May 24th 2010
Well, I am here in the lovely city of Wenatchee, WA. My trainer, Hermana Naylor, is AMAZING! She has only been out on her mission for 6 months and has been serving in this area the whole time. She is really young for a trainer. Typically, most missionaries don't start training until after a year. But, I know that her being called to be my trainer was inspired. Her spanish is really good and she is helping me with mine. We get along great and are very compatible as companions. She is from Denver, Colorado. Already received her Bachelor's from BYU in Journalism, and has traveled and lived throughout lots of different places in the world. I admire her alot, and already we're becoming very good friends. The Lord has definitely blessed me with good companions so far and I am so very grateful for that.
#1- Ok, the highlight of my mission experience so far started on the very first day. After talking to my fam on the phone, we boarded our plane to Spokane. Interestingly enough, our flight attendant talked with us a little bit about our church. There were 11 missionaries in our traveling group. One of them gave her a pass along card, right before take off. Well...as we were sitting there I got the strongest prompting of the Spirit to do something, I myself know I could have never done, had it not been with the strength and courage given me by the power of the Holy GHost and for the cause of which I am here on my mission in the first place. To represent Christ and to testify of Him. I have been called and set apart to do so, so I should have no need to fear that responsibility, even when the spirit prompts me to do something that is far beyond my own capacity and comfort zone.
Well, what was it that the spirit prompted me to do you might ask? Well, truth be told you probably won't believe the story. But, as we were getting ready to take off, my mind reflected back on a exercise we did while in the MTC. They called it the "bus exercise", where we practiced getting on a bus, bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon to every one on the bus and inviting them to hear the message in which we have to share. Ok....so I'm sitting there, this memory comes to mind, and immediately the Spirit tells me "you need to do this- here". I was completely taken back by the prompting at first at I didn't know how to react. We began taking off, and the prompting came again and stayed with me. I couldn't quite think straight, because the natural man in me was like...."no, thats weird, that's scary." But, then I read a quote I had about the importance of my call and how great my calling was as a missionary. I turned to the BOM and the story I happen to read is of course, the story of Abinidai and how he stood as a testimony to the King, and although they mocked him and rejected his words, one of the preists, only one soul (Alma) believed his words and left the King's reign and ended up bringing many people into the church. Of course as I read this I realized that the Spirit was just reconfirming to me, that I needed to stand up at the end of the flight and bear my testimony to the people on this plane. For what purpose, I need not know, but what I do know is that I couldn't deny the power behind these promptings and I couldn't hide from them otherwise I would reject it the rest of my mission and think "what if". So, with new courage and as I prayed a couple different times for the strenght and the ability to do this, at the end of the flight I did just that.
We pulled into the terminal, and the seatbelt sign went off. I stood up and said something along the lines of, "Brothers and Sisters, if I could have just a few moments of your time I would like to share a quick message with you. We are missionaries of the church of Jesus CHrist of Latter-Day Saints. We are representatives of Jesus Christ and I testify to you that I know He lives and that He is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that we can get nearer to Him when we read it. I know that Christ suffered and died for us and that he loves us. I bear witness that we have a father in Heaven who loves us. I invite each of you the next time you see missionaries to be nice to them, and ask them about their message. I promise you it will change your life. The gospel has changed mine. I bear witness that the church is true! Thank you and have a nice time in Spokane!" Now, I'm pretty sure it came out better than that on the plane. To be honest I cant really remember what exactly I said, but I could feel the spirit bear witness through me. I was scared, so scared, but with the Lord on my side I was able to stand as a witness of Him.
The missionaries afterwards were amazed and thought it was so gutzy, but I told them that had I not prayed for the strength of the Lord to be with me I coulnt have done it on my own. Family I want you to know, that I know I am a disciple of Christ. I am a true messanger of Him. And that everyday as long as I continue to follow the promptings of the Spirit, I will have the opportunity to witness miracles. I know He lives and I know He loves us. I know that God has a plan for each of us, and this short time that I have the opportunity to serve a mission is going to last with me throughout my life and into the eternities. My friend Amber wrote me and said, "This is the greatest work to be apart of. You have 18 months to dedicate everything to the LORD, and then an eternity to remember it!"