Dang! Why do holidays always have to land on Mondays?! :)At least I get the opportunity to email at all, modern technology can be such a blessing! I'm glad that things are going well back home! I hope that Grandpa had a great birthday! I'll be able to add my voice to the Barker family birthday song next year! :D
I'm glad that you are learning a lot from institute! I love institute! It is the greatest! Things are going really good here in the Palmetto ward. We had a great Zone Conference with President Van Cott last week. We learned a lot about extending commitments to people and being bold with people. That is something that I need to work on because I tend to be less bold than I should be. But we have to be bold, and sometimes what we say or what is said to us won't make us feel the best.
A perfect example is in Jacob 2: 7-9, where Jacob talks about how the Lord doesn't strive to heal their wounds just yet but makes them larger so that they can know more clearly of the things they need to do. That is what boldness does. It lets people make a clear choice between good and bad.
I've been reading in the Book of Mormon recently about Alma, Amulek, Ammon, and Aaron and their examples of missionary work. If you want great examples of how to be a great missionary read the Book of Alma. It has some of the greatest! But what I've been learning and seeing in our everyday work is that one of Satan's greatest tools is to blind people to say: "Hey I'll repent someday, but just not today. I'm not ready yet, so don't rush me. Just make me feel good, tell me what I want to hear". (Isaiah 30: 9-11)
But in reality what we are here to do is to help people change their lives and they will see great blessings. But that change won't be easy all of the time. What we do as missionaries is invite all people to make these changes by extending commitments. If the commitments are kept, they will start to repent and change.
God grants unto men their desires (Alma 29: 4) so if they truly want the blessings of a celestial life then they will need to change a few things. But if they want the things of the world, they will get them but they wont get the blessings that God truly wants for them. So, you can see that I learned a lot, and I love that.
We've been able to apply these things and so far we are seeing a lot of success. People are progressing so that is a good thing.
Well any way I love you all! I hope you have a great week!