Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 82 - We must continue to labor diligently

Not sure why, but it seems like every time we have a killer week, the next week always ends up being... well, not so killer. I don't know what happens! It was quite a bit slower than last week, but we still saw some small miracles.

Something we started doing is every night as we plan for the next day, we reflect on the day and try to pick at least one miracle we saw that day. Some days it's easy, but then other days we really have to think about it, haha... It's really helped, though! It's a blessing to look for those small tender mercies throughout the day. Helps make things a bit more bearable :)

The most shocking part of the week happened Saturday. We went to go teach Kennedy and had this awesome lesson planned to help prepare him even more for his baptism on the 26th. He then proceeded to tell us about all the things he had read on the Internet about Joseph Smith and temples and the Book of Mormon and how he no longer believed any of it to be true. For the last week he had been completely immersing himself in anti-Mormon material.

I have been teaching Kennedy since I first got to Effingham five months ago. I have seen such a dramatic difference in his life as he has applied the gospel, felt the Spirit, came to church, and read from the Book of Mormon. Not one week ago, he was telling us how excited he was for his baptism. He would always text us things like, "I'm holding on to the rod and I'm almost at the tree!" and "This really is the restored church of Jesus Christ!" Like super positive stuff.

It was absolutely devastating to see him forget about all of that so quickly. He told us he loved us and was eternally grateful for all we had done for him, but that he now disagreed with Joseph Smith and the Church's teachings. All we could really do was express our love for him and bear testimony. Maybe some day in the future he will come back, but for now all we can do is pray for him.

That really but a damper on the whole week, but besides that we worked extra hard and have really been enjoying using the new #Hallelujah Easter initiative as a finding approach. We are focusing on trying to talk to everyone so we can get as many people to watch the video as possible!

This morning I read Moroni 9, and verse 6 really seemed to apply to this week:

And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

Notwithstanding the hardness of a lot of the people we talk to, we must continue to labor diligently because it is what we have been called to do! I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and love the opportunity I have to invite others to read from it and find out for themselves. It's a true book!

Love, Elder Hayes

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