Monday, November 2, 2015

Gray is Catching Fire!

The Fall Festival in Gray, GA..Yabba Dabba Doo!
Dear Family & Friends,

This week was a very short one. I could've sworn that I was just emailing just yesterday. Next thing I'll know is that Christmas is next week. I thought I should let you know that Sister Tillman has signed up to have us over on Thanksgiving with her two brothers. Before that, the England's signed up to have us over for Christmas dinner. The England's have done a lot for us. 

This last Friday night we had the Fall Festival for the Ward. The 4 of us Elders and Brother England were assigned to set up the movie for the kids outside. We got it tied between two trees. It worked out quite well. We had invited a lot of people to the Fall Festival. Our investigator, Deanna, Tawsha, (her roommate and member), and their friend. We had invited them the day before as we helped Deanna's friends move in. The Fall Festival was really fun and they played Hotel Transylvania. After the movie, we started taking things down as the kids went to the other side of the parking lot to go Trunk or Treating. We got everything put away and Brother England told us to meet him at Dairy Queen. We met him a couple minutes later and he treated us. I got a burger because the hot dogs did not do much for me that were at the Festival. I am constantly having my heart softened by the generosity of Brother England as well as the Eadie's and Sister Tillman. They and the investigators we are working with is the reason I really want to stay for Christmas. I am stressed because there are 11 more Sisters coming into the Mission and 3 Elder's areas are turning into bike areas, since Sisters can't ride bikes as per policy. Riding my bike is getting easier the more I ride it. My calves are getting pretty big as well as my thighs haha. 

Yesterday, we went with Brother Eadie after church to 2 appointments. The first one was to see Sister Mock. She has been less-active for 8 years. The reason being that her husband is not a member and wants both of them to go to church together. During our visit, we realized that she has a strong testimony and she really wants to come back to church. We hope to visit with her again, hoping that her husband will join the discussion. The second appointment we went to was with Evelyn. She is a sweet lady who manages an apartment complex across town from our apartment. She has been visiting with us for over a month and has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and feels and recognizes the Spirit. It seems surreal. There is one thing that is holding her back. Her church and pastor. Though she has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, she is having trouble with recognizing Priesthood Authority. Her pastor tells his congregation that he prays every morning and receives vision of angels and Jesus Christ. I feel uneasiness when she spoke of her pastor's experiences. I know that we are all entitled to revelation through the Light of Christ, but it comes down to what are the fruits and does it go anywhere? Evelyn loves the Gospel and teaches out of the Book of Mormon to her Sunday school class. I have asked our district for counsel and President Cottle as well. Though our discussions with Evelyn have been great and the Spirit is there, we leave immediately knowing she hasn't understood that Priesthood Authority came back to the earth through Joseph Smith and passed it on to others who were willing and worthy to receive it. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only place where Priesthood Authority can be found. I still have hope for Evelyn and I pray for her. 

With everything going on, it causes me to reflect on how much time has gone by and what changes have been made on me. I know now more than ever that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He is the head of this Church. He has been preparing souls for us to find. As it says in the Doctrine and Covenants,"The field is white and ready to harvest". That passage is so true here in Gray. We are meeting more people each week and as a District have Baptisms in the near future. I hope that I may be capable and obedient to be worthy of the charge I have been given which is "To invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End"

I love you all and have a blessed week!

Your son,

Elder Alexander Kestner