To all sorts of everyone,
This week has been really interesting again. We have lots of ups and downs, like anyone, but at the end of the week we are still able to look back and see what an amazing few days it has been. This past week we have really connected with a couple less active member families and some part member families who all live in the same house that are becoming stronger and more active. It is great to see this real growth in a family who lacked the same sort of conviction as some of the stronger families in the ward. We also were able to take Christian, our 19 yr old investigator, to the temple visitors center and he liked it a lot. He even asked what he needed to do to become a missionary later on in his life! I am pumped for his conversion to continue, for him to love the Gospel, and to begin to share something that blesses his family and his life.
This coming week we have a ton, a ton, of very long meetings. We had one yesterday so we had to switch our pday. That meeting was almost 7 hours long.....so darn long. It was full of a lot of great teaching, practicing and learning going on. Our Mission president shared a couple of experiences about how revelation blessed his life and particularly how asking "is there more?" when we receive some can be. He was working on a case that was going to be made in to law (as he is a lawyer) and he felt very passionately about how the law should be and how he thought God would have it be. He had solid arguments for 4 out of 5 points but was very weak on the fifth and couldn't think of where else to approach it from. When he was driving to a pre-lim case, as he described it, he was listening to a conference talk and the thoughts just began flowing. As he was driving and after as he pulled over, he wrote down all his thoughts that he felt inspired to jot down. He then asked, is there more that I can have, that I need to know for this case? The revelation from heaven started again and he was able to construct a strong defence against the other argument. As we live our lives and we have the few or many experiences of revelation, we need to ask for more. Sometimes the Lord is just waiting to see if we have the faith to ask for more. Or, at least that is what I got out of it.
We went to the DC temple today. It was tremendous. I loved the stained glass and the rich wood. Most of the decorations were timeless and full of class even though they must have been at least 10ish years old. The Celestial room was stunning and our session was great too. A recent convert was getting her endowments out for the first time at 50ish and our witness couple had dreads, and tats, one of them being deaf. It was the most diverse temple experience I have ever had (it is DC, so it makes sense). I love that no matter who we are, what we look like or what we may have done in the past we can change, find a new passion and, through this Gospel, become more like Jesus Christ. That is what I try to imagine every time I look at a new person. What kind of strong ward member can they be? We met an older guy from Salvador yesterday who would be the fiery, excited, spiritual pocket rocket on the member soccer team; or like a few weeks ago, the strong minded tenacious Baptist lady who would give the best testimonies. Also, Christian, who has the potential to be the sharp new missionary serving who knows where. This is why I serve, so I can help others find these people inside themselves. It makes me happy to watch this transformation, to see the happiness it brings them. Everyone already has the skills, the talents, and the desire somewhere inside from their life before this. The only thing they have to do is let the spirit change them through their simple actions; like coming to church, doing service for others or praying because of their lack of "truth" in their lives. The same goes for all of us, I think, who are already on the path.
Love you guys so much and still can't wait to see you guys again
-Elder Jonathan Bigelow