This week was another great one! Over the course of my mission, one of my favorite things has been the opportunity to see the progression of those that we have worked with, even the progression that happens while I'm serving in another area and get updates. Yesterday, I got to see one of my favorite families that I met in the Columbia Spanish branch, the Riggin family! I saw them at church because the Spanish branch meets right before us! While I was serving there, Hermano Riggin didn't attend very regularly. I remember as my companions and I worked with them, we saw the wonderful changes that the Spirit brought into Hermano Riggin and how that affected his family. Over the past few months, Hermano Riggin has returned to activity in the church...and yesterday as I walked over (more of a run because I was so excited to see them) to Hermana Riggin, she said "Elder Leavitt, guess what? My husband is getting an interview for his temple recommend for the first time in 10 years." (This was in Spanish...so it's paraphrased haha!) He got his recommend and they are getting sealed as a family! I'm so grateful for this family and the change they have brought into my life! I'm so excited for the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for this family.
Mary came to church again on Sunday! She loved it, she has met so many good friends already! We get to meet her husband for the first time this Thursday and are hoping that he is going to be interested as well. Mary is still preparing to be baptized towards the end of the month!
Tonight we were with Joe & Megan Jolissaint, who have become some of our closest friends as we have helped in the teaching of Joe's mom! One thing I never realized before my mission was how many amazing people I would have the opportunity to meet and be around. I've made incredible friends that have touched my life! Whether they have been members of the church, people I've gotten to teach, or even people I only had a few seconds with, I've met some incredible people and being with Joe & Megan helped me realize that again! Such amazing people in this world gives me hope for the future.
This week is transfers! I'll be staying in Ellicott City again! This will be my 3rd transfer with Elder Fisher, 6th transfer in Ellicott City, which is definitely a long time to stay in one area! The good news though...I love it here!! I'll now have spent 60 weeks of my mission here in this city because I served here in the Spanish Branch as well! It's really feeling like home!
Elder Lawrence, my last companion, goes home this week! He's been a great friend to me and we've had some awesome experiences together, I'm sad to see him go, but I know we'll be friends for the rest of our lives still. I'm grateful for the chance to serve with him!!
Spiritual thought for the week: This comes because we met a man named Andre this week that wanted us to teach him about forgiveness because of the things that had happened over the last few months. My mind was drawn back to the wonderful talk from the last General Conference by Elder Duncan:
"As victims, if we are faithful, we can take great comfort in knowing that God will compensate us for every injustice we experience. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin stated: “The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. … Every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.”
As we strive to forgive others, let us also try to remember that we are all growing spiritually, but we are all at different levels. While it is easy to observe the changes and growth in the physical body, it is difficult to see the growth in our spirits. One key to forgiving others is to try to see them as God sees them. At times, God may part the curtain and bless us with the gift to see into the heart, soul, and spirit of another person who has offended us. This insight may even lead to an overwhelming love for that person."
I love how he says that "every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." I'm so grateful for that! I'm so grateful for the wonderful, pure love that God has for us and the forgiveness we are able to receive from him. I'm so grateful for the chance we have to learn the principle of forgiveness and live it.
Thank you so much for all of the support!!