July 24, 2017
Tuesday we had interviews with President and Sister Love. It was really nice being able to talk one on one and get to know a little bit more of their personality and such. I felt really recharged afterwards and was grateful for that. That night we were able to have dinner with Brother and Sister Graf. They are a younger couple who feed us pretty often and they are the best. They keep their commitments too. It was actually kind of crazy. They were in the the same stake as me in my first area and were reactivated when Elder Conley (my old comp) was in their ward.
Elder Christensen, Elder Kelly with the Tauai family
Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Shawgo and ran into a man named Michael. We asked if he was a believer in Christ and he expressed that he was actually a member of the church and used to attend the Lee Summit 2nd ward. Elder Shawgo then realized that he had eaten dinner with Michael and his family back at the very beginning of his mission. (Elder Shawgo goes home on Thursday). We were able to get his info so they can pull his info and bring his records to the correct place. Experiences like this always build my testimony that the Lord loves his children and gives us many tender mercies small and large.
Friday was an exchange with Elder Bowser in the Lee Summit 1st ward. He has been out for 1 transfer this week. I learned a really valuable lesson. I noticed that he had extremely high trust in the Lord and it was influencing me greatly even though I had only been around him for a couple hours. In this last conference Robert D. Hales said "The attributes of the Savior, as we perceive them, are not a script to be followed or list to be checked off. They are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more." I had the realization by being with Elder Bowser that the reason he was able to have so much trust in the Savior is because he knew that it was only through Christ that any success was coming. I finally realized that if I wanted to increase in faith I needed to increase in humility otherwise I would continue to rely too heavily on the arm of flesh. I found this very valuable to me and it has helped me greatly.
Saturday on our way home for lunch we stopped by a cupcake shop called Simply Frosted. It reminded me of Retro Bakery back home. A member of our ward owns it and gives us a free cupcake every time. While there we borrowed their wifi and I had the feeling we needed to be somewhere else all of a sudden. I expressed this to Elder Christensen and we got up and went to the car and started to leave but felt impressed to stay. We drove back to the Main Street of the little down town area we were in and parked. We walked up to a shop across the street which was closed. Elder Christensen expressed that he had felt prompted to go into the Bar and Grill right next to us. We decided we would just have lunch there. We walked in, sat down and ordered. Elder Christensen said that he felt that we needed to talk to the people right next to the door we had walked in. We got up and when I walked up to them I said, "So we don't usually do this at restaurants but we felt impressed to come talk to you guys. We are--" The man I had not fully looked at yet cut me off and said, "Well don't you recognize me?" It was a man named Kevin Miller I had met two weeks ago while on exchanges. He had told me the first time we met that he had grown up RLDS and had since left the church and went to a different one. He said he had two other really close friends from high school and one was also RLDS and the third friend was a member of our church and was always trying to convert the other two. Well the 2nd friend that is RLDS was at lunch with them. We talked for a few minutes and it came out that the 3rd friend who is a member of our church was really close with Elder Christensen up in the Liberty Stake. No return appointment came of it but it was just another testament to me that God loves his children and does special things for each of them. After we had stopped talking and went and sat back down the waitress came up to us and told us that Kevin Miller had paid for our food. There are tender mercies all around.
Sunday we had a coordination meeting with the Stake Presidency and President Love. While there President Love shared a story. While at the MTC they had a dinner on their last night before departure. In attendance was David A. Bednar. Elder Bednar came up to President Love and said, "Missouri Independence huh... We need to strengthen those surrounding stakes and enlarge their borders. We need to raise the center pole there soon." That was very exciting to hear.
Unfortunately we still have not been able to get in contact with Terry since he went into the hospital. Hopefully everything is going well.
I know that the Heavenly Father loves His children. I know that we can pray to better recognize the love He has for us. I know that because Heavenly Father loves us He sent His son Jesus Christ. Christ is the Savior of the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.