Letter from August 11th, 2014

Mom,

This week has been crazy, just like every other week of the mission I guess. We had a lot of hard things, but we also saw a lot of miracles happen. Listening to the Spirit is truly key to getting the Lord’s work done.

Our mission president has encouraged us to pray for 30 minutes before we leave the house for the day. He promised us that as we do so that we will see many blessings and we will be able to recognize the promptings of the Spirit better. This was the first day that we attempted the 30 minute prayer. It was powerful. I received a lot of inspiration for our investigators and things that we need to do a little differently in order to work more effectively. We were supposed to go down in the south part of our area for a few appointments, but as we were leaving, our only set lessons got cancelled. We decided to still go down in the south area and to find people. We got on our bikes and rode around for like 4 hours. It was hot and humid, but we met tons of awesome people! We even met some families. We were able to set up some appointments and to even teach a lesson with one guy right there in his driveway. It was super awesome.

Two days ago we were down in the south part of the area and our appointments were cancelled and all of our potentials were not home, so we weren’t sure what to do or where to go. I had a thought to go visit one of our less active ladies in the north part, and so I mentioned that to my companion and we decided to go. On our way we drove past one of our old investigators homes (who had been missing for 3 weeks), and we saw him out on the bench in his front yard!! We couldn’t even help our excitement! We pulled over and met with him. We found out that he had gotten in a fight after we had left his house and he had been in jail. We were not very happy about that, but we were happy that he was alive and well! He told us that he had been reading the book of Mormon still, that he hadn’t been smoking and that he was ready to be baptized. What a miracle!!! Things like this don’t just happen!

He promised us that he would be to church on Sunday, so we were expecting to see him. Unfortunately he never showed up. I have to admit that I was really disappointed and even frustrated and I began to think that maybe he really wasn’t as solid as I had thought. An hour or two after church we got a phone call from him saying that we needed to come over and that he would be waiting for us in the front yard. We went to meet him and there he was sitting in his church clothes. He told us that he was so close, but that he had gotten lost on the bus and didn’t know how to get the rest of the way to the church. He said that he had never taken a bus to church before in his life. I felt so terrible for thinking that he just didn’t want to come, or that he wasn’t really ready. He had tried to find the church and couldn’t get there and he came home and was sitting in his church clothes waiting for us to come teach him another lesson. How humbling.

We had a devotional for investigators and new members in Friendswood that we had invited him to go to that same night. He was so ready to go. We literally called every member in the branch to give us a ride so he could get to the devotional, but they either wouldn’t answer, or were busy. The devotional started at 7 pm, and we finally told him we were sorry, but that we wouldn’t be able to get him there this time. We went home and felt prompted to send out a text to everyone one more time. At 6:10 pm, one of the less active members text us to see if we had a ride yet. When we told her we did not, she said that she was on her way. She picked us all up and off we went. We were a little late, but he got to church! It was an incredible meeting and it was a very humbling experience for me to realize that I can never lose faith. Even when it seems like all possibilities are exhausted, they are not. We must keep trying. The Lord will provide a way.

It really was an amazing week. We went to the Temple on Wednesday. We were a little bit early for the session so we were able to do initatories before the endowment session. It was my first time doing those, so that was neat. The blessings promised are incredible. The endowment session was super cool. (I had a hard time keeping my eyes wide open) but I learned a ton! There were so many things that I had never recognized before. I loved sitting in the celestial room and imaginging it full of my investigators, and friends and family. That really is the purpose of the mission, helping people to get to the celestial kingdom to be with their families forever. What an awesome calling I have to be a special witness of Jesus Christ and to call repentance to my brothers and sisters so that we can all live together with our Father in Heaven. That is really what this life is all about.

I love you and hope all is well!

Love,
Sister Elliott

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