Well, I'm doing well and hanging in there. This past week was another unique one and yet the same. As I look back, it's crazy to think about how quickly the weeks go by sometimes. Sometimes, I fear life goes too fast and we can't seem to slow down amongst it all and learn from all the experiences whirling around us. (This keyboard is driving me crazy. Some of the keys don't like to work, especially r!) I guess the keyboards at the post office get used a lot and we can't expect things to last forever.
So, to begin, I just want all at home to remember that I love you all. I’m super grateful for everything each and every one of you does for me, and I’m sorry that I don’t express it enough. I love each of you. Don't forget it. I love the Lord. I have found that love and devotion tried and tested. And I have found myself far from perfection so often in this life. But I know the Lord is the master sculptor. He can make of me that which he desires if I will simply (and it's not so simple all the time) yield myself to His will and do everything He asks. I know His church was restored in our day and that it is true. There's no going back and no changing my mind or doubting or being a little confused. I know it. Just as the hymn "Called to Serve" states, we are "called to know the richness of His blessings, sons and daughters, children of a King." I have experienced and know a portion, a mere fraction of His blessings. And they are rich. I know there are grand blessings that await me if I remain true to my covenants. I am one of His sons. The son of a King. The King of Kings. I am one of his heirs, a joint heir with Christ as Romans 8:17 beautifully puts it. And I am one of His witnesses for two years and for the rest of my life.
This past week has been filled with contacting, tracting, and some more contacting, and I've really begun to see how influential goal setting is in helping us accomplish something versus simply going through the motions. We had a wonderful institute lesson going over Doctrine and Covenants 135 and the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the prophet and Hyrum Smith the patriarch. It was a very powerful lesson where we all felt the Spirit testify to each of us of the divinity of the work of the Prophet Joseph and how his service here on earth pointed all to Christ. Contacting, we met a lot of nice people that may not have been super interested but we helped them feel the love of the Savior, and I pray that a smile we may have shown them, or a kind word, or a small message of hope may have lifted their spirits and sparked future interest.
I was with Elder Waltman again this past Friday and Saturday on an exchange and it was way cool to re-experience the feeling of being with my trainer and have so many memories come back, to laugh about some of the crazy funny things that happened while we were together in Vlad and to just laugh.
Lately, I think the Lord has been teaching me some through my dreams. As I've been studying lately about the plan of salvation, I've been having thoughts and realizing that these thoughts came to me previously in a dream I had a couple days ago. Sometimes, I sit and wonder, "Wait... Did I study that another time or was that in a dream?" I know that if we continually treasure up in our minds and in our hearts the words of life, the Lord will teach us more and more, even through our dreams.
Oh about the title of this blog, it did snow a couple times this past week just out of the blue. It snowed hard. Made contacting fun as always. :) The weather is slowly getting warmer. Which is nice I guess. I've kind of gotten used to the cold and I like it. But all will soon be warm and I'll get used to that too.
This next week, we're all flying to Sakhalin for zone conference. We fly out tomorrow evening and come back Thursday evening. Elder Lawrence, of the second quorum of the seventy, is visiting and will be at our zone conference which will be exciting. He was a former mission president in the Novosibirsk mission (just to the west of us). I'm sure I will learn a lot and recognize a lot of things I can do to improve. It's going to be a great couple days!
Hope everyone is safe and well and healthy. Don't forget to wash behind your ears. Just as one of Elder Waltman's little nieces said one time, "Read you scriptures, say your prayers, and go to church." I really appreciate each of you in my life. Thanks for being exemplary examples to me on the other side of the globe. You never know how much of an influence you have on someone. Take care of each other in your part of the Lord's vineyard. :)
Love you all!