You say not really any news? I feel like that was a lot of good news haha. I am glad that everything is normal-above average and what not. Riley never writes to me about his life. He just tells me how much he loves me and misses me. I didn't expect that from him but hey, at least he is the only one that sends me mushy letters haha.
I feel like we had a lot of ups and downs this week. Downs include crazy internal struggles, losing 5 of our investigators in the same day, a big stampede of bed bugs that attacked us at our investigator's house!!!!!! haha. The poor member that went with us. I would be lying if I said there weren't times on my mission where I have felt like I can't do this, and this week I probably hit the lowest of the lows for a day or two. These are the times when you are praying just to make it through the next hour, where you don't know if there is really more you can do. Those times come when you have the strongest moments. It seems like whenever something really good or spiritual happens, either right before or right after you get tested and tried the same magnitude as the spiritual experience that you have. I guess that is why they say there is opposition in all things.
Ups this week though were endless. I had a lot of support this week, despite all of the opposition. One of the less actives was really receptive to me and I related to him, someone that has been somewhat standoffish since before Elder Wood got here. We had a great district meeting, I got to borrow my favorite CD's (Rob Gardner's "The Lamb of God" - a play if you didn't know - I would recommend it) which I really sang out to this week; I got to really feel the presence of those supporting me, and we also had quite a miracle story!
Visiting a potential investigator one night, we came across a a bunch of brothas playing basketball. It felt right to talk to them, so I walked up and said, "Do any of y'all love Jesus?" and got some acknowledging responses, and one of them asked us if we wanted to play. We waited until after their game, and when they offered a spot on one of the teams, I said, "I'll make you a deal. If I make this 3-pointer, y'all have to listen to us for 5 minutes." So I dribbled up to the top of the key and swooshed a 3-pointer. Haha. They were surprised (apparently the suit and the glasses are deceiving), but 4 of them gathered to listen. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon, modern-day prophets, and how the Gospel can bring joy, after which we gave out 2 copies of the Book of Mormon (one of them already had a copy) and 4 mormon.org cards with our names and numbers on them, and a commitment to explore the truth and call us to meet up. It was amazing. "And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33).
On top of that, we had a baptism this week of the son of our recent convert! He took his time to find his answer and decide to be baptized, which I really appreciated, since he is a 12 year old. It shows he really knows how important this is. He asked me to baptize him, (I got it on the first try BEAT THAT GRANDPA haha) and it was an amazing feeling to be able to baptize him. I realized when he asked me that I had never baptized anyone before! So he was my first.
Anyways, sorry the letter is so long, but I hope that I am able to relate to everyone. We all go through trials, we all get tested, and we all go through the refiner's fire. If we endure it well - and trust in the hand of God, the master creator - we come out pure and shiny and what not. It's a good process. Just take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. You will have support as needed, but you can get through! You can overcome.
I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!