Dang this is probably gonna be a longer email. It's just being out here in the woods gives me a lot of time to think back on my mission. And I just wanna share a few thoughts and things I have learned.
Honestly it is sometimes pretty easy to get discouraged here. I mean it's like at least 110 outside and we're on bikes. And Natchitoches is really small so it feels like everyone here has been talked to like a million times. It sometimes just feels like I'm not really gonna make a difference. But now when I see someone I ask myself what have I done to invite him to come to Christ. To give him a chance to be happy. I was also thinking about to serve the Lord with all your heart. Often why I tract or talk to people. I get rejected so much that I honestly just expect a rejection and often don't really put my heart into the work. I expect a rejection so it doesn't hurt as much when I put my heart into it and they do reject me. But if I expect a rejection that's what I'm gonna get. Recently though I have changed that. I looked at the example of the Apostles. They always are so passionate about what they say. You can feel that it really means something to them. I think that as I am truly passionate about our message. As I let them see what it it means to me. They will feel it. And yes I will still receive rejection that will make me stronger. But more importantly the people I come in contact with will be more likely to act on our message and receive the blessings that come from living the gospel.
How the mission has changed me: I look back at the beginning of my mission and I see how shy and uncertain I was. I didn't know how to talk to people or deal with their problems. I didn't know the scriptures like at all I feel like. I knew the Church was true and saw how it blessed my family but that was about it. Now I know that God loves me. I know that he loves each of his children so much he is constantly sending people to help bring them back to him. And to help them feel his love. It is such a privilege to be a messenger from God called to do exactly that. In Sierra Leone I learned that the gospel is fun! That no matter how hard or humble your circumstances you can be happy and still have fun. I am just saying if I didn't goof off a little bit and just joke around and have fun then the mission would have really sucked. Now I'm gonna share a really neat miracle that happened this week.
Miracle: We were biking and it was really really hot as usual and I stop and feel something prompt me to knock on this door. I look and it says the family name right in the front yard and I'm like dang! Family sounds promising! Though it looked like no one was home. We knocked anyway and there was no answer. We knock again and still no answer. As we are about to leave this woman answers the door. She let us in. She has a husband. Anyway this lady tells us that she saw us out of a side window and thought we were from a different church. She wasn't going to answer but she felt something prompt her to answer the door. She then told us about how her twin brother had just passed away and how she was going through a hard time. We had a great lesson and the spirit was so strong. We have a return appointment for tomorrow and she is soo excited for us to come back.
I know that God lives. That we can make a difference in peoples' lives. It doesn't matter if they have been talked to a million times. We can still let them know that God loves them.
I love you all and am looking forward to finishing strong!
Love Elder Lehr