(This is Doug, almost caught up Austin’s Blog. My apologies…)
Hello from California!
We got a chance to work on an Eagle Project for Jordan Sherwood, a local youth in our ward. His project was to repaint all the external doors to Westlake High School. It was a great opportunity for service and provided a chance to get to know some of his nonmember friends! Picture below.
In the spirit of Christmas, the Westlake Village area is starting to put up decorations! Its weird to see snowflakes, lights and Christmas trees while its 85 degrees outside but I guess there are places that are much hotter than here! We will having a Christmas season training from our mission president in the upcoming weeks as to what focus we should have as His missionaries during a time of year where people are more focused on Christ than usual. Picture below of me trying to share the message of His birth with Frosty (hey, got to take what you get.)
THE WORK: This week we got the chance to start teaching 2 new families, The Goods and the Swensens! One family is Jewish and the other attends a church called Calvary Community. At first both families were a little hesitate to the idea of meeting with missionaries but they finally came around to the idea. We have been able to have discussions about eternal families and how through covenants (aka promises) with God, our relationships can be perpetuated beyond the grave. The idea really got their attention and they want to learn how to make this a reality! Obviously, they have some concerns about aspects of the doctrine or historical events they have heard about through the world but the change in their hearts is occurring more and more each day! What a blessing to have a front row seat to watching the Lord convert those who have real intent and a sincere heart.
Church this week was crazy! We had 5 investigators there! It’s a number that is uncommon for this area or the ward and you could feel the excitement of ward members as they made sure each felt welcomed into this new experience. Each investigator had a ward member befriend them and show them around the building, sit with them in classes and explain elements of the service that they had questions on!
Elder Allen and I got the chance to teach the senior youth Sunday School as well as a small part in the primary! With the senior youth we talked about how to become spiritual self reliant and how to help others do the same! Elder Allen had this great analogy to trees as follows, “When we start our journey in life, we are like a little seed that is planted in a pot of soil. The situation is calm and controlled as we grow into a small sapling. The day comes to where if we want to become bigger and stronger, we have to leave the pot and be planted in real soil. The situation is new and not as controlled yet our growth potential is significantly larger. We grow in the tree that we want to be, strong, deeply rooted and beautiful!”
I wish I could say I taught him everything he knows as his trainer but that’s not the case! I challenge us all to look at our own life; see if we are still in the pot or are we planted in real soil so we can grow into our potential!
Psalm 55:22 “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” The Lord is here to take our burdens and make them light. We will sustain us in all we allow Him to! Often we don’t feel of that unconditional love because we try to block Him out. Let Him in. He wants to help you overcome all your challenges and struggles you face with a sense of joy! One of the many things we can all be thankful for in the upcoming season!
Shoutout to Karl Engel, I lost a bet within the apartment and had to wax both my legs. I now know why you do it, its a strange yet satisfying feeling… Picture below.
Last picture is when Elder Allen and I got free drinks from a stranger! Sorry mom, I guess the lessons taught to never take things from strangers never stuck.
Till next week,
Elder Austin Morgan