I know I say this a lot, but WHAT A WEEK. I don't mean to be negative
feller by ANY means, and I've loved my time to serve here in Eustis.
But over the past few transfers the work has been somewhat stagnant.
We've tried different ideas with different people out here and nothing
has seemed to work out too well to see true progression take place. On
the other hand though, this week was probably one of the most
successful weeks out of my whole mission. My personal motto this week
was to "bounce back" like is needed when life gets tough and you're in
the nitty gritty. Keeping a positive attitude was big for us as we
moved into this crucial week 2 of the transfer. After trying to set
baptismal dates for the past several weeks, three investigators must
have felt something special and they agreed to set some dates for
baptism! It's been a struggle for me recently to see progression with
some of the people we are working with, and I went into a rut where I
lacked the key element of faith. I have a strong testimony that the
Lord will forever and always work with imperfect people as long as
they have the desire to become better! Artie, Sherry, and Addie all
have baptismal dates now! Woohoo!
Artie's lesson was one that will make me laugh for probably the rest
of my life. We've been trying to set a baptismal date with him for the
past 8 weeks now. Something always seemed to get in the way of him
setting a date. As we sat down to start off the lesson, Artie's 11 yr
old kid named Joseph stuck a whoopie cushion underneath his chair and
we were all laughing like hyenas (keep in mind his nick name is
"Fartie Artie.") As we continued further into the lesson, not even Yao
Ming could have denied the spirit in the room. He felt the need and
desire to be baptized and set the date for March 5th!
Sherry's lesson was another one for the memories. She said that she
has felt something different in her life ever since she started
sincerely reading the Book of Mormon. She also mentioned that not all
of her life's trials and problems have been solved, but she now has a
peace of mind that she's been wanting for several years. The Book of
Mormon and he spirit it brings has been to deal sealer for Sherry to
set the baptismal date for February 27th.
Then we have Addie! I've talked a lot about Addie in my previous
emails, and she is a legend! The faith this women has is remarkable.
It seems like nothing has gone right for her over the last few years,
but she's remained faithful and believes that Jesus Christ will help
her with anything. She told us she was at her lowest 3 weeks ago when
one of the members of the church started talking to her and asked if
she'd like to meet the missionaries. With tears running down her
cheek, the words stumbled out of her mouth " I knew from the beginning
I met you for a reason." She set the baptismal date for the 6th of
February, and for me, there isn't a better date to pick for baptism
them for it being on my birthday. It must have been inspired or
Another highlight this week was getting on the exchange grind again!
With transfers taking place last week, we weren't able to go on any.
This week we went on two and I was able to hop across the fence and go
on an exchange with the other elders in the Eustis Ward. They work
more in the historic city of Mt. Dora, which is right across the
street. We had a solid day and I spend the 24 hours on the clock with
a missionary who I came into the mission with at the same time. His
name is Elder Donnelly and he's a stud! We enjoyed the day catching up
and thinking about how quickly these 19 months have gone by.
We will have back to back solid weeks here in the beautiful metropolis
of Eustis. We have an MLC on Tuesday with Richard G. Maynes of the 70,
the following day we are having a Zone Conference with Elder Maynes
giving us some good instruction. I'm looking forward to it! #turnup
The perfect scripture to sum up the week is... "For I am God, and mine
arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders,
unto all those who believe on my name." (Doctrine and Covenants 35:8)
I'd be lying if I say I've loved every minute of my mission. I do know
that I've loved and I'm grateful for the things I'm learning from my
mission. I wonder where I'd be without my mission and the Gospel in my
life. I truly feel that this is where Heavenly Father would have me be
right now and to be learning the things I am. I'm grateful for the
love and support that's sent my way. Thank you!
- Good ol' Florida!
- Elder Donnelley and I
- Fro-Yo and the Eustis Elders