So let me start by saying that I appreciate all of your love and care for me in this new adventure of my mission.
I gave a very successful birth on Wednesday morning at about 10:17 AM to a baby boy. His name is Elder Christopher White from South Carolina. When I first saw him his first words were, "I will never call you 'daddy'". I just laughed. I think he was having a rough morning... Things have changed and he is starting to loosen up.
He really is a great missionary with great potential. I have really felt the mantle shift from Elder Call to myself this week though. When we plan I feel more inspiration and direction than I did before; when we are in teaching appointments I feel more direction in what scriptures to use and answers to questions than I did before as well. I never thought that I would miss Elder Call but when I was laying in bed on Wednesday night I really felt the appreciation that I never thought I had for that great missionary. He is one that I will always remember. He truly has set me a path that will make my mission and my life successful. I know that I wouldn't be training now myself if it wasn't for the lessons and the experiences that my trainer taught me.
Let me share with you an experience we had yesterday that is both funny and humbling. We were asked to speak in the Twin Groves first ward yesterday, which was Elder White's first assignment. I told him at the transfer sight that his first assignment was to prepare a 15 minute talk on the role of missionaries in missionary work. He accepted the assignment and had a few days to prepare. Well we get to sacrament meeting in which there were no sustainings and the youth speaker only spoke for 2 minutes. We were left with about 35 minutes for the two of us. As the senior companion I was asked to speak last. Elder White was really nervous. When it was our turn I told him to talk for 17 minutes. He got up and gave great insights on missionaries and what we do and then started to bear his testimony after only 6 minutes! I was flipping out when he concluded leaving me with 30 minutes to fill... Let me just tell you, that talk was definitely when I depended upon the spirit for help the most to help me with what to say to double my planned talk.
That is the funny part of the story. The serious part is while I was speaking I had such a direct impression come to me that Jace Crain, one of our investigators, was going to accept a baptism invitation that night if it was extended by Elder White. I pushed that thought out of my head because Elder Call and I invited him 3 previous times to be baptized with no success. When we were driving to the apartment to eat lunch I told my companion that he needed to listen very carefully to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act upon them in the appointment with Jace. Now mind you I didn't tell him to set a baptism date or even tell him that he had rejected an invitation 3 times in the past all I simply said was to follow the promptings. Well we got to the lesson in which we started to talk about blessings and the example of Jesus Christ. I then turned the lesson over to Elder White to add his testimony or any comments he had. As soon as my companion opened his mouth I felt the Spirit just fill the room, he then proceeded to extend the invitation to be baptized. Jace accepted the invitation and will be baptized on the 1st of May.
I'm reminded of what President Colton told us in the "train the trainers" meeting. He said, "the Lord loves to use 'green' missionaries in his work." I know that is true. I know that the spirit told my companion what to say and when to say it. I also know that the Lord works on his time, not ours. Elder White was sent here to invite Jace to be baptized and he was the only one who could do it.
I remember the first baptism date that I set. It was with the Westover family. Elder Call did the same thing to me and let me set the first baptism date. I will always remember that moment. When I was able to feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost and successfully set a date, it was then that I finally felt like a missionary. I hope my companion feels the same way.
We are working hard each day. Harder than I think we have strength to do. There is still so much work to do here in St. Anthony and I'm glad that the Lord has me here to stay for 6 more weeks.
We do the Lord's work, His way, and only by His power. I know that this is the true gospel because of the miracles that I witness each day. I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and will always do what he requires of me.
peace and love,