Monday, December 9, 2013

'Tis the Season...

Hey guys!

So this is Elder Manning's last week, so we've got to make it a good one. It's always somewhat odd being around a missionary who's going home soon - it's always in the back of both of our minds. He's being a good example on how to use it to your advantage, however, and his fast-approaching plane ride is motivating him as opposed to slowing him down. It's putting an urgency into our missionary work, which I kind of like; I wish I could always work as if I was going home in a week.
But now to continue last weeks story with the woman who watched the DVD - we had a good lesson on Wednesday and she asked a lot of questions, a lot of really good and thoughtful questions. You could tell she really wanted to know the answers. We had our Mission Leadership Council on Wednesday at the Lakes Stake Center, so while we were down there we stopped at the only Deseret Book in town and picked up a couple copies of "Mormons: An Open Book" by Anthony Sweat. It's an awesome book answering all of the questions that most people want to know - questions about our beliefs, practices, history. The price was down from 20 bucks to 5, so I picked up several of them. We went by later that night and dropped off a copy with her, and ever since then, she hasn't stopped reading/learning, and we couldn't make her stop if we tried. We had a lesson on the Book of Mormon on Saturday night and she's been texting us about the stories and characters all weekend. She mentioned to us "If Nephi could forgive his brothers and the sons of Ishmael for trying to kill him, then I can forgive as well"; she then called someone she's been holding a grudge against for years and apologized, saying she forgave him and asked for his forgiveness. It's absolutely incredible to see the change the Spirit has wrought in this person after ONE WEEK of learning! She came with us to the First Presidency's Christmas devotional last night and really felt the spirit. It's been a great week because we've been able to witness, in a very real way, a "change of heart".
This is all so true, I can barely stand it. I've had several moments this week where I stop what I'm doing and just marvel at how perfect the Savior and His teachings are. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the fullness of the everlasting gospel has been restored to the Earth. I also know that this happened because we're loved, loved more than we can imagine.
By the time I email next week, I will have heard about who my new companion is and will have a better idea of my situation for the next couple of months. If it's who I think it is (who the AP's have hinted at), then it's going to be an awesome couple of months,

'tis the season and all that,


Elders Dowdle and Manning

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