1/3 of the way in (but who’s counting)?

Already I’m about 1/3 of the way through my mission. It’s been a fast few weeks as well, which is kind of strange considering we don’t have many investigators. The ward has been getting a little more engaged in missionary work, but the real trick is getting all our small “leads” to follow through. This area is bound to explode before long, considering the number of seeds that have been planted. It takes faith to know that the Lord is preparing people for you to teach. Sometimes when we get turned down harshly, I remember what President Benson(?) said about the Book of Mormon: It does not contain things that are pleasing to the world, and so the worldly are not going to like it (that’s a paraphrase). But as the Spirit has time and opportunity to speak quietly to their hearts, those people of the world will feel a yearning to learn more. If it does not happen in this life, it may happen in the next. Study hours are the perfect time to remind one’s self of the truth of the things we teach.
The real convincing evidence to me is the fact that I know the gospel is true because of the Spirit, and because of the fruits of it that have shown themselves in many places. We are blessed to be able to study and live the teachings of the gospel, and ask God Himself if it is the truth. Whereas organizations of man use sophistry and deceit, God’s way is liberty, and this life is a chance for us to choose and act for ourselves, and not be acted upon.
General conference was the most spiritual I have experienced in a while. I loved Elder Kearon’s talk about helping refugees. It is my experience and testimony that as we serve with a spirit of charity, we come to forget our own problems and find the joy that comes in bringing relief to others. We are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, and heaven knows that what we need in this world is to live together peacefully. Sacrificing for others helps us to realize our love for them.
The key thing there is charity. That’s something that I have been struggling to develop in myself, lately. Paul taught that if we serve people with reluctance, without charity, it “profiteth [us] nothing.” I would share more about this, but quite frankly, I’m still studying.

On a different note, there’s a Brazilian family in the ward who had us over for dinner recently. We had carreteiro, which is a sort of thick meat stew cooked in a Dutch oven, and rice. It was delicious.

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