Monday, February 2, 2015

week 9

Visitors Center at Washington DC Temple

Hello everyone!
This was a crazy week, full of so many different things! Elder Fisher, who had appendix surgery got back into our area, so we took turns staying with him throughout the week, so Monday Night and Friday, I did a ton of studying and preparing!

Monday we had lunch with President Richards, he is such a great Mission President and you can tell he loves every single person. Every P Day, I get to play basketball which is of course such an amazing thing for me, I love that time so much! There are some great players in my Area, and I love the competition.

Tuesday I got to go on Splits with Elder Orton, our District Leader. We went and taught a lady that is getting baptized on February 14th! The entire branch has had 1 baptism in the last 2 years...but 2015 has already brought 2 and 3 more in the next few weeks, so 5 in the first 2 months of 2015! The work is growing. The scripture is true, "A Marvelous Work is about to come forth among the children of Men."

We have had a lot of lessons with Members and Less Actives this week, trying to be the glue holding them to the Branch. There is a lot of contention, and it is hard sometimes because they see the missionaries as people they can vent to! So we have to go around and teach them about loving everyone and having a testimony in the LORD, not in the Branch Presidency. Every week, more people have showed up at Sacrament, which is such a good sign. The branch is definitely growing, and next week we will be having our Branch Conference!

Wednesday we found 3 new investigators. We taught an elderly woman named Carmen Lopez, who believes in God but doesn't have a Church. She seems very interested and we will be seeing her again tonight! The other 2 new investigators were really a miracle. One of the investigators that we have been teaching for a few weeks now is named Wilber. He is 17 and has quite a lot of interesting beliefs, and he believes that the only way he will know that the Book of Mormon is true is through a dream, because that is the only way he believes revelation can be received. So we have taught him a lot about the Holy Ghost. Anyways, Wednesday night when Elder Pettersson asked me where we should go, I instantly felt like Wilber was who we should go see. It turned out that when we got there, his Mom was doing Bible Study with him. We have been over 5 or more times, but she has never wanted to sit in and has not been very interested. She said, in Spanish, that she would like to hear the lesson today, and then all of a sudden the Dad came out too. They have seen us numerous times, but we came at the perfect moment and they wanted to join. They had so many questions and you could tell she has heard many false things about Joseph Smith. There is a LOT of that here, a lot of Anti stuff that goes around. She believed that Joseph Smith thought he was higher than God and Jesus Christ. We taught them the Restoration and now the parents would like to know more.

Axel is still a solid solid kid. He is going to be baptized in just a few days! I am so excited for him. We took him and Hector, a less active from Honduras, to the Washington DC Visitors Center on Saturday, where the Branch got to watch Meet the Mormons in Spanish! It was so cool. Rosi and Virgilo, 2 of our other investigators showed up also and they feel like they want to be baptized soon also! The Temple was beautiful and we will be going back there in a few weeks to do a Session.

David is another investigator, and he is still very very intellectual and likes to understand everything, very deeply. He has interesting beliefs about Church, and he believes that he should give his own time to the Lord at his house, not in a church. And that he shouldn't have a girlfriend, because that distracts from his relationship with God. But as we have taught him, he has seemed more interested. One of the times, his friend was there and his friend just wanted to Bible Bash. It was so hard to feel the Spirit, and in those cases we just told them that if they didn't want to hear and heed to our message, it was their decision. Ever since then, they have been so cooperative and helpful and have liked the messages.

Things are going well here. The members are so funny and kind, always trying to feed us and help us. I have had lessons with people from Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Cuba, and Ecuador so far. It feels like I am a long ways from the United States, it is such a mix of different cultures and food! I love the people so much and the language.

I have a testimony of this church. I wouldn't be out on a mission if I didn't! I love the Lord and I love this opportunity that I get to be out here. I'm so grateful for the people and the amazing Gospel that we have to share with them. Thank you so much for all of your support!

- Elder Leavitt

This is a cool display in the visitors center of the temple.

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