Monday, October 19, 2015

 October 19th, 2015

It amazes me that we are already to the 19th of October! My companion and I were thinking this morning about everything that has happened these last few months and we are just amazed at how fast all of these events happened. This week was no exception. Since we had received our leadership training the week before, this last week we gave our zone training which went pretty good. I'm not sure what it was about this last zone training that we did, but I felt the need to study a ton for it and to prepare myself even more than I normally prepare myself and so that is what I did. Every morning I sat down at my desk to study for what the Lord would have me share with my zone. I prayed often to know what it was to share and I received a very clear answer which came to me as a surprise. What we had been preparing was a bunch of paperwork talk coming from the area book, but as well as the way we are using our time and how we plan. The answer that I received while preparing was this. "Austin, you can't share the information that you know. What you need to share is the spirit that makes you want to do all of the paperwork and the hefty tasks that you do as missionaries. I understood my answer quite clearly and again. The next day Elder Nielsen and I spent hours planning powerpoints and presentations for our zone, all saved on my USB. 

The morning of the zone training we were just about ready to leave when I realized that I didn't have my USB. I had somehow lost it and it was nowhere to be found in the room. We went searching for it because our whole zone training was on it, but sadly ended up without any results. I decided that I needed to counsel with my Father and so I put myself to prayer. While praying I once again received an unexpected answer and what I felt or rather heard was, "There is something that you need to learn today and I am going to teach it to you."
There was something that I needed to learn that day and that was to trust in the spirit at all times. I have thought about this experience that I had and it makes me realize that this isn't my work. It isn't my zone, nor was it my zone training. The Lord is at the head of his work and he guides it. My testimony of leaders of the church that are called of God has increased immensely. Our Father in Heaven calls us to serve in callings to help direct his work and He expects us to confide in him and do his work how he wants it done. What I felt at first as my answer still was true. It wasn't me nor my companion that taught the zone, but it was rather the spirit that testified. The zone training was a little difficult to give without the powerpoints and without the notes, but I sure was able to learn something and able to grow through this experience. 

The rest of this week was really good. The zone is stronger than ever. In fact, I just got off a phone call with one of our assistants asking about what we are doing in the zone to have so much success. I told him the answer is easy. We have been focusing on what our objective is as missionaries. "Invite others to come unto Christ through his gospel and Atonement." I feel blessed to work with such great missionaries and to help them become the best servants they can be. 
Here in the ward we are doing really well. I love so many different people here. The ward members flock to us to be able to teach with us. I feel like the Lord has truly touched the hearts of these members and has allowed them to see more clearly what it means to be a part of the work of salvation.
I love you all so much and you are always in my prayers. I hope you have a great week!

Elder Thorpe

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