This last week has had some definite victory moments!
I'll start off by telling you a little bit about how our investigator named Eva is doing. If you remember from my letter last week, she had been going through some really difficult things. These things included, but were not limited to: possibly being kicked out of her house, her boyfriend breaking up with her, and a whole truckload of other things. It was a really rough week for her, but things are starting to really look up now! She ended up not getting kicked out of her house, which was definitely great. She's also patched up a lot of relationships with her immediate family, and for the first time in many years, has strong positive relationships with her father. All of these miracles have come because the gospel has come into her life. She's so incredibly happy, and is still very excited to be baptized on October 15! She's been one of my favorite investigators, and we're so happy to see the changes that she is making in her life.
There were also a few baptisms this weekend! Another one in Dolan Springs, and Mary Lou and Victor G. here in North. The one in Dolan Springs was a lady named Anna that Elder Aitchison and I taught a ton. She's been going through some really difficult things in her life, and it's so amazing to see the peace that's been brought into her life from the gospel! Unfortunately, due to late notice, I was unable to attend the baptism. However, I still got some pictures with her via Skype! I'll be sure to send those along.
It was also amazing to see Mary Lou and Victor be baptized this weekend. As I mentioned, I had the opportunity to be the one to perform the baptism. This was a very special moment for me. I was particularly impacted by the wording of the baptismal prayer this time. It starts by saying, "having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you..." The meaning of this phrase really struck me this time. When an ordinance is performed, the person performing that ordinance literally gets the chance to stand in the place of the Savior and extend salvation to someone through the power of the priesthood. The spirit that I felt as I had these thoughts was overwhelming, and it was one of the most special experiences of my mission so far. It means so much, that despite the fact he can do anything, Jesus Christ chooses to empower small and simple people like me and others to do his great and marvelous work. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had.
In addition to these other things, we also had some other exciting news from this week. A member was throwing out an old massage chair, which they gave to us instead of throwing away! We've been thoroughly enjoying having this massage chair in the apartment!
I'm so happy that I have this chance to serve my mission right now! I truly can't think of anything else that I would rather be doing right now, and I know that this is the best thing that I could possibly be doing for my life. I realized, that soon the number of months that I have left on my mission will be in single digits. It's going by way too fast! However, this realization has been giving me a stronger desire to really buckle down, and work hard. I also really want to make sure that I have a clear vision of the kind of person that I want to be by the end of my mission, so I can continue to develop myself to the end. I want to make sure that at the end of these two years, I've become the man that Heavenly Father needs me to be. I think he gives us all experiences that will shape us and mold us into the people that he needs us to be. I hope that all of you are having the same experiences, and can recognize them as the blessings that they are. God truly knows and loves each one of us, and has a plan for each and every one of us that is far greater than anything we can imagine.
I love you all, and I'm so thankful for everything that you continue to do for me!
P.S. Go Utes!
Q&A - 9/26/2016
1.) I sent you a video clip of Zack's MMA fight from Saturday. Did it work to send it it the way that I did? Were you able to watch it? Not sure if it's ok for you to watch, but I wanted you to be able to see your brother in action if you were able to. -- I was able to watch it! It was so cool! It looks like Zack did a really good job, and trained really hard! I'm definitely proud of him! I'm going to write him a letter and tell him so. That is really cool to hear about how much support he had! Never in my life would I have guessed that Grandma Excell would skip out on the women’s session of General conference to watch a UFC cage fight. I guess there's a first for everything!
2.) Do you have plans for the upcoming conference weekend? Do you have investigators that you'll be watching with? -- In general, our plans are usually to watch at a chapel. We'll be watching at an old school chapel on the corner of Civic Center and Tonopah. As always, we'll definitely be hoping to have some investigators there!
3.) When are your upcoming baptisms scheduled for? -- Eva's baptism is scheduled on the 15th. We have a few others, but they aren't quite as hard set as that one. We're definitely very excited about that one though!
4.) I'm hoping you had a better week with a few less setbacks and discouragement's. Is this true? Or was it another rough one? -- It was a good week overall. Most of the stuff that made last week a little rough were just small things that happened on p-day. Overall, this week had a lot of great things about it!
5.) What do your typical p-days look like these days? -- Typically, we wake up at the usual time and get ready for the day. has been and about any concerns that we have in the zone. Then at 8:30, we have a meeting with the sister training leaders for our zone. We discuss a lot of different things, such as how the previous week went, upcoming plans, and how the zone is doing in general. After that meeting, we usually go to a nearby Smiths, and a nearby car wash that gives us free car washes and take care of some of our errands early on in the day. Afterwards, we head back to the apartment and spend an hour or so cleaning it and getting lunch. Then, we drive down to pick up mail for the zone. This can take anywhere from an hour round-trip to two hours round-trip depending on traffic and where we have to go to pick the mail up. After that, we usually head up to the stake center and do our emailing and also play some sports with other missionaries. There's usually some kind of random thing that pops up in the middle of it, but for the most part that's what our days look like on P days.
6.) With the way things are right now, there is a good chance we will still be living in the trailer when you come home. Mom is a little worried how you might feel about that. Just want you to know that we always have room for one returned missionary and hope you’ll feel good about staying with us. -- I think it'll be a blast to stay in the trailer! It'll be fun to see how you guys have been kicking it for the last couple of months. It'll also be cool to see the house midway through. It'll bring back some memories of the old days when we were trying to put together a house. Especially the memory of golfers shouting at us, while you were being held up in the air on the ladder being held up by mom and you were 30 feet in the air, trying to put in 4 x 4 posts for a second story deck! Definitely lots of good memories! I'll look forward to being able to help you out with a little construction when I get home. That’s something I've always enjoyed doing with you. Definitely grateful that you taught me those skills!