"Holy cow. Time is flying by isn't it? It's absolutely crazy to think I've been on my mission for nearly 3 months. This has been the quickest 3 months of my life I swear, but at the same time they also have been the longest. They are the shortest because everything flies by so fast. They are the longest because of how much I have grown. I am so overcome with joy at times with the lessons I've learned and the testimony I've gained. Simply put, I can honestly say that serving a mission is the best decision I have ever made.
This week was an interesting one. We have 3 baptismal dates lined up for later in October. The two Colt children, Brandon and Judith, and the sister of a member, Cynthia. Cynthia was interesting because she already had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, she just didn't realize what that meant. She's progressing well, and is super excited. The kids grew up in an LDS home. Their mom even served a mission for pete's sake! They just went inactive because their dad speaks poor English and their Mom speaks none. There is no spanish branch in our stake so that is the problem!
One specific cool experience: The west Philly Elders (Kitsell & Pitt) met a guy who said if they go to his church, he would come to ours. So I ended up on Sunday going to sacrament meeting, then going to a Baptist Church in the middle of Ghetto West Philly. That was an experience indeed. We walk in and the band is playing as the Pastors are all parading down the aisles. It is so obnoxiously loud. Then we go in and everyone is singing very loudly, screaming even. Then they started saying a prayer and during the prayer the band randomly starts playing again. The Pastor lady saying the prayer starts yelling over them. It was all very theatrical. I left the experience after some other things happened thinking about how sad the whole experience was. Think about why people go to church. These people desire to worship Him. They want to be healed from the bitter blows and injuries they received from the world. They want to serve Him and feel His presence. But they don't know how. They go and they show to the other people at the church how much they love Him... With their lips, yet their hearts are far from Him. Not because they don't want to be close to Him, because they truly honestly do. They just don't know how. They've been told all these theories about God, and they all have their ideas and opinions, and many of these are true, but not all. These people go to be healed and rejuvenated, and they are, on the outside. But deep within, they still long for the love and the strength they can only receive from our Heavenly Father who loves us so much. The most important thing I learned from this experience is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a church. I'm not inviting people to come to my Church. I'm inviting them to come unto Christ. Because I know that there is no other way we can be healed, and be happy without the guidance and the Love we receive from the priesthood authority that has been returned to the Earth. Heavenly Father didn't create a religion. He created a plan. A plan for all people. It is the duty of each and every single person, to share that plan and let it be known. I'm so grateful I am able to do it 24/7. I love all of you. Thank you for being you."