In response to your question about what I have learned in one year of missionary service, I decided to put together a list of 25 things I have learned in o particular order:
Jesus Christ lives and He is our Savior
God doesn't do random
Satan is real
Goodbyes are hard
True happiness comes from work
I can do hard things
The Book of Mormon is true
People in Portland are crazy
The Tetonia 1st ward is different than most wards
Hard companions are preparation for marriage
Most people are scared of change
The spirit of discernment is real
Everybody has glaring weaknesses
God is really, really merciful
We can't understand the Atonement enough
Covenants with God are a serious thing
P-days are a lifesaver
Everything we do is inspired
There are some weird people out there
Social skills can be developed
Don't pray for humility or patience unless you want a rough next couple of weeks
The Holy Ghost warns of danger
I am supposed to be here
We all lived together with God before we came here
We will remember what we want to remember
The 4th of July was so awesome. Elder Martin and I went out and worked really hard and talked to a lot of people about the gospel. We were tracting and ended up talking to a 21 year old man named Hayward. He started telling us of an experience he had while he was in high school. He started telling us about how his senior year he scored the game-winning touchdown and then had a heart attack and died for a couple of minutes and he was somehow revived. His story was sounding super familiar so I asked him where I would've heard it before. Turns out that he was on E:60 in October of 2013. I totally remember watching it! It is called Hayward's Heart on YouTube. We didn't have the opportunity to talk to him for long, but we did leave him with a Mormon.org card which was cool.
Fireworks this year were interesting. WE went on top of Crown Point, which is basically a really high place where you can see all of Portland and Vancouver as well as most of the Gorge. We saw fireworks going off everywhere, but we weren't very close to any. I will send some pictures.
We have picked up a couple of new investigators. An excommunicated person just moved in and wants to get re-baptized so we are going through the lessons with her. Also Kristopher has been someone the previous elders were teaching. He wants to be baptized so bad, he just has some addictions to overcome. He loves taking the sacrament, even though he hasn't made the same promises we made at baptism. He said, "Imagine how strong a marriage would be if they renewed their vows every week?" That is not something you hear very often. We fasted for him yesterday so we expect to see some progress. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet with Andrea this week. She is so overwhelmed with school and she just picked up a job so she is stressing out. Some extra prayers for her would be nice.
Wow. Thanks for all the updates from home. I am glad to see people moving on to the next chapter in their lives. That is a lot of missionaries from Tetonia 1st ward. Yes, it has been roasting out here. It is such a great conversation starter. Every time we talk to a local Oregonian they just go off about the weather. It kind of reminds me of the locals of Teton Valley haha! It is supposed to cool down next week. We finally got a fan from the mission office. It was rough without one, but we are good now.
I love Doug's question about being engaged in a good cause. That means always striving to find ways to stretch and improve yourself. It means not falling into a routine. Elder Nielson came to this mission a couple of months ago and he said that so many people just want to make enough money so they an sit and do nothing. It is a tool that Satan uses on us constantly. We are all guilty of it. I love that that is part of a family conversation and a goal to improve in that area for everyone.
I checked the Ensign for this month. Yep, there's Brother Breckenridge... a classic picture (but still doesn't beat the pirate one! haha) By the way, I vaguely remember Austin and I being in the Friend a long time ago. Can I get the reference for what year and month that was? I forgot. And as far as a package, the only thing I need is that Clear Care contact solution I use to clean my contacts at night. Thank you! I love you all and I hope everybody has a great week.