This week was a long one. Being in a car share area, we don't have the car some weeks. This was the week that we were biking. My thighs and calves were killer this week. Some days we biked 12 and others 10. Uphill and downhill. At least it wasn't Phenix City where there are a lot of hills and everything is spread out from our apartment.
I gave a talk on Sunday. My topic was the Work of Salvation. Fitting, right? I focused mainly on how members and missionaries can work together to help change the lives of those investigating the church. Like the song 'Glorious', we all have a part to play. Performing this work is not a 2 year contract and it's over. It is a life time of reaching out those who need the Gospel in their lives. We as members and missionaries are the means by which investigators are brought into the true Church of Jesus Christ. Elder Bednar said it best and I will paraphrase his words. He said that the whole purpose of bring people into the Church is to get them to the Temple to receive their endowment and be Sealed as a family for Time and Eternity. That could not prove to be more true being out in the field. The temple is one of the key Gospel principles that we bring to the table in this flurry of religions. The others are the Book of Mormon, living Prophets and restored Priesthood Authority, and that Jesus Christ leads this Church through His Prophets. The end goal for each convert needs to be the Temple and the ordinances performed there.
I have realized this week how much I truly lack yet. I am struggling right now to understand my companion's needs and what I need to learn from him and what he can learn from me. He and I don't have much in common. He was home schooled and was a wrestler when he went to high school part time. I consider myself a geek and in many regards, he does not enjoy what I do. We don't talk about much. He has a little 'greenie arrogance'. I am fresh in the area but I am still trying to break down some walls so that I can feel a part of the companionship. I am trying to help him realize that I also know what I am doing as a missionary. This companionship is very humbling and at times frustrating. I want to make it better but I am struggling to find something we can talk about. He knows how to work hard and I know he is impatient with me, especially when we are on bikes and he is in much better shape than I am. At times I do feel insufficient. There are Elders nearby that do see my struggle as well as Elder Palmer's. The District Leader, Elder Bartholomew, and his companion Elder Rodriguez, are both leaving for home this December. I want to learn from them while they are here in Gray.
That said, I do love this area and I love being a missionary. This must be where I learn something important. Sorry to end on a sour note, but I needed to get that off my chest. Love you all and have a great week!
Elder Alexander Kestner