Whoa. It's March already?? That was fast...
Things are going well here in Bristol. We're working hard to find new investigators still. And we're trying to meet with the people we've found. Things are proving somewhat difficult though. The devil sure doesn't like the work here in Bristol to progress. What with appointments cancelling, people not answering their phone, and people getting sick, we haven't been able to see very many people this week, including Dusty and Amber and also Jon. :/ But! We'll keep trying this week.
We did have first lessons with a couple of new investigators this week. One is named Carmen, she looks to be in her 40's and she's a really neat lady. The lesson with her went well, and we had a really great member with us who did an awesome job in the lesson, but we haven't been able to get ahold of her since. :/ The other is a super spunky old lady named Louise. We had a really great lesson with her too, and had another really great member team-up. But this time we did get a return appointment with her for Wednesday, so hopefully that'll work out and she'll actually be there. :)
Anna is still progressing slowly but surely. We had a really good lesson this week about eternal families. She says she still doesn't fully understand the doctrine, but it is something she wants - to be with her family forever. That's something to build on. Some of what she doesn't understand is how things will work with family relationships that aren't so good - when husbands and wives, parents and children, or brothers and sisters may not want to be together in the next life. As I've thought about that, the thought that keeps coming to mind is the infinite nature of the Atonement. The Atonement of Jesus Christ can literally heal anything. It requires that we allow Him to heal us, and that we exercise the faith and put forth the necessary effort to be healed. And healing is not always a pleasant process. But it can be done. And it's worth it.
Funny story from the week: on Tuesday we were helping a member move and Elder Lambert fell right out of the back of the truck flat on his back and smacked his head. And then right when he started to sit up and smile to let us know he was okay, the boards he had just been holding fell down too and smacked him on the forehead. Once it was apparent that he wasn't dead it was actually pretty stinking hilarious. But then he started feeling nauseous a little while later, so we called the mission doctor and he told us he probably had a minor concussion. So, lucky me, I got to wake up every two hours that night to make sure he hadn't stopped breathing or anything in his sleep. :P
Funny story two: we knocked on a door yesterday and the man who answered rather bluntly informed us "Gentlemen, you're Mormons, I'm not interested, goodbye" and shut the door. Thank you, sir. Somehow as soon as you opened the door I totally forgot who I was and why I was standing on a stranger's doorstep in a white shirt and tie over a thousand miles from home, so I really appreciated your brilliant and kindly observation that I am, in fact, a Mormon. Way to go, Einstein.
Anyways. Message for the week. I'm low on time, but I just wanted to bear a brief testimony on the power of the priesthood. This week I was reading through the notes I wrote in my journal after being set apart as a missionary of what I could remember from the blessing. It was amazing to me to realize that I can now see many of the things I was blessed with coming to fruition. I know that my stake president was led by the Spirit to pronounce those blessings, and I know that it is because of God's priesthood power that he holds that these blessings are coming to fruition. We live in a glorious time - a time when God's priesthood power has been restored to the earth along with the fulness of His gospel! That's amazing!! I testify to you that it is real - and that He is real - and that He will change your life if you will apply His gospel to your life. The priesthood is restored! Find that out for yourself, take advantage of it, and then share it with others! What are you waiting for?! :)
I love you all! Make yourselves a great week!
Elder Alex Swindler
1) P-day selfie
2) And another one, because I love y'all (unbeknownst to Elder Lambert).