Geez you guys. It took me about half the time I have to read through all your emails this week. Thanks so much for all your love and support. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Lars and Natalie. PS - Nad. ALways love reading your weekly emails. It's fun to compare missions and see everything we do differently.
We had interviews with President on Friday. His son-in-law Alex Boye was there (to speak at a multi-skate youth conference) and I chatted with him a little bit about music, conversion, being positive, changing your mission, etc. He was really cool and it seemed like everything he said was straight out of an inspirational quote book. HOWEVER, he helped me to realize a couple of things. He told me that if you wake up every single morning with an idea, a specific idea in your head, you will always be happy with the way your day went. The idea was this: "I AM ALWAYS DIVINELY GUIDED." Interesting right? Because if you always follow the spirit and you tell yourself that God is ALWAYS directing you, in EVERYTHING YOU DO, you will never make a wrong choice. Because of that, I was inspired to contact every person in my way this week. It went super well. We didn't see a whole lot of numerical success, but we talked to a lot of people about the gospel and planted the seed. It always feels wonderful to contact people and let them know that God is good, that he's there, that he cares. It's hard sometimes because Elder Giglio does not like street contacting so I'm always the one to initiate the contact. But I feel like that's good for me because I'm always forced to step out of my comfort zone.
We had another good week with Carlos, our Dominican investigator. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom, which was a surprisingly powerful lesson. We heard from the grapevine (his sister) that he drinks A LOT and that he turns into a really horrible person when he does drink. So we committed him to live the word of wisdom. He seemed really inspired to live it and to stop drinking altogether. AAANNND we set a baptismal date for him. He is going to be baptized on the 9th of December. We're super stoked for him and it's the most incredible thing in the world to compare him to where he was when we began teaching him. Before he didn't really have a knowledge of God, Jesus Christ, The Holy Ghost, anything really. He just knew that God was there and that he existed. Now, he is fully aware of our gospel, of the greatness of God, of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I told Carlos' sister that we're going to change his life and its so amazing to see it happen before our eyes.
Man this week was still a little slow BUT it was because of the insane amount of service we did.
We did some more service with Bruce on Tuesday chopping wood in the freezing rain and stacking it. On Saturday, we got a text from our zone leaders that said that we needed to be in Eatontown (farther south than us) at 8:00 in the morning. So we headed down to Union Beach to start our service.
I did not even realize how intense the hurricane was. We literally saw NOTHING in our area and in the Brunswick area. But farther south, and on other areas of the coast, house after house after house was simply leveled to the ground because of the winds and waves. We saw people's entire lives, ripped to shreds, floating in six inches of muddy water in murky area that used to be their basement. There was this insane "half-house" which was basically a house that the front half looked ok, like it had got a little weather but not too bad. Then we saw the back of the house, which was non existent.
Elder Tippets, Elder Morrill and I were in one group and we headed down into this dank storage cellar that smelled like feces and rotting cardboard. There was this Mexican guy named Leo that was wearing a bunch of plastic bags and a face mask and was carrying bin after bin of garbage, glass, grime and destoryed storage out onto the curbs to be taken away by garbage trucks. We basically just helped to carry stuff out. By the time we were done, we were FILTHY. Dad - filthy animals.
Then on Sunday, the same thing happeendd. Except it was from our Branch President, President Zapata. We had a 15 minute service for church, basically just taking the sacrament and then immediately after we headed over to Staten Island, New York. It was basically the same situation there, but not as bad. BUT I had a cool feeling with one of the guys we helped that he would receive the gospel later on in his life, due to the service that we rendered to him.
Doing service is a really cool work that we can do to spread the gospel and simply help people out in times of trial. We helped this guy Bob with ripping out all the sheetrock in his flooded house and he said to us so many times, "You guys... I don't know that to say.. I can't thank you enough...God bless you guys.."
There's a lot more service to come, I was just surprised that it took us 2 weeks to actually start doing it.
God is good. He loves us all. Jesus sacrificed his life for us so that we can live with him and our Eternal Father again. I wrote a poem the other day about Kai in jail and I included Isaiah 9:6 or 6:9 I can't remember but it says (and you're all very familiar with it)
"Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called
THE MIGHTY GOD
THE EVERLASTING FATHER
THE PRINCE OF PEACE.