Hello from California!
This week is week 6 of the transfer! Next email will be coming from a new location in the mission unless I stay in Westlake Village for another 6 weeks.
We had an exciting hike called “Boney Mountain.” Let me tell you something about this hike… I was told it was only 3 hours round trip and was relatively easy. Was this the case? Nooooo… Instead it was a 5 hour round trip on trials that were more like free climbing rather than a hiking trail. Oh, and we all ran out of water which was really fun. The view though from the top was absolutely amazing! We could see all the way around the valley of Oxnard, Camarillo, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks. It guess you could compare this hike to our progression through life and how sometimes the climb is more difficult than we expect but the end result is worth it.
This weekend we had the baptism for our investigators Eva Key and Tita Lawrence! I got the opportunity to baptize Eva and Tita’s son, Robert, baptized her. We had a strong showing from the ward and all the missionaries in our zone came and some even brought their own investigators! Our Relief Society President and the High President Group Leader each spoke on baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.
It was a wonderful service and reminds me of the scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 18:15-16 that states…
“15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!”
These verses are immensely true. My joy as a missionary and as a follower of Christ has never been so high than seeing two people I have come to love and teach, accept the gospel of Jesus Christ in their own life. All the hard work pays off and it pays off in a way that I could have never expected! I feel so blessed by our loving Heavenly Father to be able to have this opportunity early in my mission.
I testify of the truthfulness of this gospel. It has the ability change a life like in a unique way. God is waiting for us to do the things necessary to return to Him after our time on Earth. He had provided a plan, a Savior and countless other factors to help us along this journey. We are not alone or distant from His loving arm. He is only a prayer away! Let us all apply this wonderful gospel in a new way this week and share it with someone in need.
Till next week.
Elder Austin Morgan
Ventura, California July 2016-2018