors will be arriving. I've never seen fall colors before so that will be exciting.

Suzie asked me to share an experience when my faith had been strenghtened and when it had been tested; Mom and Dad mentioned to me in each of their letters, also, that they had been noticing situations or experiences. This is funny, because I've been thinking and studying a lot about faith since Elder Jaynes got sick on Friday, too, because in many ways that experience when we had to stay in both tested my faith and strengthened it.

I'd like to share what I learned about faith recently. In a BYU Devotional talk that I have ("Remember Lot's Wife"), Elder Jeffrey R. Holland described faith this way: " is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives." I love this description so much. The Lord has promised great things. He has promised us His Spirit, He has promised us the strenghtening blessings of the Atonement if we live faithful to the promises we've made to Him, He's promised us that He is hastening His work (which is difficult to believe when you have to sit in the apartment for 42 hours while your companion is sleeping off the flu), He's promised us eternal life (again based on our obedience) and on and on and on.

He has promised us these things. He cannot retract His word. However, He always sends us promised blessings after we are patient for them. We have to wait for "blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives." I've seen how that's true because of how missionary work works, because at one instant it will feel like we have no success and the next it will seem like everything is going unbelievably well.

I'm all of a sudden out of time and I don't know how to finish my thought quickly, but I know that the Lord loves us and He helps us. What I was getting at was that we have to wait, and we have to learn how to see blessings in the way that the Lord has actually sent them, not in the way we expected to see them.

Enjoy General Conference!

Elder Boyce

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