Sunday, April 21, 2013

The First Week

Hello all,
Well it's officially my 6th day in the mission and it is an amazing experience. Let me begin by telling you all that Utah is quite an interesting place to be proselyting in. Usually when you tract or do random approaches you always state something along the lines of "Hey, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and we have a message about Jesus Christ we'd like to share." Needless to say... everyone here either knows the missionaries, hates the missionaries, or just doesn't care. Utah has an interesting stigma about it for sure in that most people say they are members of the church, but some are definitely not active. It's a truly new experience that the MTC could never really help, despite what I learned. I LOVE THE MISSION. Let me share with you about my new companion named Elder Bennett. He is from Southern California, the Riverside area, and he is a stud. What's funny is that he has only been out for about 3 months so he literally just got off training himself. He's cool but we are definitely still learning together. I feel as if we truly work together, especially when we teach. Since I'm new, I don't talk nearly as much as I used to because I mean I feel like I barely know what to do or say but the Spirit always kicks in and I just start speaking. I've been learning how to listen more instead of just spitting out information that I know to be true. The testimony is the most powerful tool to get people to feel the spirit and really become interested in what you are teaching. I still am the same old enthusiastic Dane but I'm much better at listening. I LOVE IT. Let me share a experience that we had this week. Well, Elder Bennett and I were riding our bikes down the street right before we were about to head in when we saw a hispanic guy with his wife. He was working on his car like he does almost everyday, so we decided to stop. We starting getting to know him, found out his name was Junior (Jose) and we got into the conversation of his 3 year old son Michael. Apparently, his wife Brooke is a less active member who doesn't really go to church because she got offended at one point. That's usually the story with most LDS members in this area. Anyway, Michael is anemic (spelling?) and he had to get a lot of blood tests and they were saying how concerned we were. We told them about Alma 36:3 and how if you put trust in the Lord he will help you in all your trials and afflictions and problems. They agreed and out of nowhere Brooke, his wife, asked if they all could have a priesthood blessing. Elder Bennett and I were concerned about giving a blessing to Michael, but we prayed about it and I felt strongly that it would be alright. We gave him a blessing and he was scared the whole time. He is super shy around new people but when the prayer ended he stopped crying almost immediately. Then I gave Brooke and Junior a blessing of comfort and they invited us to come back to teach them a lesson. Junior is not a member and we felt so good about being worthy to use our Priesthood. It's a blessing to not only invite others to come unto Christ, but to help those in the area who ask. I love service, and helping people, and just being real with them. However, there are so many people that just slam doors in your face and it's not discouraging but just sad that people are rejecting the truth. The gospel is truly the only way we can get back to our loving Heavenly Father, and it's because of his Son Jesus Christ through his example and baptism and people don't let themselves know. I get it's all about agency but it's always hard to accept sometimes. I'm learning so much.
 It feels really weird to be the new guy, with all the missionaries who are veterans, but I am learning quickly and I can feel the fire in my soul when I wake up. I know this work is what I need to be doing and I love doing it. Reading the scriptures everyday has made me learn SO much, especially about the Temple. AH. I love the temple. We get to go every transfer which is a true blessing. However, the only complaint I have about this area... is that they feed us dinner EVERY NIGHT. It's a blessing, but I am gonna get fat! Naw, I'm okay for now. I just need to not over eat but some members just place food infront of your face and expect you to eat the house to nothing. It's scary.... however, I've accepted that it's bound to happen a little. I heard that I'm only here for 5 weeks so Australia here I come!!! On a sort of side note, I already had the chance to invite someone to be baptized name Alexandria Hunt! She is 14 and is a fire cracker. She's a stud who struggles with depression but I know that through her choice to be baptized that she will be blessed with comfort, especially through the Holy Ghost. It was awesome. I witnessed a baptism on Saturday the 13th. It was so cool. I had to speak on the restoration and bore my testimony about it. Also, we aren't over just 1 ward... we are over the ENTIRE STAKE OF 5 wards!! It's crazy!! Sundays are the craziest days ever. We banged out 5 ward councils yesterday. It was cool to have all the members want to get involved. Catch the wave, every member a missionary!

Well, that's about all I got for now.
Mom to answer your question. I have gained like 3lbs but all will be well. Still got my six pack WHAT UP. Other than that, I'm glad to hear about everything. I love you all and I think about you daily. Anyway here is a quote about a quality I am working on this week: Love "Love is the celestial respiration of the air of Paradise" -Victor Hugo Les Miserables. I love that quote. Love is literally the breath of air the life we are striving for. LOVE EVERYONE, especially those that are hardest to love because chances are they need it the most.

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! Especially you mom, I hope you got my letter to you.

Well, until next week

OH! My address is
8060 South 615 East
Sandy, Utah 84070 <--- I'm pretty sure.

With Love,

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