Hello and greetings from East Greenbush NY Library! It's so funny how many different places I've been (and will be) to email throughout my time on my mission. Well it was great to hear from you all this week - again no worries about last week; you're all just too with it and on the ball. I hope you all had a great week and had fun with the things going on. That's crazy that there are two new missionaries in Ithaca, one from Mtn. View. So crazy. And Elder Hardinger, really tall?, I believe is my brother (meaning Elder Miller trained him up in Malone I believe). That's awesome though. Nana I love your thoughts at the end of your emails and doing so each week will be great, I think that's a wonderful idea. Thanks! Dad, I'm trying to think back at writing in the summer and things, I'm pretty sure I was doing it at Ste's age. Not too clear recalling how old exactly - but I definitely, looking back, think it helped me quite a bit as much as I may have complained at the time. Isn't that always the case, though? Ha, that's just like our Heavenly Father. He asks us do things that we may not like first off or understand why it is that we need to do them but in hindsight we understand more how it was all only for our good. I love that principle. I have yet to receive the letter you sent last week, Mom; it likely was sent (forwarded) to our old apartment in Menands. No worries, though, as we'll be going back to clean it and tie up any lose ends we need to before we hand over the keys at the end of the month. And on that note, I sent my Mother's Day surprise in the mail this morning. Please open it when you get it, and perhaps it will make more sense when you do so. Yay! Speaking of which...we need to figure our particulars in the next while for the phone call (Mom it's whatever you want to do because it's your day). That was great to see pictures from Conference! K, I forgot to ask or mention this before. I might have seen Dad and Ste during Priesthood at Conference. Rewatch the intermediate hymn with all standing and singing and look toward the very end of the song to the left of the "picture-in-picture" box of the conductor and see if that is you two. Maybe I'm way out in leftfield but it's worth looking back. Let me know!
So this week has gone so incredibly fast I can't believe it. E. Potter and I have been trying to teach more lessons and people. We really were busy planning appointments ahead and running from appointment to appointment. It proved to be really beneficial and worth it! We're looking to continue to increase our effectiveness like that this week. This week was full of odds and ends as well which really hindered our time to teach and be out doing the work of the Lord. We had to do reports and make preparations for our Correlation meeting with the Stake Presidency on Thursday night. And as you know we moved this week, which was quite the feat, which soaked up basically all of Friday and Saturday. Tuesday we were able to teach Bro. Pascher who is still as amazing as ever! He's incredibly on track for his baptism on May 7 and he says how excited he is for it! Also, he likes that he's being confirmed on Mother's Day, which is pretty awesome! We taught Sis. Anato, the woman from Africa, again and she is doing quite well. Perfectly understanding English, let alone the Gospel, is a little challenging but she really is humble and receptive to the Spirit. Other great lessons followed that day, too. Wednesday we had a really good lesson with Sis. Hou. We taught how the Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other and shared scriptures with her. It was quite timely as she raised the concern in Revelations 22 (add or subtract to the Bible) and we were able to resolve it really well. Thursday night after our meeting we found a new investigator Bro. Waite. He was a Head Quarter referral who visited temple square. We're excited to teach him but unfortunately he's leaving to Fort Drum (near Carthage, NY?) at the end of the month. We'll be sure to maximize our time with him. Friday, as I mentioned before, was spent packing and everything else that is entailed in a move. It got quite tedious but amidst it all the work of the Lord didn't cease! We received a golden HQ referral for a woman who "has been taught all of the lessons and is ready for baptism." Ha, it was one of those referrals that missionaries always dream you get; and there it was! We're meeting/teaching her Wednesday! Other than that the move Friday was good. Saturday we had help from a couple people in the ward transporting everything. This move experience actually really strengthened my testimony and I'm so grateful for it at this level alone. I know that the organization of the church is so inspired. How people willingly offer service and how it is organized to do so really was humbling and neat - being on the receiving end for maybe the first time, at least for a move. It's awesome. But the new apartment is incredible. It really is so so so nice. I feel like we're in a little home. I'll take pictures once we get everything settled and organized. I love it. Yesterday, Sunday, we kicked off the 40-day missionary fast for the ward. We met after the block and I got up and explained it again and gave the prayer to start it off; this was a great experience, really powerful. We know that great things are going to come with this! This week ahead will likewise be really busy. E. Potter and I are training at the District Meetings and then Friday going to ZLC. Should be great!
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter! President Bulloch's email on this was really awesome today. Here is a piece of it.
It is my hope that this week, which commemorates the last week of the Savior’s mortal life, including His incomprehensible Atoning sacrifice, will be a week of study and reflection that will not only increase your understanding, but also your appreciation of what the Savior has done for each of us. Culminating Easter Sunday, it is the most sacred week in the Christian world, and commemorates the most significant events in history. Each day of this week I invite you to consider what the Savior would have been doing during this last week of his mortal life. Ponder the lessons that can be applied to our work. For example, today is Monday, and on the Monday of the Savior’s last week He cursed the fig tree that was full of leaves, but produced no fruit. It was just a “pretender” (Jesus the Christ, Chapter 30, p. 489) without fulfilling its purpose. Most think it was on Monday that He boldly cleansed the temple for the second time, declaring it to be “[his] house” (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). I hope it will be of special interest to consider the events of Thursday. It would have been on that day that the Savior instituted the Sacrament, taught several magnificent lessons, and went to Gethsemane. What an appropriate day to “declare repentance” (DC 15:6). A fitting day to “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him… And how great is his [the Savior’s] joy in the soul that repenteth!” (DC 18:10-13) It would be appropriate to spend some time in your morning study to consider the events listed on page 694-695 of the Bible Dictionary. As you begin your companionship study on Friday morning, reflect on the fact that it was approximately 9:00 a.m. that the Savior was nailed to the cross (Mark 15:25). If the days seem long to you sometimes, take into consideration that it was not until 3:00 p.m. that the Savior cried out, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:34) It would have been some time after that time that He died. And what was He doing on Saturday? He went to the Spirit World where He “organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead” (DC 138:30). He was continuing His missionary labors! Then, on that beautiful spring morning, His resurrection broke the bands of death. I invite you to look around as spring bears witness of the newness of life made possible by the Savior’s victory over death. What a great time of year! What a great week this is! May it be a week of reflection, of contemplation, and of dedication for each of you.
I love my Savior and am eager to reflect on the reality of his life, ministry, and mission. I'm blessed to serve as a minister of him (Minister in the Bible Dictionary was a gem I found this week).
I love you so much and thank you for your support.