Oh man it has been a great week!!! This work just keeps getting better and better and I keep learning more and more every day!!
Monday Aug 12:
We had Zone P Day down in Huntington West Virginia which was a ton of fun! Basically we got like as many people from our zone together and had a BBQ and played games and stuff at a park!
After that I had my first companion exchange. Elder Fehlberg, one of the zone leaders. Came back to Portsmouth with me. We didn't really do much today but it was a fun day. Kinda scary though, it was my first time without Elder Williams so I was in charge of Portsmouth.
Tuesday Aug 13:
It was a great experience to work with Elder Fehlberg! We didn't get to do a lot of work together but I learned so much from him, and about myself since I had to take the lead of the area since he had never been there. I had to lead all the lessons which made me realize I know a lot more than I thought I do, and just need to open my mouth and get over any fear I have. The best thing Elder Fehlberg taught me was to not take myself too seriously! This work is so important but we can't be robots! It is supposed to be fun! I have already been having fun but since he came I have had so much more fun just trying to make people smile and laugh. There is a time to be serious and sincere but there is also a time to have fun and become friends with our investigators.
Wednesday Aug 14:
What did I do today? I made people feel GUILT!! That sounds bad but as missionaries when that happens we are able to help so much. As we teach the power of repentance and the Atonement our investigators find so much peace in their lives and so much joy!
The reason I said I made someone feel guilt is because tonight we met with Bridgette and Kristi. The lesson we had was so spiritual! Kristi is overcoming a lot of trials mentally and physically right now, and always is feeling guilty. I shared with her Alma 36: 5-21 which is the story of Alma the Younger and his conversion through repenting. She cried at several points as I was sharing this story with her. Since then she has already begun to change so much and become so much happier. She wants to change and she wants to become better and through repentance she can!
Thursday Aug 15:
Well today we had a weird but awesome experience. We were driving by Bridgette and Kristi's house, who usually aren't home, but we decided to stop to say hi. As soon as we parked the car we got a text from Kristi. She had a question but instead of replying we knocked on her door. How's that for a quick response, we all got a pretty good laugh out of it, and we ended up having a pretty good short lesson from it.
Friday Aug 16:
I got to drive today!!! We have a Chevrolet Colorado and I've decided trucks are awesome! But anyways just thought I would share that. Today has been great! Early in the afternoon we were able to meet with Bailey. The lesson didn't feel very long but it was probably close to an hour. We taught her about baptism and at the end asked her about baptism. Her response was awesome! She said "I can't this Sunday, but maybe next Sunday." It was great to see her excitement. We had to explain to her that there are some things we have to teach her and she has to do before she can be baptized. She is awesome! (I've come to the realization that I say that a lot. It is true though, all of our investigators are awesome.)
Tonight we had another exchange. Elder Wright is now in Portsmouth with me. I am very scared because both of us are new missionaries. He came out the same day as me and the area he is in hasn't been super successful and he seems pretty shy.
Also: Alma 32 is awesome! Elder Williams and I discussed only half of the chapter for an hour and a half and could have talked longer if we had more time. We have discussed it many times since then but we decided that verse 21-43 is the 16 steps to Eternal Life!
Saturday Aug 17:
Oh man today was AWESOME!!! Elder Wright and I had such an amazing day! We had 7 lessons today which for me happens a lot, but that is about how many he gets in a week sometimes. We met with some of our best investigators and we both really enjoyed it! He didn't say a whole lot during the day but when I asked him what he thought he was all smiles. By the end of the day he was asking how the day went by so fast because his area never goes fast, he said.
I had two favorite parts! The first was with Kristi. Since we taught her repentance she has already changed so much and keeps telling me she is already feeling so much happier! At the end of the lesson we had with her we set up a plan to help her quit smoking and then... WE SET HER ON DATE!!! I have never done this before and it has always been Elder Williams who does it! When I left I was so happy! She is so awesome and I'm so excited for her.
The other awesome experience was crazy! We were teaching an 85 year old woman and gave her a Book of Mormon. She has to wear glasses to read but she told us she couldn't see the words because they were blurry. When she took them off she said she could see the words clearly! I then asked her how she felt. She said she felt like someone had wrapped their arms around her and gave her a big hug and she felt warm inside and peace. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! It does so many amazing things!!
Sunday Aug 18:
We got an investigator to church!! It was so awesome to get them there and they said they loved it and they were so happy! It made church such an awesome experience!
After church we went to the hospital to give someone a blessing. It was a great opportunity but ended up being really hard for me. The last time I was in a hospital like that was for my grandpa, and before that it was for me. I don't know why but I was overwhelmed with so many thoughts and emotions which made the experience not quite as enjoyable. Looking back I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that I can see my grandpa again after this life and I am so grateful for the health I have and quick recovery I had.
God has a plan for all of us! He loves each one of us and wants us to all be happy! We have trials in our lives but we must find a way to see the blessings that come from enduring them! If we can do that we will only be happier in this life!
I love you all! Thank you for all that you do for me!
Elder Ryan Carter