Monday, April 21, 2014

4/21/14 - Unconditional Love, Working through some Disappointments and Taking the Lead!

Hi Hi,

There's some pretty cool people out there in the world. I'm grateful to be able to get to meet just a few of them here in Firth. In my life's experiences, I've come to the conclusion that I should just love everyone I meet. Like Jesus loved us. There are lots of weird people out there, shady looking people, overly happy people, shy people, etc. etc. I've had the opportunity to meet all kinds of people under those categories and among others. All of them though, are children of God, our brothers or sisters, and are no better or worse than us. I've been fortunate enough to meet many of these people these past few weeks that I wouldn't otherwise have been able to do if I weren't here in Firth. All of them have a story, have grown up differently than we, are born with different brains than we, and all of them have a good heart. Here's a scripture on the subject of love. :)  Doctrine & Covenants 121:36-46. 

“That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
Hence many are called, but few are chosen.
No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile
Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.
Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.”

Well, I guess I should start off with the bad news for Elder Larsen and me. So we cover 6 wards here in our area, and our Spanish Sisters were low on work unfortunately. After correlating with the Sisters and our Stake President we decided to give them an English ward. So now we're down to 5 wards, the hard part is that the Kimball ward (the one we gave up) contained most of our investigators with a baptism date, and almost the entirety of our current teaching pool. 

BUT we still have 1 part-member family we are teaching and I love them SO much, man, I can't describe how awesome they are. Elder Larsen has been teaching them for the past 7 months since he has been in Firth, so they aren't progressing towards baptism very quickly but that's okay. We helped them move a hot tub on Saturday and holy smokes that thing was heavy. Took like 4 hours to move it from Idaho Falls to Goshen. 

I'm pretty excited about not having work to be honest. It's like having a fresh start or as missionaries call it "whitewashing" an area (starting from scratch). Elder Larsen and I are planning on getting in with all of the Stake auxiliary leaders and Ward leaders to help with our finding efforts. I'm trying to think of cool fireside ideas that youth and adults would be interested in coming to, that aren't threatening to non-members or less-actives and are super fun. So we're going to talk with the stake young men's and young women's presidents to see if they have any ideas for a missionary fireside. Also, I'm trying to get people to start brainstorming for ideas of fun ward activities to do now that summer is coming up and planting season is coming to an end. I feel like we are revolutionizing the area with missionary work, it’s exciting lol. We're getting all of the members super pumped and giddy about it. 

We had interviews on Thursday with the mission president and those went well. I honestly have no idea what is going to happen this transfer but, I'm ready for just about anything. I'll more than likely be staying with Elder Larsen here in Firth to finish up my 12 week training program, and we're thinking the area will be pinkwashed by some Sisters (we'll both get transferred out and two new sisters will be transferred in) after that. After the interviews ended, we immediately on exchanges with our zone leaders and that was super enlightening and fun. Elder Eldredge was my companion for a day and a half and I learned a lot of good study skills from him and just how to be a good missionary in general. We had all of these great plans after interviews and all of our lessons ended up falling through. The next day we planned for another great day because we had 3 lessons planned before dinner, which for a missionary is a feat due to the fact that most people are working at that time. Those all fell through as well, BUT regardless of the disappointments I still had a great time gettin' to know him and learning from him. And we were still consistently busy throughout the day, I don't know how, but he figured out stuff to do and to fill our time with missionary work. 

Well about half of you probably won’t read this because it’s a super long TLDR letter, but I hope you at least read this bottom part because I want you all to know that I love you. So there...

Elder Chillespie

(Note from Betsy –  =)  I had to look it up LOL: TLDR = "Too Long; Didn't Read")
Evan also said “I'm just super focused on the work” --- love my Elder G!

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