Monday, June 11, 2012

Letter #9 (Shreveport, LA)

Life in Shreveport is nothing short of amazing. It is crazy to me to think that another week has already gone. It feels like I'm always in the library writing these letters, the week goes by so fast. Elder Spangler and I are still working as hard as we physically can. Every night we go home, plan, and are in bed by about 10! But every night were able to look up at the ceiling and tell the Lord that we gave it all for Him today, and we will be ready to do it again tomorrow. That is the key I think to the mission. Hard work. There truly is no substitute. Working hard is what will make the two years feel like a blink. Hard work is what will change the missionary the most. And ultimately, hard work will grant success. No amount of skills, or abilities will replace hard work. Know that when you put that black tag on each day, hard work is what is expected. Nothing less than your best is acceptable. As a missionary, you will be held accountable come judgement for those who you were given stewardship over. If you did all that you could to bring them closer to Christ, then you will be rewarded for your work, but if you as a missionary slacked off, and didn't take your mission serious, then you will be held accountable. Another thing that never stops amazing me is the maturity that a missionary is forced to gain quickly. For whatever reason people feel that the missionaries have the answers to all of life's questions. It seems they forget that I am only 19!! Haha crazy stuff!

This week Elder Spangler and I have been working a lot with our number one investigator Luke Regard. Luke is a 21 year old college student who already has faith in Christ. Elder Spangler and I are doing our best to help him draw closer to Christ through the Restored Gospel, and he is progressing very well. He has come to church in the last two weeks, and has a baptism date for June 29th which seems very attainable. He is very open minded and believes that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, and that God's true church is on the earth today, and he feels that he has found it. Lets hope that he doesn't get anti-ed. In the south, rather than teach lessons in their church, different church's will teach all about how the Mormons are all wrong! There are Methodist colleges down here that teach Anti-Mormon classes! Gotta love the South! I know I do! I attended my first crawdad boil this week at one of our investigators houses, and I have to say, very good! But a lot of work for small reward, but still, pretty good. Not much more to say other than to say this Church continues to amaze me! It is so cool that this gospel truly has EVERYTHING. Different parts of this Gospel mean so much to me at different times. This week has been the thought that families are together forever. That through the power of the Priesthood, we can be sealed to those who we love for time and all eternity. But going back to the idea that this Gospel can "morph" to your needs is due to the fact that our church is centered on Jesus Christ. Because Christ literally felt every sin, guilt, and pain, He knows how to help us endure to the end. Not only does He know, but He is all too willing to help if we allow Him into our lives. He will help us to grab the Iron Rod when it slips from our grasp. He will pick us up when we fall off the straight and narrow, and He will lead us from temptation. And when we need it, He will remind us of the piece of Gospel that we need in our lives at that point, that will help us to progress, and grow closer to him.
~Elder Maddox

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