Monday, August 29, 2016

It Was Almost a Short Email

Hey folks!

This week was crazy fast. And so was p-day, actually, I'm literally beyond out of time. So, for once in my life, this email is probably gonna be really short.

We had a cool experience while out tracting where we were totally prompted to knock on a door, and no one was home, but then we tried the neighboring door, and we found a super cool guy named Sam! He's a young guy, maybe 2-4 years older than us, and is really interested in what we have to say, he's dissatisfied with his own church and is looking for something more. Plus he plays guitar and loves bluegrass. So we are going to have to come back and jam with him because that is my thing. Haha

That same day we had a bit of a letdown appointment. We were on a teamup with our bishop and we went to see Andrea, the one who came to church last week. We asked her what she thought of church and she told us she wasn't very impressed. She pointed out that nobody seemed to be paying attention, none of the speakers even opened the scriptures, and she didn't really feel the Spirit. It was disappointing to say the least, and even more so when she didn't come again this last week - if she had given it another chance, every one of her concerns would have been answered. It was a really good meeting this week.

A lot of her concerns are just the consequence of having an unpaid ministry. Sometimes you just kind of get what you get. But at the same time it was sobering for me as a member of the church to realize that people notice everything we do.

But hey, it was a good week. I wish I had more time to tell you about it. Another highlight that came indirectly from our teamup with Bishop that night was that on Sunday Bishop told the ward council sincerely that he trusts us a lot, and that he feels they can trust the two of us with anyone that is prepared to receive the gospel. Even though we don't always have the greatest successes, it was nice to know that the ward does notice our efforts and appreciate them. It's encouraging to know that we have earned the ward's trust.

Well, it is very very late. I hate to leave you without much of a message... I'll just invite you to consider that everything you do as a member of the Church reflects on the name of the Savior and the name of His Church. Even if you aren't doing something necessarily wrong, your careless actions or negative attitudes may cause others to have a bad taste in their mouths. And vise versa as well: your positive attitude and your small yet devoted acts of commitment may cause others to change their minds about the Church and its members. One thing Andrea did say in favor of the Church was that she is very impressed with its members. She thinks it's incredible and unlike anything she's seen before, the level of sacrifice and commitment found in the members of this Church. So remember that people are watching. We are all missionaries all the time, whether we realize it or not. People notice us, and often that is what draws them to the Gospel. Jonas, one of our investigators, told us he is investigating largely because he sees something in the lives of its members that he's never seen anywhere else, and he wants it. He wants to be like us. So remember who you represent!

I love you all! Make yourselves a great week!

Elder Alex Swindler

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