Monday, July 9, 2012

18-Months, but who's counting?
    I felt like just yesterday I was in Lawrence burning my shirt, and yet this week I found myself in Bangor, Maine burning a pair of pants. Yes, this last week I hit my 18-month mark and time is flying.  It's a pretty neat feeling, though, because before, when I hit a mission milestone, I got scared and worried that time was flying by too fast. But now I am content, because I am working my hardest and I am more committed to this work than ever before - so even if the end is drawing near, I have nothing to fear, because I know that I am a successful missionary.
    This last week I have seen the beautiful blessings of serving to my fullest potential.  I have been blessed to help other missionaries improve their efforts while on exchanges, to train many missionaries
during Zone Interviews, to receive incredible help and strength from President Wilkey's teachings and example, and to have one of the sweetest experiences ever in a lesson during my mission.  I have only
had a few instances on my mission where I have taught a whole family, but never have I had the chance to personally invite them to be baptized together on a specific date; but this last week, as I went to see the Schofield family with Elder Gardner in Belfast, I got that chance.
    After serving them (learning to milk cows) and growing to love them, we had a meal and began our lesson.  It started out with a concern that the mother had about the Restoration, and as we answered her concern, and then testified of the Restoration, I could literally feel the Spirit stronger and stronger in their home.  We had previously decided that we were going to invite them to July 28th, and though the idea seemed a bit far fetched at first, we knew that it was the right moment as the Spirit was strongest.  So at that moment, I invited them all the be baptized by proper Priesthood Authority on July 28th.  Unfortunately they had something going on that day where they might not be able to be in town, but they felt so great about their decision that they went ahead and bumped their date up to July 21st!  It was such a sweet moment as we were able to see the light in their eyes and the confirming witness from the Holy Ghost as we testified of the promised blessings they would receive for their decision and their future goal of being sealed in the temple.
    This experience taught me so much, and it gave me such a greater desire to press forward even stronger in this work and in the goal of finding families to bring back to our Heavenly Father's family.  I
know that sweet moments like this, and many others that I've had this week, do not come by chance, but that they are orchestrated by our Heavenly Father, and as we seek His will - following His plan, and
doing His work - will be blessed to have these experiences that will shape our lives forever.  :)
    From Maine with Love,
    Elder Dustin Carr

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