Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 73 Transfers

Home away from Home.

Transfer week! This Wednesday is transfers, and I'll be staying in Ellicott City with Elder Fisher! This will be my 5th transfer here, the longest I've served in one place! Combining these transfers with the transfers I spent serving in the Spanish branch here, Ellicott City and Columbia feel like home! This was one of the biggest transfers we've had, only 24 out of the 96 companionships stayed the same!

So much happened this week! For starters, Francis is still doing amazingly well. He had an interview this past week with Bishop to prepare for the Aaronic Priesthood and to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We brought over Brother Gardner, the home teacher for Francis, along with another member, Brother Howell, and had a great lesson as well. At the end, Brother Howell invited Francis over to his home for a dinner! The members are continuing to fellowship Francis and it has been so helpful!

Alyona Rasmussen, the lady that is from Russia that is married to a member, came to church this past week! We have built a really good relationship with her and she enjoys coming now, we are going to see her and her husband tonight! This past weekend, the Rasmussens even had some of the other members of the ward over to their house for dinner and games, so they are warming up to everyone.

We saw the Selbys yesterday! Everything is still set for Sydney's baptism in June, and she is recovering really well from her surgery! We get to see them again next weekend, which is awesome because usually it's just every other! The Selby kids are definitely going to be people that I will talk to for the rest of my life, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to know them.

The Rosskopf family is doing well also! We got to stop by this past week, brought something by for their 10 year olds birthday! They are becoming more and more open to us coming over, it's just been so hard because Mike, the father, works out of town during the week so we can only really see the whole family on weekends. They should be coming to church this next week though!

Progress is also being made with Rodger and Maria! Maria finished her Catholic School, she graduated this past weekend so now has sundays free, so should be coming to church! We're still just working on her mom to be able to clear her getting baptized..

Tonight we have an appointment with this lady named Mary Cole, and we are so excited to teach her! The Sisters in Columbia 1st Ward, Sister Hubenthal and Sister Mangisi, met her while they were visiting a nursing home where a member lived. Mary is a nurse that helps the people out there! Sister Hubenthal and Mangisi go over about once a week to teach this member, and Mary started sitting in recently! Well, she lives in our area so they passed her off and we gave her a call and she is so excited to meet! She loves the temple, she went down to the Visitors Center in DC, and she is excited to be baptized as well! Tonight will be great. This week we also received another Headquarter referral for a man from Nigeria, we have an appointment with him tomorrow! Last week we also met a man named Jason Sing who grew up in Provo! It was crazy because we got to talk about Purple Turtle and other things in Utah County! He is Catholic but knows almost everything about the church and it was great to talk to him.

Washington D.C. Temple

We got to go to the Visitors Center this past weekend with President and his family as we planned for transfers. The DC temple is so beautiful! It's also made me so appreciative of how close I lived to a temple growing up! It's crazy to not be able to see 10 temples within a 50 mile radius! 

Here are some of the things I learned this week! First, my testimony was definitely strengthened of the power of the Holy Ghost in our lives. President Christiansen has taught me a lot about how if we're not progressing, we are regressing. We must constantly be making changes in our lives so that we can be progressing. There is no standing still! And I realized this week that not only does the Holy Ghost help us to stay away from temptation (keeps us from regressing) it also adds to our knowledge and understanding (helps us to progress)! I realized this as I was listening to a talk from a previous general conference by Elder Larry Lawrence entitled "What Lack I Yet?" The Holy Ghost helps us know what we can do to progress in our lives, what changes we can make to continually improve, and I'm so grateful for that! Through the Holy Ghost, I've definitely found many weaknesses in my life, but I know that the Lord will strengthen me.

Elder Fisher and I have been talking a lot recently about the truths that were lost during the Apostasy. As I had mentioned last week, one of the most important doctrinal truths for us to understand is that we have a loving Heavenly Father. Yet, through the Apostasy, one of the most confused doctrines is that of the trinity, which we have had a lot of people talk to us about recently! This belief that they are not 3 distinct people alters our image of having a loving Heavenly Father. All of a sudden, he seems much more distant and unimaginable. I'm so incredibly happy that we have the knowledge of our loving brother and Savior Jesus Christ, and that he and all of us have a Father that loves us with all of his heart, might, mind, and strength. For that I will ever be grateful! 

Thanks for everything!

- Elder Leavitt

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