Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 18, 2016 - Saginaw, Texax

Dear Family,

Like most, this week had its ups and downs. We had interviews with President Ames again this week which is always awesome. In mine he mostly helped me to see myself more as God sees me. He always tells me Satan doesn't have to get me to sin to harm me, he just has to discourage me.

One thing I thought about a lot afterwards was the way I've always thought of the Atonement. I realized that I've always seen that its necessity as making me less of a person in a way. I've always thought, "I'm nothing without the Atonement" and focused on the "I'm nothing" part. This week I learned that God never meant for us to be nothing; that's why he planned for the Atonement from the beginning. It never has or ever will matter that we're nothing without it as long as we use it. Basically, we should focus on the way things are because of the Atonement and not the way they could've been without it.

Unfortunately it seems like the adversary has really been trying to bring me down since interviews and it seems to be through our investigators. On Thursday one investigator told us that she's not sure she wants to be baptized anymore. We did our best to help her resolve concerns and understand the purpose of what we teach. She was willing to keep learning more and recognized that she hasn't experienced all the church has to offer yet. Hopefully that turns into something more soon.

Yesterday was Stake Conference and our most progressing investigator sang in the choir with her friend. That was pretty awesome. We had a lesson set up later that night so we thought we could discuss her thoughts then but she ended up cancelling. It might have been because of her mother, but either way we didn't get to meet with her. First of all, now we're panicking because her baptism is April 30th and we'll have to move it unless she starts meeting with us more. On top of that, their main fellow-shippers told us that they're worried her mom and her may not realize we actually care about them and that we're not just random teenagers a friend brings over. I feel like that might be true which is pretty painful for me. I honestly care about all my investigators a ton; it's just difficult for me to show it. We talked about some pretty simple solutions so we'll see how it goes. 

It's a lot to take in but I suppose it could be a lot worse. I'm pretty sure she will get baptized before the end of the transfer. I don't want to make her feel like a failure if it's not the 30th though. 

That's your peek into my life for this week! Have a wonderful Monday!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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