Thank you all for the birthday wishes. It has been good to hear from all of you reminding me that you celebrated my birthday without me and ate a carrot cake too! I can't believe it.... :) I hope that it was really good at least. It has certainly been a good week over here on the Isle of Man. The weather has been fairly good and the work is the same. Nothing to extreme has happened, but we have seen many blessings and have had some interesting experiences, and my driving is continuously getting better!!
Just yesterday we once again were blessed with the opportunity of helping someone make another step in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and following him. Kris has now received the gift of the Holy Ghost and was excited to be a full member of the Church of Jesus Christ. After church he turned to me and said, "You have just done a really good thing." (I was fortunate enough to be able to confirm him) It was a great feeling to know that we as friends had participated in something really special and even better to know that Kris as a Recent Convert understood how special it actually was. He is really looking forward to fellowshipping with us. When we told him that we would no longer be teaching him every day he was devastated and said that he still had so much to learn. It will be good to see him share his testimony with others.
This week for one of our companionship goals Elder Tellem and I decided that every night we wanted to share with each other something that we were really grateful for and appreciated. We had this goal to specifically help us to continue to look for the good around us and let each other know how blessed we were as missionaries. Not only has it done this, but it has strengthened our love and gratitude for the ward and the people we are working with. It reminds me of the quote by a latter-day prophet, "Ingratitude is I think the most prevalent of all sins and one of the greatest." We as a companionship have been more grateful for different opportunities and experiences, and because of that we have a greater desire to do the lords work.
This week we had an experience that really made me think a lot about the principle of exact obedience contrasted with being pure in heart. Elder Tellem and I were teaching a lesson late one evening and we knew that it was about time to leave if we were to get in on time by 9:30. Then everything started to unravel, the member referral investigator we were teaching in the members home had some concerns that we felt were not extremely important to resolve at that time but went over it briefly anyway. At this time we were almost certain to be home late and we were feeling bad about it. You could say our hearts were being pricked. Then the investigator asked us for a blessing. I was at a loss of what we should do. If we gave him a blessing we would definitely be late with the effect of being disobedient. As the senior companion I knew that I needed to make the call. I decided for a couple of reasons we needed to give him a blessing. After the blessing he sincerely thanked us and we pretty much ran out the door.
On the way home I had quite a few mixed feelings running around my head of the situation and what we had done. We ended up getting to the flat about 10 minutes late. I felt horrible about it that whole night and the next day as well. The Zone Leaders doing their job rebuked us and committed us never to be late again. Dad and anyone else, I know you don't know the whole situation, but I was wondering if you could give me your advice as to what you would have done in that situation. Following the spirit is obviously the key, but otherwise what would you have done. I have been told that when you are being disobedient, there is nothing you can teach an investigator that will help them at that time, it will be more so a negative situation. I feel that we did something good and have seen the blessings from giving that service through the priesthood, but I also understand that we were not obedient to the Missionary Handbook. At the end of the day I am torn between the line of exact obedience and Pure in Heart. Once again, I know you don't know the whole situation, but if possible I would like to have your thoughts and advice.
This week we were lucky enough to go over to the Sayle's home for Tea and a Lesson. While there we celebrated my birthday coming up because they were not going to be there for it. Hannah took a video and said she was going to post it on Facebook, but I don't know if she ever got around to it. I am very grateful for the Sayles and their amazing personalities and the friendship that we are able to have with them. I would say they are the closest thing to a family away from home. It is extraordinary what the gospel can do for people in their lives.