Missionary Monday: Elder Smith Serving In Redlands, CA

Here is a recent letter from Elder Smith:
Well helloooo family! 
Oh baby! What a week! What a stellar week! Things are so amazingly fun here! Gosh, like seriously, it is THE BEST to be a MISSIONARY, AND RIGHT NOW IS THE BEST TIME! Prophecy is being fulfilled. Things are moving forward, and Heavenly Father is a GENIUS. I love HIM. I love the Spirit which He sends to us. Truly, it is that Spirit which teaches us all things and brings things to our remembrance, truly it transforms us. Family, there is no such things as coincidences in this work. None. Nadda. Zip. It’s all done by God’s hand. Miracles exist. They do. Bar none. No doubt. God is real. He is. There just simply is no counter argument. I have felt His love so intensely this week, His sweet sweet Spirit. I have witnessed miracles this week as a result of diligent faith. Truly, I have come to understand what diligence is all about. I love it. I thrive off of it! Gosh I LOVE IT. The Gospel is PERFECT. Perfect. Utterly perfect. 
So, wow, so much to talk about and so little time! I’m seriously having the time of my life right now! Elder M. is the man, and I’m having a blast with him as my companion. We are doing everything we can to get things happening in our area, and success is coming. It’s amazing the Spirit that we have felt this past week. I have felt the Spirit so strongly for over such a large duration of time that it has just been transforming me. I absolutely love it. I love every second of it. And especially with this past weekend, it has been such a spiritual feast as we got to hear from an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elder Anderson came to the mission, and it was so amazing!
Elder Anderson arrived around 9:30 and we all stood up to welcome him in. One thing that I really liked about what Elder Anderson talked about was about not judging ourselves as missionaries and not being complacent with who we are right now at this moment. He talked about we had many more ‘lives’ to live, and we were just at the beginning, with many more things to experience and many more things to face. But I loved the principle that he shared about achieving the perfect balance of being patient, but yet not too complacent and satisfied with ourselves at the present time so that we don’t strive everyday. I loved that because I have seen that principle in force literally every day on my whole mission, and it applies to us in any aspect of life as well. There is just too much to learn, to much to experience, too much to take in for us to merely sit by and coast through things. We must strive. We must push. Are we pushing ourselves everyday? Are we exerting our faculties? Are we, like dad says, a sponge, constantly trying to absorb all the information and learning that we can? I know without any doubt that God wants us to be intelligent beings. In fact, that is one of the great purposes of this whole mortal experience. In Abraham, we learn that God is the most intelligent being in the universe, and isn’t it amazing that we have the potential and privilege and opportunity to reach that level of intelligence? It’s incredible. I know it’s true. I know it’s reachable. And when you truly come to understand that, you truly come to see everyday as such a rich experience. There is so much purpose to it. There are too many people in life just wasting their existence away. We can’t do that. We just can’t. There truly is a balance between patience and complacency. 
Two of our investigators, I. and E. were baptized on Saturday. When they were baptized, it was just so special. Such a wonderful feeling and experience. Too see those two go down into the waters, is such a humbling thing. President Parks was just basking in the Spirit. I. went first, and I remember the Spirit coming over me as I watched her go down into the waters, and President Parks raise his arm to the square, and put her down under. It was so awesome. So miraculous. Miraculous that only months before, we hadn’t even known them, we just found them on the street. Then E. went, and after his baptism, President Parks and him gave each other a big hug. Just incredible. Makes every second worth it. Makes every day worth it. Makes all the struggle and sweat and push, worth it. It’s so exciting to see how far they have come in such a little time. Sometimes those months feel long, but then they quickly pass, and you look back, and see the wonderful progress that is being made. Surely it is a day to remember. I know that it is the way. I know that it is what our Heavenly Father wants of us. It is so amazing to see how their faith in God has increased, how they have changed and repented, and how they have been baptized. Next week they get confirmed, and E. gets the priesthood. I just can’t wait to go the temple with them to get sealed in a year. It’s happening. Bar none. It’s happening. I love them so much. They are incredible people. I can’t wait for you to meet them.
Until next week,
Elder Smith

Elder Smith is serving from the Westridge Ward.

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