Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 98 Transfer week

Hey everyone!!!

This was probably the busiest week of my mission up to this point! Last week was transfer week and so we were able to pick up the new missionaries and drop off the missionaries that have finished their 2 years or 18 months. It was so weird seeing Elder Fisher leave Ellicott City to go train a new missionary! That was a fun part about it though because as we picked up the new missionaries, Elder Tucker (his new companion) had no idea that he was going to be with Elder Fisher! He was excited when he heard that though. 

I'm now with Elder Cornejo and Elder Ashby! It has been so great! It's been awhile since I've been in a trio but it's been so much fun and we've had so much work to do! I love both of them! Elder Cornejo is from California and joined the church just 3 years ago. Elder Ashby is from Lehi and has been out a bit more than a year. They have both taught me so much so far, I'm grateful for their examples! We've had some great experiences already.

Over the first few days of the transfer, I took them to meet Bishop Moffat, our bishop in the Ellicott City Ward. He gave each of us a blessing to prepare for the transfer. I was so grateful for the blessing that he gave me! He talked about how he was grateful that as I've been here over the last year I have helped the ward to grow and become better. That I have had an impact on the ward members. It was such a humbling thing to hear and I have loved serving here with these amazing people. I feel like I've served my entire mission right here in Ellicott City! He promised that as I help the ward council and open my mouth and share the Gospel with everyone that our companionship would be blessed. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and for the opportunity we have to receive blessings. He gave blessings to Elder Cornejo and Ashby as well and it was so cool to see how each blessing was different about how we could help out the ward this transfer.

A quick photo of me, Elder Ashby & Elder Cornejo after
grabbing some Wings with Scott Meushaw last night.

I can't remember how much I've shared about a man named Don Elliott in our ward, but he has an amazing story! He was baptized 4 years ago but about a year ago went inactive because he was offended by someone in the ward. When I first came into the ward, I didn't know who he was and he didn't attend. Elder Lawrence and I got to know him more and more and then Elder Fisher and I helped him out a lot. He's made such an amazing change in his life. He is active in the church, has a calling, just went to the temple to do all of his family's work, and just taught the lesson in Elders Quorum last week! He has had quite the past and is an interesting man, but has grown to be one of my closest friends. 

5 or so months ago, Elder Fisher and I taught a man named Kunle from Nigeria, but he went to Nigeria for the entire summer! He's been back for a few weeks and we FINALLY got ahold of him and he wants to be baptized in the first week of November!! 

We saw Dave Ort again this week! Dave is the one that doesn't believe in God but watched General Conference with us and really enjoyed it. As we taught a lesson about prayer and about the Prophet, he continued to show how much he has learned over the last few weeks. At the very end of the lesson, he gave an incredible prayer and referred to God as his "spiritual dad." It's been so cool to see his progression as he has learned more about God and the relationship that he has with him.

Larry came to church yesterday! As did Carlos and Viridiana, a family that we used to teach in the Columbia Spanish branch! We also had Matthew Johnson at church, he has not gone to church for 2 or 3 years but has come the last 2 weeks and came out teaching with us! He's 21 and we're hoping to help him to want to serve a mission!

A man in our ward named Brother Flores gave an amazing talk in church yesterday. He was talking about how when he was growing up in Peru, he would always go fishing with his dad. They would go out on a boat and try to catch fish, but never ended up getting anything. After years of this, they went out with professional fishermen in Peru. Instead of just holding the rods, the natives would take a bit of the line and slide it in between their lips, explaining that their lips were able to sense the fish biting on the line and they would be able to reel them in. They were much more successful as they did this, and Brother Flores watched as they caught fish after fish. He compared this to how we must be more sensitive to the things that we feel and then act on them quickly. If they felt that there was a fish but didn't reel it in quickly enough, they wouldn't be able to catch the fish. I loved the principle as he taught about ALL of the things that we learn but we need to be much more sensitive to those thoughts and realize what we can change through those feelings.

Things are going great! I hope all is well with everyone!

- Elder Leavitt

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