Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Autumn in Ireland

October 19, 2015
Wow it's hard to believe that we are already halfway through October! This year I get to experience what real Fall is like! Lately it has been getting much colder and the leaves are starting fall off trees and change color and the nights are getting dark very quickly. Such a contrast to what it is like back home! I guess I didn't adjust very well because I caught a cold halfway through the week, but it wasn't bad at all and I am pretty much completely fine now. 

So this week wasn't the greatest, but it wasn't too bad either. A lot of the new investigators we had recently found, we have stopped teaching for various reasons, so we are kind of getting a fresh start with finding new people to teach. However, we still have a couple solid people who are progressing very well! So we didn't get to do a whole lot of teaching this week... however, our investigator Stephanie did take us to another cool place to have a lesson. We went a little bit out of Galway to a little town called Barna and went into this forest that was so sweet!!! The forest looked like it was straight out of Lord of the Rings or Narnia or something, it was so cool! 

The highlight of the week was again on Sunday!! Stephanie was able to come to church again (unfortunately Clayton couldn't because of working late the night before) and there were so many other nonmembers as well. Elder Williams and Elder Dewsbery brought this Nigerian family who they are teaching and we got some less-actives to come who also brought a couple nonmember friends. As well, a university student in our branch also brought a friend, so it was incredible!! And the 1st counselor in the District Presidency was at our branch on Sunday and gave a great talk, so it was a wonderful sacrament meeting! If we can continue to increase the amount of people at church each   week, our branch will be growing so much!! 

 I don't mention it much, but I love my time in the mornings to study. My testimony and gospel knowledge has grown so much since I have been out on my mission. I have been studying repentance a bit recently and there are some great insights I have found: Repentance is a step of humble action that we all pass through over and over consistently through our lives, and especially for those preparing for baptism. A major part of the repentance process is feeling sorrow. That may seem depressing that we all pass through sorrow, but it is "Godly sorrow," not a "woe is me" sorrow. It speaks a bit about Godly sorrow in 2 Corinthians 7: 9-12. Feeling sorrow in a godly manner helps us change and turn from the bad towards good because we recognise we have made mistakes and can do much better to follow the will of God. It is the bridge between the aching pains of sin and the fulness of joy of Heavenly Father just as Alma recounts in his repentance process in Alma 36: 20-21.  Unlike the sorrow of the world that brings us down, Godly sorrow is a change in our heart that uplifts us and ultimately brings us closer to God. In Mormon 2:11-14 we see an example of Earthly sorrow and how it drew the Nephites farther from God. It is so important that we are humble enough to recognise our shortcomings and feel sorrow in a way that uplifts us because we know that we can overcome our downfalls and become clean in the sight of Heavenly Father again through the Atonement of Christ. 

So I suppose this week will be my 4 month mark of my mission. I couldn't ask for a more fulfilling 4 months! And I know there is so much more in store for me...

Barna Forest

                                                                                                 Halloween package from home

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