Just for one example: This Tuesday Elder Moss and I went to go to an appointment that we had set up with a student names Sam. We had already met with Sam three times before this appointment and he was really progressing well. (Read through to Mosiah) When we to to his flat and knocked we were met by one of his roommates Ben who had sat in on one of our previous lessons and stated he was a devout Atheist and just wanted to listen. He then proceeded to smugly tell us that Sam was no longer interested in Mormonism and it would be a waste of our time to talk with him further. He said that Sam has found a "better" way.
Needless to say this was quite a sock to the gut and me and Elder Moss were slightly discouraged. (We still have not been able to contact Sam or Isaac for that matter) Now at the time this seemed like the worst thing in the world that could have happened. Then all of our other appointments fell through for the rest of the day. So we went finding for a long while. People seemed to be more rude and atheist than most days in Sam's area so we decided to head somewhere else. We then met two Chinese students who set up appointments. One specifically being Sun.
We had a quick conversation, in doing so learned that he didn't know if he believed in God but had been trying to find out recently if he did. We set up an appointment for the following day and taught him along with a friend he brought. We invited using the Commitment Pattern, and he then accepted an invitation to baptism and also to come to church with us the next day. He loved going to church and had many questions wanting to know more about Jesus Christ and God. We will also be meeting with him tonight. They are experiences like this that help me to love missionary work and my mission even more. Being able to see someone I just met have understanding come into their eyes from the message that we share.
Looking back me and Elder Moss realized maybe why Sam dropped us and why everyone else was so rude to send us in a different direction all together to go finding. To find Sun. Sun trying is amazing and I feel that he will grow a lot in the gospel. The principle is that we don't know why God lets things happen, but he does. So trust him. At the time it may seem horrible, but he knows best. Now Sun may drop us in the future, who knows, but I do know that God has a plan and it would of course be wise to follow it. :) So family, like being in Arkansas right now, utilize the time you have to the fullest and understand you can learn from every situation and that you are there for a reason.
This week I also had the wonderful opportunity to go on exchange with Elder Sturt. Elder Sturt is one of the 3 Assistants to the President right now and is an amazing Elder. Despite the shortness of the exchange (2 hours, exchanges usually being 24 hours) Elder Sturt somehow managed to completely change my view of my mission and the Lords mission as a whole. He shared with me a piece of advice that has become very valuable to me. "It is all about the perspective." As missionaries (or anyone else for that matter) we need to learn to have that broader vision of why we are here, what our purpose is, and how we coupled with the Lord can achieve that purpose. When things are looking bad, Elder Sturt said, just step back and look at it from the Lords perspective, or at least as close as you can get.
Of all the things I have learned this week, the most important is God's plan for us. Live it and love it. The trials will be hard and they will come, but they are there for a reason. I can't remember if I told you this already, but a RC from Romania asked us in a Lesson if Satan tempts us every day or if he takes days off. :) Unfortunately it is every day, and we can not let our guard down no matter how hard it may seem. As I learned in the D&C this week, let us put on the whole armor of God. And then keep it on. :)
I know this one is a bit shorter than the last, but I hope you find it helpful. Family I love you and appreciate the time I can spend writing you, letting you know how things are going, and hopefully at the same time uplifting and enlightening you. You are always in my prayers.
Onward and Upward,