On Tuesday we had zone conference and received inspired counsel and training from President and Sister Mortensen. The theme of the conference was "The Why of the Commandments". It is very important to emphasize the reason why God gives us commandments in the first place. They are not restrictions on what we can and cannot do, but rather instructions that will help guide us back to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
When we teach this to investigators we emphasize that there was a war in heaven before this life, and that Satan was cast out because he sought to destroy man's agency. So we ask them what kinds of things keep us captive and that usually negates the complaining of having to give up things like coffee, alcohol, tea, and tobacco because they understand that Satan is trying to destroy them. In the Book of Revelation we learn about how Satan was defeated:
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
So as we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, continually strengthen our testimony, and love not our own lives unto death, we can overcome Satan and experience peace, joy, and prosperity.
Later on Tuesday we did some inspiration tracting. (This is where we shoot a tack through a PVC pipe to our area map. Video is attached.) We ended up knocking in a rich white neighborhood that seemingly had no one who wanted to talk to us. Well, we ended up getting let in by a pleasant white family who knew some Mormons who had served missions. They ended up talking to us for about an hour and invited us to come back and eat a warm home cooked meal in a week or so. The mom talked to us about how she loves the emphasis the LDS church puts on families. Elder Sellers plans on going back this week and teaching them about the Restoration of the Gospel and how that makes eternal families possible. Just an overall positive experience with good God-fearing people who love Jesus and the Bible.
And honestly for the rest of the week we spent a ton of time knocking doors, asking for referrals, and inviting random people on the street to be baptized. It was hard having to drop the Cinturas because they stopped answering our phone calls, texts, and doorstep visits. But it was still fun because we were doing the Lord's work. We didn't see much success, but that's okay because it meant that the Lord was only testing us. It's pretty fun to knock on people's doors and hear them talk in perfect English before they open it, and then they open it and say "I no espeak Inglish." So then we speak to them in Spanish!
All things said I've really come to love my mission regardless of how well or bad things are going. There's a purpose in everything and I've learned to try to understand what it is that God wants me to take away from each experience that I have. I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve in the THM.