> This last week was a little bit discouraging. We feel like we spend all of our time knocking doors and find occasional people who will listen to our message but then say they believe what we are saying could be true, but that they are happy with where they are at. Or we find people that seem super prepared, but we can't get that elusive second or third appointment and so they don't progress. So then we are back to knocking doors because we don't have people who are willing to set appointments.
> It's hard to stay motivated when you loose some of that hope that you can find anyone who is actually prepared to progress toward baptism! And then I get down on myself for not being motivated enough to work as hard as I want to. What I want to do is just work like a crazy person and be able to say that I gave 100% of my effort 100% of the time, but the problem is having the energy and focus to actually do that every moment of every day. I guess I've got a sprinter's mentality in sports and in life. Give me a measurable task and a close deadline and I'll sprint hard/work hard with the best of them, but there is a reason I've never had any desire to run a marathon. It's just a hard mentality for me to figure out how to make happen.
> I've been trying to figure out how to turn that desire into reality, because obviously just beating myself up over it isn't working. I came to the realization that to reach my goal of getting beyond just being a good missionary and become the powerful servant that I know I can be, is going to take more than my own will power. To be honest it will take something closer to a miracle. And maybe even the kind of miracle that doesn't come forth but by prayer and fasting. So yesterday I fasted and prayed for that miracle. And today I followed the prompting that putting real effort into my morning exercise would lead to greater diligence the rest of the day. And so my abs are sore, but thus far my quest for consecration is going well. One day at a time.
> One area that we are seeing success in is our work with a woman named sister Henderson. She has been inactive for about 15 years, but has decided that it was dumb to stop going to church and that she needs it back in her life! And she is doing great! She comes to church every week that she can (she missed a couple because she was out of town), and she is looking forward to fulfilling her calling as the Relief Society visiting teaching coordinator. It is amazing to see and her her talk about the very real difference she sees in her life when she is actively living the gospel verses when she isn't. And that's why I'm on a mission. Not to be able to report amazing numbers of baptisms or reactivations, but because I know living the gospel does make difference. And I want others to be able to have those blessings in their lives! Because we all need it!
> On another note...I finished reading the Book of Mormon this past week for approximately the 20th time cover to cover. It's a true book, by the way. But I could have told you that the first time I read it. I have served with amazing missionaries that have only completed the Book of Mormon once or twice, but they know it's true. How? Because the Spirit bears witness of it the moment you begin to seriously study, ponder and ask. For me, the amazing thing is that the more I study it the more thoroughly convinced I am of it's origin and it's absolute truthfulness. If it was anything more or less than a book of holy scripture written and compiled by ancient prophets and translated by the power of God, then by now I should have discovered critical errors and contradictions. Elaborate, fictional stories presented as fact don't hold up very well under in depth study. But I haven't. Because it is absolutely true. If Joseph Smith had written the Book of Mormon he would have to have been a brilliant theologian, economist, psychologist, sociologist, historian, philosopher, etc... With an ability to invent original names that would rival Shakespeare, yet seemingly lacking an understanding of proper grammar and sentence structure. Pretty impressive though for a virtually uneducated man in his mid 20's! But at that point he was none of those things. And he didn't write that book. He was just a humble, willing servant, called by the Almighty God to do a marvelous work and a wonder, and given power to translate.
> For all of my short-comings, lacking a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is not one of them. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth.
A beautiful little lake in our area, but mostly I had to get a picture
of the clouds 😉