Hello Friends and Family!
You all are experiencing Elder Young in the busiest time of his life right now. I have never been stretched and pulled so much in my life! I love it! :) We have been so busy these past several weeks that last week on one of our exchanges with some missionaries I just had one of them come with me and we ran errands the whole exchange (we taught a few lessons in between)... Crazy! Things are going good and I have never seen so clearly God working in my life. I am understanding him, knowing him, seeing Him for who He is. It is breathtaking :) There are times where I see myself getting worked up because I start to assert my agenda into His and then I am comforted through the Spirit and am counseled to let Him do His wonders in His own ways. Our Father is truly in charge of this work and He is greatest of all.
The Lucas family is doing wonderful. They came to church yesterday! Sister Lucas had a revelation last week that she had to get baptized and ever since then, her and her two daughters have been unstoppable. Her 17 year-old daughter even wants to serve a mission! How cool is that!? The Lord is truly converting these people. We meet with them three times a week and they will be getting baptized on. Her husband and youngest son are still shaky on the whole thing, but she is the head of the household and she will be working on them ;)
Speaking of the Lord converting people, we had two wonderful miracles with two of our investigators this week as well. Raychel has been investigating for about a year and a half now and she hasn't been able to come to church because of her job at Sam's club. Through prayer, she decided to apply for another job and now she is just waiting to hear back from Costco to see if she got the job. We committed her to live the word of wisdom last week and she took it ok and so we were a little nervous for her after that lesson. Well we were sure proven wrong! Later that week we came back and it was like she was a different person. She is a very busy woman and so she told us that the other day she just laid down in her bed and just sat there with no distractions and just thought. She said the Spirit overpowered her and God spoke to her through the Spirit and told her that she was going to get her new job so she could go to church every week and said many other glorious things. All of us were PUMPED! She had also been making huge strides in living the word of wisdom. She had quite coffee and was taking nicotine patches to help her quit smoking. She was so gun-ho about it, she was telling us these different methods she was going to try to help her quit smoking. We praised our God after that lesson for the "air-strike" He performed :)
THEN our other investigator, Lisa, was taught the word of wisdom this week and she had no knowledge of the negative effects of not living it... In her own words when we asked her if she had ever thought smoking was bad for her she said "well it's legal! So no." So when we committed her to live it she was very hesitant. We walked out of that lesson with lots of anxiety for her. Well once again we were proven wrong. Later we went over and she was on nicotine patches and had already cut her smoking down by half....! We were elated! She told us that she prayed to God about the word of wisdom and she said she received a witness that she needed to quit smoking (air-strike #2!). God knows His children, He answers prayers. This is His work and all He asks us to do is to have faith in Him and follow the Spirit.
There is something else I wish to share with you all that I have had many intimate experiences with on my mission. I wish to share my witness with you all about the absolute necessity of mind-set. For those of you who are struggling with trials in your life or things are not going to way you had hoped, please don't get discouraged and lose hope. Success is found in the mind-set we each possess. If you have a mind-set where you put limits on yourself or you let your circumstances affect your success, you will not be successful, that I know. If you think something in your life is impossible to accomplish you need to read the Book of Mormon more. There have been men of faith who have moved mountains... mountains! If that doesn't seem impossible, I don't know what is. If things are not going the way you would like, set goals that will stretch you and then tell yourself "I will reach these goals" and then go to work. Focus on those goals daily and then invoke the powers of heaven to aid you in your quest. This is what God desires us to do. He doesn't fix our problems for us, He gives us the strength to do all things. Faith is the key to all of this. Believe that you can do all things with God's hand in your life and then go and do.
To give you a short analogy to help you understand my point: imagine your circumstance you are in right now as a plot of land the Lord has given you. Some or your plots may be really nice and are ready to harvest. Some of your plots may be ugly and seem devoid of life. And some may even seem like life can't even grow there! Should that stop us? No. The key is to take that plot of land you have and cultivate it in such a way that you can bring forth fruit. Change the circumstances around you, don't let them change you.
This concept has been ingrained into me throughout my mission and let me tell you... there is nothing more rewarding than taking a circumstance that is notorious for being lifeless and make it flourish with more life than the other plots of land around you that have always done good. All things are possible with Obedience, Faith, and Diligence.
Thank you so much for all your love and support guys. I love you all and wish you all the success in the world.