It has been another great week! Here are a few highlights!
We found some awesome people to teach this week! A few families and a few cool individuals! Elder Decker and I have one huge goal while we are companions here in Coshocton. That goal is to find 2 solid families that 1) are financially stable and have the means to assist 2)that do not struggle with any addictions specifically the word of wisdom. This is our goal because many of the past recent converts have had struggles in these areas and still struggle with them. We want to find people that can replace us when we leave. We want to find families that can uplift, support, and aid the branch.
We had specialized training on Wednesday which was pretty cool. We had the opportunity to meet President Daines and to get to know him and his family. He seems like a stellar man! I am excited to work with him. He does have some different directives and goals then President Nilsen did but that is wonderful. Change is good and without change life would be boring.
One thing that has been on my minded and something that I have been pondering a lot lately is the hard times come into our life. I think a lot of the time people think that missionaries never get super discouraged or that when hard times come they just brush them off. Well I am here to tell you that that is not true. I can vividly remember in Delaware at about my year mark I woke up in not so good of moods. We were not having much success and it was in the dead of winter. I woke up and said to myself "yup I am done. I think it is time to go home. I have been out for about a year and that sounds like a good enough time to me." I was emotionally, physically, and spiritually exhausted and at that time I was done with everything. But I pushed through it. I felt much like Ammon when he said, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give you success." The Lord truly did comfort me in my afflictions as my heart was depressed. It is in the moments of despair and trial that we learn and grow the most. In all hard times we need to push on because after the hard time there is always the miracle if we faithfully endure. Don't let doubt and fear disrupt your faith."For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."(2 Timothy 1:7)
Yesterday during testimony meeting I felt very impressed I needed to visit with a man in the branch. We will call this man George. George is 82 years old. His health is declining quite rapidly. He can barely walk and is always falling over. Along with all that his handicapped daughter died 2 months ago. As I met with this man I could not help but be astounded at this man's faith and dedication in the midst of great adversity. He and his wife drive an hour to church and they are there early every Sunday. While we talked he said this to me, "President, there is not much I can do anymore. I try to help my wife out as much as possible by doing dishes and the laundry. And there is not much of a use for me in church service. But there is one thing I can do, and that is set up the sacrament. So that is what I do." He does it every Sunday. George arrives early to church. He places his cane down on a chair. Then he slowly walks between the kitchen and the sacrament table setting up the two bread trays and 2 water trays. What I reassured this humble faithful man, is that the small humble service he provide is the biggest most necessary thing anyone in the branch could do. His preparation of the Sacrament is the the most needed service because the sacrament is the most important part and the reason we go to church.
Let us all learn from George, that as adversity, trials, and hard times come into our life that we still remain faithful in the service of the Lord. And remember hard times mean good things ahead.
Hope you all have a great week!