Well this week was good. It was different for sure. As far as missionary work goes, it was a little bit slow, but it wasn’t a bad week to say the least.
The big thing we’ve been hearing about lately is the serial killer that just got discovered this past week (if you haven’t already heard because it is all over national news). Spartanburg, the city that this guy lived in, is only 20 or so miles away from us. Kinda crazy that something like this happened so close. Interestingly enough, we were planning on going to Spartanburg today for P-Day to visit the Beacon, a burger joint nationally renowned for their incredibly large burgers.
Halloween was pretty boring. The Zone Leaders decided to ditch us and go to Columbia a day early for MLC so we just went around town looking at thrift stores and stuff. After 6 we just sat inside and played Monopoly. It was kinda lame but whatever. Today should make up for it.
On Tuesday I we went on splits and I was with Brother K. We visited a lot of less actives and nothing too exciting happened.
On Wednesday we spent most of the day closing up the old Travelers Rest apartment. It is finally done! We cleaned up the best we could (because the power and water kept taking turns shutting off), and turned in the keys. That was most of our day, aside from cancelled appointments.
On Thursday we had a lot of busy work but we still got some missionary work done. We had weekly planning and such. We stopped by this random potential investigators house and she ended up being super interested! To our dismay, however, she answered the door with nothing but a blanket on (gotta love southerners). We are going to be meeting with her later this week and hopefully she will have clothes on for that.
Friday we had ZTM which was good stuff. We had a lot of good spiritual trainings, but also a lot of new rules introduced. Starting January we will all be doing 12 week again (the missionary training program). We also are having Zone conference every transfer now, instead of every other transfer.
Saturday we met with D. S., the baptist guy from Bob Jones University. This time we met him on Bob Jones Campus, which was pretty terrifying. I kinda felt for Ammon walking into the Lamanite’s city, probably sticking out like a sore thumb and knowing that his life was in God’s hands. Maybe we weren’t walking into a hostile country but I do believe we are the first missionaries in a long time, if not ever, to openly proselyte on the most Anti-Mormon university in the world. We had a very interesting conversation with D. and I began to realize that his questions were becoming more and more “loaded.” I kinda called him out on it and he got kinda emotional saying that he feared we were going to Hell but wanted to truly see what we believed so he could make a judgement. It kinda took me back, but at the same time later it amused me. It did touch me though that D. was truly trying to look out for us.
Sunday was awesome! We had a great fast and testimony meeting and B.’s parents came, which was great. They really enjoyed the services and to my relief, there were great testimonies. It was actually kinda funny because B.’s step dad T. is a Pentecostal so he believes in the gift of tongues and all that funky stuff. He started getting really loud during one of the testimonies because he really agreed with what they said and started shouting “AMEN BROTHER” occasionally. I was afraid he was going to get up and start shouting and doing weird things (if you know what Pentecostals are like you should understand), but then the person bearing their testimony said “I know that this is the only true and living church on the earth.” I don’t think he agreed with that statement because he was pretty silent after that. B. gave an awesome testimony and the ward was touched.
The other highlight of my Sunday was later in the evening. We got a call from D.T., one of our investigators who did not come to church, apologizing for not making it. He had been going through some tough things and we had a really good conversation over the phone about his baptismal date and what he needs to do to qualify. D. really felt that he wasn’t spiritually ready, but I shared with him D&C 20:37 which basically states the qualifications for baptism. He felt a lot better about it afterward and we are working for a baptismal date in early December.
That was most of the week. Nothing too crazy happened. I am so done with election season, it is all we ever hear about. What I hear though scares me.
Elder D. had a really interesting point on Friday at ZTM that I would like to expound on. He talked about how most missionaries look back to the beginning of their missions with fondness, and with the longing to be in that position again. There is truly a special feeling that accompanies your time as a new missionary. This also applies a lot to our childhoods. There seems to be a special feeling that accompanied us as children that often times I think we as adults forget about, but long to regain. What makes this feeling? What makes the difference? I believe that it is the principle of growth. As a new missionary you grow at an incredible rate, however, after training that growth slows down. You gain comfort in who you are and what you are doing, and you tend to not leave that “comfort zone.” I believe that this applies to all aspects of life. In adulthood we may not grow at the rate that we did when we were children, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be pushing ourselves to grow. I think that there is more to the statement “There is no growth in the comfort zone.” While I do believe that there is no growth in the comfort zone, I believe that comfort and joy come from steady growth, whether that be spiritual, physical, or mental. So, as Elder D. challenged us, I challenge you to do something each day that pushes you out of the comfort zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should go do something dumb in front of a lot of people, but look for people to serve, to talk to, and to help. Leave your comfort zone and do something good! The gospel is not supposed to be comfortable. Remember the words from the Hymn “Have I Done Any Good in the World Today” and get up and do something more than dreaming of your “mansion above!” Go visit that home teaching family you don’t know, go comfort that person who looks sad, share the gospel with a friend! You will never regret stepping out of the comfort zone for something good. I never have on my mission, and I don’t think I ever will. The only regrets I have had are the moments that I did not put myself out there. I realize now that the greatest comfort comes from leaving the comfort we have for a good cause.
Anyway, there’s my thought for the week.
I hope you all have a great rest of your week! Life is awesome!
Vote for me,
Elder Jeremiah Brown