Monday, September 19, 2016

Weekly Email # 59 - Striving For Consecration

Greetings from Z town!

This week started off slow. Through Elder Hatch's recovery from this Ohio bug that's going around, we got a lot of administrative stuff done, but not as much missionary work as we hoped to get done. But as we progressed towards the latter part of the week, we were able to see some success and quite a bit of the fruits of our labors. We continue to invite and persuade people to attend church and with us having Stake Conference this week, it made for only a two hour meeting instead of a three hour meeting. (More on Stake Conference later.) But no, sadly, we still can't get anyone to church. Our investigators are reading the Book of Mormon though! There is definitely hope and faith being developed in our investigators.

One thing that we have been implementing in our work is seeing as many less actives off the Ward Roster that we can. We have experienced one of three results whenever we went to a LA's home.

1. They don't answer. (No duh, Elder Galbraith.... Who could have thunk?)
2. They do answer and it turns out to be a completely different person than we suspected it to be. Usually, they don't know anything about the Church so that's our opportunity to teach. Over the past few weeks, we have gotten 5 new investigators just from visiting Less Actives!
3. The Actual less active answers the door and either they continue to be offended by something that happened in the Church a long time ago, or they are going through a hard time at that particular instance.

You know what? Everyone is going to have their own excuse not to go to Church. And no matter how great the reason, you're always going to feel some degree of guilt whenever you don't allow yourself to feel the outpouring of the Spirit of a Sacrament meeting.

I felt such a Spirit at Church yesterday. As we were waiting for the Stake Conference broadcast to begin, everyone starting noticing the technical difficulties that we're going on. There was a storm surrounding the Stake Center, from where the broadcast was taking place, making church buildings like ours receive a very poor connection. After attempting to fix all the connection issues, Bishop went up to the podium and announced they are going to postpone this session of Stake Conference and that we were going to prepare for the Sacrament by singing a few hymns.

It was such a neat experience to see how professional this was all handled and I felt such a powerful Spirit as we partook of the Sacrament. I love to see the behind the scenes and the little administrative things of how everything is organized and set up, I'm weird like that. It was an unconventional Sacrament Meeting, but it is one that I will never forget.

I haven't had too many moments like this on the mission but I love and am grateful for every single time that it does. And that is this. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is uncomfortable. Yes, sometimes (Okay... A lot of the time.) I don't want to wake up so early in morning. Yes, I get frustrated whenever someone doesn't accept the gospel. And that is okay! As long as we give them the opportunity to accept, then that guilt and shame won't rest on our shoulders.

I love being a missionary because it allows me to be the closest I've ever been to my Father in Heaven. He definitely knows I make mistakes, and I make a ton of them, but one of the greatest things I have learned out here is that mistakes always serve a righteous purpose.

I'll leave you a quote from Parley P. Pratt, one of the best missionaries of our time. I hope to rise to my potential as much as Elder Pratt did. Love and miss you all! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

On September  7, 1856, shortly  after  learning of his call  by  Brigham Young, he  offered the  following  tender reflections and prophetic  insights:  “I  have  desired,  after travelling for  twenty-five  or twenty-six  years, mostly abroad, to stay  at home  and minister among  the people of  God, and take  care  of my  family; but God’s  will  be  done, and  not mine.  If it is the will of God that  I  should spend my  days in  proclaiming  this Gospel and bearing  testimony  of these  things,  I  shall  think myself highly  privileged and honored. And when the Spirit of God is  upon me,  I  think it  matters but  very  little what  I  suffer, what  I  sacrificed–whether  I  secure  the honor or  dishonor of men,  or where  I  die, if  it  so be  that  I  can keep the faith,  fight the  good fight, and  finish my  course  with joy.  I  have  all  eternity  before  me, in which to  enjoy  myself.”

Elder Galbraith
The Great OCM
Aug 2015 - Aug 2017

Pictures!

1. Some Ohio country. And some Guineas. They are like turkeys, except more weird looking.




2. Dan, an investigator of ours and Elder Hatch with a three legged calf. I'm a city boy, so this was my first time seeing one!




3. Longaberger Headquarters! How do I know? Well.... It's one of the few cool things you find in Zanesville. Haha