Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016

Dear Family and Friends!

What a week! This week has had its ups and downs for sure. We spent a lot of time preparing for the Mexi Fest event on Saturday, and at times we were wondering if we were putting in too much effort for it, and if there were better things we could be doing with our time in order to serve the people. We felt that since the responisibility fell to us to make the event, that we should give it our best, and it paid dividends. We had several Less Active members there with whom we set up meetings, about 4 or 5 children who enjoyed all the games, one person who came and the other Elders set up a return appointment with him, 2 investigators brought a total of 3 friends with them. It was a big sucess and exciting to see the reward of that.

This week we also sent off a lot of members yesterday for the temple trip, and I'm excited for them and the opportunity they have to go. I had the opportunity to give a lot of blessings this week which was very humbling, many people have had some trials this week and it's always a tender mercy to be able to be the person that the Lord places in their path in their time of need.  I also had to be in charge of conducting and presiding on my first sacrament meeting this last week which again, was very humbling.  There definitely seemed to be that pattern to this week at times.  I want to become a better and better volunteer and sometimes I feel that I hit a wall that wasn't there before because of the law.  It really is just an excuse though, and whenever I start having those thoughts I immediately try to push them away and focus on all the reasons that the Lord has us here at this time as volunteers.  And when I do I really do notice the wealth of miracles that we are blessed with in this work.  Since I've gotten here, upwards of 5 or 6 people have found the church of their own accord, taken a Book of Mormon from the shelf, and wanted to meet with us again.  That's just one of many things that, again, has been super humbling.  

In a couple weeks Elder Martino will be in our mission, and then a couple of weeks after that we will have the Christmas Conference's, so you can say I'm pretty excited for the next couple of weeks. We were asked to prepare a 3 minute talk on diligence, as well as study some talks.  I'm excited to give the report in a couple of weeks about what will happen.  It's so weird that honestly this will probably be the best birthday present ever getting to receive cousel from Elder Martino.  It'll be a little late, but I'll take it nonetheless.  

Right now, I'm just feeling the topic of humility in a big way.  Some of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon are Mosiah 2:22-24.  They read, " 22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

 23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you .And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?"

Those are some of my favorite verses in the scriptures.  They speak to me of the need to be humble, to do what the Lord asks us to do with a willing heart and a willing mind (D&C 64:34), and that he truly has given us everything.  I've never experienced greater joy than as I try to follow all the commandments of God with a willing heart and a willing mind.  You all are such wonderful examples to me and I pray for you all by name.  I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be on a mission and I'm excited for the opportunity when I'll be home to share even more of my experiences with you, for right now though the weekly email will have to suffice.  

I love you all!  Have a great week!


Elder Belnap

MEXI FEST!  We made the pinata out of paper mache.  We're thinking of asking President Childs to put us in charge of all mission wide events.  Yes the sombreros were also made by paper mache.  Elder Tribe and I doing planning in our Russian шапки that we ordered from Elders up in Petro (the most northern city in the mission right now).  Real, authentic ones were on a huge sale up there, and President allowed us to order through them, it was super fun.  Also Elder Tribe playing chess with babushka ludmila.  She's a saint.

Love you!

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