Gilbert Arizona Temple until Phoenix Temple is built

Gilbert Arizona Temple until Phoenix Temple is built
Wherefore, Be of good cheer and do not fear, for I the lord am with you, and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the son of the living God, that I was, that I am and that I am to come. D&C 68.6

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hey Family!

    So some great news to start off! I was informed this week that Neva McKnight was baptized up in Prescott Valley last weekend! I was stoked when I heard that! Caleb Moon was on date to get baptized this past Saturday and I am still waiting to hear if that went through! I hope so! Caleb is a good guy and I hope he is still as strong as he was before. 
    So last Monday, we got a call from a guy from Mesa, he called us because he was coming to the hospital in our area to give blessing to his nephew and he wanted us to come with him. When we met up with him at the hospital, he told us why his nephew was in. His nephew is a horse jockey and he walked behind the horse and the horse kicked back. The hoof hit him in the chest and then broke his jaw with the follow through. I felt really bad when I saw the guy, he was being fed through an IV because he could only open his mouth to get the blood cleaned out. We gave him a blessing and hurried out because his family was wanting to stay with him. 
 On Tuesday, we had a lesson with a recent convert in the ward and we were going down a hill. I specifically told Elder Longhurst, "let me know ahead of time before you turn because my brakes are awful." And they have been for a week or two now. Anyways, we are going pretty good speed down the street and sure enough, he cuts into a parking lot. I didn't have an option to go straight because there was a turn that only went the other way. So I slam on the brakes, keep heading for the curb and yours truly has to ditch his bike and be an athlete. I overstepped the curb like a champ only to get stood up by a cement wall just behind the curb. I hit my knee on the wall but other than that, I was good. I even stayed on my feet. You can't get caught flying through the air, I did my best haha. But everything is good haha. Also, Elder Cordero's travel papers came in on Tuesday for him to go home, it was also his companion Elder Ramos's birthday, so we hid them and then gave them as a present to Elder Ramos, it was super funny! I have began to realize that street contacting and tracting really can be incredible because that is where most good missionary stories come from. It's also how a lot of miracles start. So I have tried talking to absolutely everyone lately. 
    Wednesday was interesting, Elder Longhurst likes going to meeting earlier than necessary to play he piano. He loves playing which is awesome, but he is willing to give up Proselyting time to do it. He also said "we need to stay for awhile after the meeting just to let things soak in". Of course I didn't agree. I said it was wasting time and he said I am too "by the book". I didn't know what to say. It was tense for a minute. But it was good after that. We had our Bishopric 2nd Counselor (Brother Johnson) teach how to be better at contacting. He is a comedian so he is incredible at talking to people. He taught us that there IS a secret to talking to people. 1) compliment them. 2) follow up the compliment with a genuine, open-ended question about whatever you complimented them on. It was really good! Then we went to a member who had a referral for us. He took us and introduced us. We met a man named Lawrence, he is an ex Crip gang member from LA. He has his last name tattooed on the back of his head and LA tattooed on one side of his neck with Jesus's face tattooed on the other side. He came to church with us yesterday and taught me a lot. I could see how nervous he was, he mentioned being nervous of being judged for his tattoos. But he was talking to everyone and wants to come back. He mentioned to me, "a journey of 1,000 miles starts with the first step." I have heard that a lot but it was amazing to hear right then because it goes to show that ANYONE can change. 
    Thursday may have been the best day of my life haha. It was awesome. We had Christmas Conference. President Griffin took 1/5 of the Missionaries each day this week. We had Thursday. We went down to the Mesa Temple and toured the Visitors Center. Then we had lunch out on the temple grounds. And then we all went and did a session at the temple. Being in the Celestial room with President And Sister a griffin and the Mission presidency and other missionaries was so cool! Then President Griffin took us to dinner and then we came back at night for the Temple Christmas Lights! It was an awesome experience and very much needed. I actually had a really good one-on-one conversation with President Griffin at the temple. I know that I'm in the right mission because President Griffin is the perfect Mission President for me. 
    Friday and Saturday were spent trying to contact and find people to teach. We talked to a lot of strangers which I love, because 1)people are accepting to what you have to tell them, 2 they say no, or 3) something interesting happens, get yelled at or talk to someone with some interesting stories or opinions haha. 
    Yesterday at church was great to have Lawrence there with us. Sometimes Sunday is your most stressful day because you worry about getting people to church, reporting in Ward Council, sometimes we teach Gospel Principles which I actually like to do, but there are tons of things going on haha. 

Spiritual Thought, the root word of Disciple is Discipline, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to discipline ourselves as such. The cool thing about the Gospel is that it is a set of standards that we can use to govern ourselves. We don't necessarily have to listen to anybody, but we can discipline ourselves to come closer to Jesus Christ. The ways that we discipline ourselves is through thoughts, words and actions. 

Sorry for the novel! Love you guys! Elder Byington

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