Friday, March 11, 2016

March 8 - best week yet!

Hey all,

Well I like the idea that my mom does to start from the most recent and then write going backwards because I think that makes it a lot easier to remember everything that I have to say!

So I want to start off talking about a leadership council that we had with President Mecham yesterday. We only have them once a month and they are by far my favorite part of my new assignment! There are 23 people that participate in this council, the 14 zone leaders, the 2 assistants, the 5 sister training leaders, and then President and Sister Mecham. This week we just went in praying about ways to help the mission find the people that the Lord is preparing and help them to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, and how we as leaders can help the missionaries in the mission to do that better. It turned out to be one of the most spiritual experiences of my life, where we truly learned that if we do all that we can, the spirit WILL be there to testify of the truthfulness of these things, it doesn’t matter if were about to go home and have 23 months of experience, or if we were in our house yesterday, but we have to do our part, of obeying the mission rules, studying, and preparing to teach these people!

Then President just started talking about the vision that he has for the mission, he told us he is kind of scared for the future, of what will happen, because looking around that room, when my generation goes home, everyone else will have already gone home that was on that leadership council. He just started to cry and tell us who much he needs and loves us, and how much he has learned from us. Then he said, you may not have known it, and I can’t say this just to any person, but every single one of you is in my journal, and I will never ever forget you. It was an incredible meeting that helped me just leave ready to serve even better in the work of the Lord! What an opportunity!

Fast and testimony meeting from yesterday. Yesterday was the best Sunday that I have had in my entire mission (and maybe even my entire life), Elder Penrod and I noticed a couple of weeks ago how Sundays are usually super stressful because we have to help all of the investigators that come to church, we usually end up teaching classes, we are helping the bishop, we are worried about all of the people who don’t come to church, we are just always super stressed, so this week we decided to enjoy church. I have never been so uplifted by the testimonies shared as I was this week. Pretty much every deacon (all 3 of them) got up and shared their testimony about the brotherhood that they feel in their quorum. Jose Armando (from the pics last week) got up and bore his testimony about Elder Penrod and me. He just got up there and was like ´´this week Elder Stout and Elder Penrod came by and taught us the coolest lesson on the armor of God, I just wanted to share it with you...I can’t wait to be a missionary, I want to be like them.´´ I was full on crying while he said that, I just feel the pure love of Christ so much right now! I just love every person that we are teaching, and every person in this Ward, the Lord is blessing me so much!

Also, Ana, and Valeria Ortiz Muñoz bore their testimonies which is super cool! This family all got baptized right before I got to this area, and they are incredible (the pic is with them) and Valeria is preparing for her baptism as well (she’s the only one left). This week we had so many people come to church with us! Azul and Tamara and Rubi all are still working towards their baptism dates, and had a great time there. Also, America and her 3 daughters were there! I love that family!!! If all goes well they should be getting baptized next week!:) They even signed up to give us dinner today in church. Also, I included a picture of how Zoe decorated me during church, haha it was awesome!

Last week we had a really cool experience with Tamara and Rubi too. We asked them so like how have you liked all of this so far? And Tamara said, if you had told me all of this 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have blinked an eye or thought twice, But that was because the Lord had not finished preparing me. I am so thankful you two found me, I am so excited for what you have been teaching me, and I just want to do what God has planned for me in my life. This is the most beautiful message I have ever heard and I have felt and know that it is true!

Wow, what experiences I had this last week! I am hoping to have even more this next week!! I hope the best for you all as well!!

Elder Stout

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