Wednesday, December 11, 2013

 Jonathan Engle Nov 4, 2013

Oh the Places You'll Go...

This week's been a wild ride here in the Podunk town of El Pasooo. To start things off:
Quotes of the week:
Sister Genera: "Ohhhh, someone feels anger."
Carlos: "I always feel anger."
While Sister Genera is an ex-Mormon gone maha shria, weird mix of eastern religion, etc. etc.... She's secretly training future Sith Lords, and we had front row seats.
Education in El  goes well, with impressive consistency and continuity.
Brother Rivera told us his life plan this Saturday:
"I guess once I retire I'll just mope around, watch TV, and die."
If you remember one of my previous emails, I quoted Danny, who has similar grandiose life goals. What a wonderful future and good luck!
Another misc. side-note: A part member family we're teaching named their child Kairi. Yes, she is named after Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. If they have another daughter they're naming her Naomi. Best. Baby. Names. Ever. My only disappointment is that they will not name any future sons Sora.
Now to get down to business.
This has definitely been a wild week. I spent a long time sending emails to individuals so I apologize for the brief weekly post.
We had a sister we hadn't met before this week that we decided to stop by. Apparently she's been inactive for 14 years, was baptized in the LDS church as a social thing, has never read the Book of Mormon, and has gone hardcore Jehovah's Witness. It was one of the saddest things ever. She decided to have her records removed and gave her a letter saying so. It was depressing as we discussed doctrine with her. This brings up another of this week's quotes. Elder Gawrych quoted Elder Headon, who quoted a member of his ward, saying "A man convinced against his will, believes his opinion still."
Elder Gawrych and I were really affected by having to deliver this letter to the Bishop. I want to come to him with more baptismal dates and awesome stories, not telling him that someone on his roster must be removed. In fact, this experience is the only time that I've really seen Elder Gawrych show much emotion. As we drove away, he talked about the day when we will have to make an accounting to Jesus Christ about our stewardship and what we've done with it. Experiences like that will be part of it. It's interesting how these facts really affected him. His eyes watered up, so to distract him from it, I asked him more about the doctrine he'd learned from the teachings of Joseph Smith. It broke my heart to have to do this, and while I'm constantly frustrated by my companion's seeming lack of emotions, it scared me to see him this way.
Things have been hard as a companionship because of how different we are. I'm really working hard to be like my Savior. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, and all I want to do is to do His will, the will of the Father, and become like Him. Everyone should read the talk, "The Fourth Missionary", by Lawrence E. Corbridge. If you're not on a mission, then change the vocabulary a little and apply it to your life. The way of the Fourth Missionary, where we give not only our "might and strength", but our "Mind and heart" as well. Through this unconditional surrender of all our desires, we are able to become one in purpose with Jesus Christ and God the Father. When we do this, we become unstoppable.
I'd be lying if I said this work is easy. It's joyous, but difficult. It's been a tough week, and I foresee some things getting tougher, but as long as I follow the path of my Savior and seek to do His will and have the Holy Ghost with me, I can overcome and do all things. I'm thankful for the difficulties before me.
There's great wisdom in Sister Van Wagner's quote from when we first came to Albuquerque. It goes along the lines of, "It's interesting how even with a companion, it's startlingly lonely out here sometimes." It's true in a physical and temporal sense, but in the grand scheme of things, there is no greater joy, and the Godhead looks over us and is with us. These challenges are going to make me stronger, no matter what decisions others make.
Please lemme know about your Missionary experiences. Remember!: Invite, Commit, Follow-Up. This is the basic pattern of sharing the Gospel. Live it.
Love you all!
-Elder Engle

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