Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Los Alcarrizos, Elder Holland, & Faith . . .

March 18, 2015

Dear Family,

Lots of things have been happening this week!!  We are super busy with the area, and also with all of the leadership stuff that there is to do as zone leaders, but I am loving every second of it.  My comp's name is Elder Quiñonez, and he is from Guatemala.  He has like 15 months in the mission almost, and we hit our month marks on the same day!  He is a really hard worker and we are really good friends, so I was glad that we got made companions!! I am loving it out here!! Quiñonez and I are really good friends, so things are going great, and the people here are amazing so I am loving it!

So one the 12th of this month we had a special visit from Elder Holland.  We were all so excited!!  He came in, and it was just amazing to see him in real life!  He told us that he wanted to shake every single one of our hands!!  So we walked up in the line and got to shake hands with him!!  I couldn't keep this big smile off my face!!  I walk up and he asked me my name, so I told him, and then he just looked at me for a while...  And then said, "Elder, you have a great smile!" I almost died right there!!  I was the only one in the whole congregation of 240 missionaries who got a comment like that from him, so I felt really good, and it was something that I needed.  Then he talked about the book of mormon and how it was a sign to the world that the restoration is taking place and that the true church of Christ is on the earth once more!!  He also talked about the importance of the mission.  He said that lots of people get really really worried at the end of their mission, and are scared to go back to real life.  He told us that THIS is real life!!  It is the most real life you will ever live!!  He told us to take advantage of every moment to the max and to live the full mission experience, the good and the bad!

Santo Domingo West Mission
We also went to the temple today, which was one of the most spiritual experiences that I have had in the mission.  I went in to it this time with more faith than I think I have ever had in my whole life, because I sincerely wanted to know the answers to some questions that I had!!  I felt the spirit very strongly as I went through the session, and then in the celestial room it all just piled on, and I was just overwhelmed with the spirit!  It was great, and I loved every minute of it!!

This first week in the area was sweet!!  The house is really nice, and is one of four houses in the mission that have a water heater, and I have been in two of them, the other is in my first district, and Pedersen is in the other one, so that is kind of funny!!  We also have the church super close, like a two second walk, so that is great!!  The light is unreliable, but we have the generator so that is fine!  We have a ton of weights and stuff, and we bought more this last Saturday!!  It is a good house to be in!

We also are working really hard in our area right now as well!!  We have a bunch of people that we are working really hard with!  We have 4 people with baptism goals, and their names are Ambioris, Jacinta, Luis, and Teresa.  They are all adults of between 40 and 50 years old, so they are pretty fun to teach!!  There is also an 11 year old that we are not teaching, but he went to stake conference alone this week and lives right across the street from our church, so we are going to try to start teaching his family because he wants to be baptized!!  It is going to be a fun area to work in!!

I know that this is the true church, and I can say that with 100% certainty.  Sometimes we as  people fault in our testimonies, but I have realized something in my time in the mission....  The times that we fault are the times that we aren't doing our very best.  If we are truly doing our best and putting in our 100% effort, the Lord will bless us with the knowledge that we desire.  This has to do with faith, and I testify that faith is the first step towards knowing that the church is true.  Faith is a spark in a field of dry grass.  If we let it catch, it consumes the whole field.  I know that we can let that spark catch in our souls, and become converted to the one and only true church of Christ.  I love this gospel and this church, and testify that it is the only true church.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!


Elder Garrett McEwan

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