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Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 17, 2014 #1

[Note: items in blue brackets have been added for clarification]

I'm doing good!
My laundry  bag will be strong and of a good courage all the days of it's life. If at some point that life comes to an end.. Well 4 American dollars is about 50 pesos so I think I can manage a laundry bag in the budget. I'm sure it still has many months of service remaining.

I did the choir my second week here, and it was great, but I've got a lot of other stuff going on. For example, we went to choir practice last Sunday because I was sitting and reading the book of Mormon and suddenly felt like we should, but on Tuesday in the pre-devotional rehearsal we were teaching a lesson after we would have had to have been on a bus headed to main campus.

Last night Richard G. Scott spoke -- of the Quorum of the twelve if you missed that. If the missionaries who left on Monday knew they would be so mad! Apostles don't show up here all that often. I mean it's often, but most missionaries see one or none while they are here. He spoke on prayer and shared an interesting idea. When we don't get answers to prayers, it often means that it's because the Lord trusts us to make our own decisions based on what we know of the commandments and the gospel. We should be grateful for those opportunities that we have to act as independent agents in our lives. The Lord won't let us stray too far without guiding us back or confirming our choice.
The biggest thing I noticed about his talk is how incredibly familiar he was with the scriptures. I don't mean he knows where this scripture is, I mean he really has pondered it and understands it on an intimate level. He talked about sections of the D and C [Doctrine and Covenants] and parts of first Nephi [in the Book of Mormon] that I knew but somehow it felt like he understood them at such a deeper level than I did. It's just another goal to add to the list I think! Although my guess is understanding the scriptures like an Apostle does takes a little longer than two years.

In the last 13 days we've taught 48 lessons and we should reach our goal of 60 before we leave a week early. We're thinking 80 sounds like a good minimum. We have to make up for the other companionships in the district if we want to get ties the last day from our teachers! It's wild though, it's P-day and I have 4 lessons scheduled, on top of laundry and the temple and email and all that.

We were going to try and do all of the ordinances at the Temple today, well that missionaries are allowed to do (we can't do baptisms and can only be children in sealings) but we have too many places to be around to teach at. Still plenty to learn, but I should be getting my travel plans on Friday, so that's pretty wild. Since I've already been to the consulate it's pretty much a done deal that I'll be headed straight there, but stranger things have happened. Two guys headed to Ecuador got notices last week that their visas to Argentina were not yet available, so that's a little confusing.

The other day we had a lesson with an "investigator" named Gabriel who shared an incredible testimony of the power of prayer in his life. His mother told him years and years ago that whenever he was lost or in a bad place, he could pray to God and he would get the help that he needed. One day two of his brothers never came home from school. His mother was a wreck and had to take pills to sleep that night. The next afternoon, he was crying and went to his room to pray to find his brothers. He told his Father in Heaven that he knew that he would get an answer because his mother had promised he would. He walked to the front door, opened it, and saw his brothers.

Years later he had a son who was dying. He had been praying for months to no avail. One night at work he prayed and got the impression that he needed to go home. He ignored it at first but then hurried home. His son was really bad and he took him to the hospital. The doctors told him his son would likely die that night. He accepted it and was willing to let it happen because he trusted God. But his son survived and is now going to school for music, after overcoming cancer. First time we had an investigator in tears during a lesson though!

Hope things are going well for you!

Elder Wadman

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