Its way to cold outside… Downtown St. Louis

Hi Friends and Family!!

First new week in a new area. I am in the Lindell ward, which covers literally downtown St. Louis, right in the heart of the city. Its been fun driving around the city in a big pick-up truck. We live 20 min outside of our area however. We live near the mission office in a small apartment complex with several other set of missionaries and senior couples.

This last week has been great. Being in the office, I was privileged to be able to pick up 14 new missionaries on Tuesday, spend the evening with them, talk to them, and participate in transfer meeting on Wednesday. I love brand new missionaries! I was there only 6 months ago! I do admit, I tried having my parents guess what my new are was last week, by sending them a picture of the inside of the airport (we were sending missionaries home). They were no fun.

Its been a brisk 20 degrees and below the last few days. Poor brand new missionaries from Utah who don’t know what a wet winter feels like, many of
them being very cold here right now. The best thing is that we got to spend time getting to know them. Going on a mission in the first few weeks is very, very overwhelming, and I love being able to comfort others especially as they go through hard things like I did. I love the fire they have and a
willingness to work.

Friday we attended the Missionary Leadership Counsel meeting held with all the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and President and Sister Morgan. We had a lot of prep for this meeting as the office assistants. I loved being there. I’ve never been so close to so many truly dedicated missionaries. We spent the afternoon at a room on the Temple grounds, which was amazing! Things we talked about are very specific to our mission, but focused on Faith and repentance. We also did set a new baptismal goal of 380 baptism for 2016.

The Lindell ward is amazing! It covers Washington University and University of St. Louis which are right downtown, meaning we have lots of college age members in our ward. I’m just getting the variety, going from Military to college wards. We do cover the ward with another set of missionaries. We’ve been spending time meeting the new ward members this week and getting familiar with my new area. We have an amazing Recent convert named Jimmy. He was baptized 4 months ago, and his wife- who is not a member has been coming now for 2 weeks in a row. She hasn’t had the lessons, and we are going to start teaching her. She really loved coming to church. Jimmy is in his 60’s and is a STUD. A supper nice guy to meet.

Thought for this week:
Brad Wilcox’s talk “His Grace is sufficient” has changed my perspective on repentance and the atonement.

Too many are giving up on the Church because they are tired of constantly feeling like they are falling short. They have tried in the past, but they continually feel like they are just not good enough. They don’t understand grace. There should never be just two options: perfection or giving up. When learning the piano, are the only options performing at Carnegie Hall or quitting? No. Growth and development take time. Learning takes time. When we understand grace, we understand that God is long-suffering, that change is a process, and that repentance is a pattern in our lives. When we understand grace, we understand that the blessings of Christ’s Atonement  are continuous and His strength is perfect in our weakness (see 2 Corinthians 12:9). When we understand grace, we can, as it says in the Doctrine and Covenants, “continue in patience until [we] are perfected” (D&C 67:13).

​It is “After all we can do, that we are saved by grace”. We must try our hardest everyday, do our best. The lord only requires that we do our best. Some days we will fail. Some days we will be triumphant. Grace comes when we have done everything we can possibly do.​

​The Lord will not leave us alone to fight our battles. He will not leave us helpless. Look unto him in “every thought, doubt not, fear not”​. Because of Jesus Christ, we can be triumphant over evil and death. Failure and misery. Sadness and pain. Christ knows how we feel. It’s because of him that we can enter back into the presence of our Heavenly Father and stand in front of him and have him say to us “Thou good and faithful servant.”

Have a wonderful week. I pray for you. Thank you for all the prayers on my behalf.

I love the Gospel, I live it, I love it!