Friday, July 20, 2012

Letter #13 (Shreveport)

Sorry I was out of time. This is in responce to questions dad asked! Sorry I had to use part of his letter!

So my area consists of the exact middle of Shreveport. If you were to look at it from a map, "downtown" is almost the center of our area, so take the middle of downtown, and then about three miles to the east, south, and west of that would be my area. It is about a 3 mile square, and we are on the southern most bottom part. It equates to a lot of biking, and also a lot of pounds being shed. So the district that I am is the "Shreveport" District which is just out companionship, and another set of Shreveport missionaries who take all of the area around us. Elder Westbrook is our District Leader and is an amazing missionary. He is more soft spoken, and spiritual, and even though he hasn't had the "success" that the world judges missionaries by, he has taught me so much! So Bossier, and Shreveport are separated by the Red River, and Bossier and Shreveport together make the Shreveport Zone. There are 7 companionship's that are Elders, and one sister missionary companionship, so 8 all together in my area. The ward here is the biggest in the mission, since Shreveport is the largest city in our mission. Ya, Elder Spangler is down to 23 days left as a missionary, and is still pushing hard. He will be coming to see ya'll when he gets home and give you a full report! And because him and I opened up this area, I will most likely be staying here after he leaves. I may train, or I may get an older missionary, you never really know. And because this is my first area, I could still be in Shreveport till around Christmas, but like I said, you never really know. Now on to the fun stuff. My confidence is through the roof right now. I feel like the spirit has taken all of the talents that I had previous to the mission, and made them even stronger. It is crazy to think of where I was just two months ago, and now where I am. The hand of the Lord has been seen in my life on a daily basis, and it is so amazing!! I have been blessed with other talents I didn't know about as well. A unique ability to remember peoples names has been one that is very noticeable. Its is something that I have struggled with ever since my car accident, and it is a joy to have the ability back. My teaching power is crazy right now. My ability to recall scriptures, and to teach the lessons is a power that is simply beyond my own. I love it when people tell me that I need to rethink my beliefs, and then I bust out the Bible, and show them how our church is spoken of. Everyone down here wants to argue about religion, and I feel that I am able to help them see that we as a faith are not tearing their beliefs. Rather we add to them and give them a literal fullness! I love being able to go toe to toe with anyone now, and it's all because of my trainer that I have this confidence.

I feel like time flies by. To think we are halfway through July already is mind blowing. The days feel like hours, and the weeks feel like days. It is crazy to think that I am already two and a half months in. I have been here longer than I was in Georgia last summer. In that sense I am over the hump, but the hump bites me in the butt when I think of how much I have left to do. You know how when your training a new mule, and you finally get on it, and it doesn't throw you off? That's how I feel. I have conquered a bit part of it, the beginning, but even though I am on the mule, I still need to teach it to reign, street break it, desensitize it, and teach it to jump. Progress has been made, but still so much to go. I hope that analogy helps.

Good luck Sam, and Zack! Good luck with your talks, and then going to the MTC! Cherish your time there, it is much more simple then the field!!
Elder Maddox

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