Man this week was nuts! Elder Bassett and I had so much going on. It was honestly a little bit rough for me personally for some reason. I know why. I just had a lot on my mind I guess. The week still turned out great though. Elder Bassett and I made a lot of changes and it helped keep my attitude positive towards the end of the week.
The first thing that happened at the beginning of the week was pretty fun. I went on an exchange with Elder Jeffs and we basically did service all day for Sister Morgan. She needed us to rake all of the leaves and pine needles on her property or she was going to be fined. She can't do it herself so we offered to do it for her. We had to go out and buy 12 42 gallon yard bags to get it all in, and it took a long time, but Elder Jeffs and I had a great time and we worked really hard on it. The crazy part about all of that was when we got home to shower and get dressed for Book of Mormon class, I looked at my arms and I had broken out in hives everywhere on them. Then I started having some asthma and it made it a little hard to breathe. I got really nervous about it but I had to make sure we all could get to Book of Mormon class so I had Elder Huntsman and Bassett give me a blessing and then I took 2 Benadryl and we were off haha. The hives took about a day to completely fade away but after an hour I could breathe okay and I was fine. The blessing gave me some peace so that I could do everything that I needed to that night and I'm really grateful that I asked for it. I knew that if I got one that everything would work out. Book of Mormon class went great now that we've made the changes to it. Sister Jackson and Williams taught it and they did a great job. The class is way better than it used to be so I'm glad that The District and I made the changes.
The next big thing that we all got to do as a district was go to a nursing home that a member works at and carol for all of the people there on Thursday. They had been waiting for an hour for us to get there they were so excited haha. We had taken all of the "He is the Gift" cards that we could get and we tied them to candy canes and passed them out as we sang to all of them and walked through the halls. Everyone in our district has a pretty good singing voice so it turned out so great. The people there were so happy to hear us and see us. Our whole district also went to the flea market on Saturday. The Lake Murray ward rented out a booth there for the day so we set up our table with a bunch of Christmas stuff, TV, He is the Gift cards, and free Christmas DVD's and we were there practically all day caroling and passing those out. We had passed easily more than 100 of the cards and there were a lot of people that stopped to listen and we talked to all of them. We got 30 referrals from them and so it was super successful. We all had a really great time doing it and it was one of the most effective things that I've seen happen on my mission so far.
Note: The Church has produced some wonderful Christmas videos and has a Christmas initiative called "He is the Gift" with the hashtag #sharethegift. Click here to see! It's a great way to remember and focus on the real reason for Christmas!
We had another ZTM (zone training meeting) this week too. We talked a lot about planning and member work. I really didn't want to be there because we just had a ZTM last week and we had to have another one because the message that President wanted to relay to all of us wasn't given correctly. I wanted to go out and work instead mostly. And because the sisters volunteered us to sing at ZTM and I kind of didn't want to haha... It sounded good though. But I got a lot from ZTM and it helped Elder Bassett and I get some ideas for changes in our area so that we can work better. The things that were talked about made me think a lot about my work and how I can do it better than I already am. I think that's why I struggled personally a little bit this week. I was constantly thinking about things that I could do to make the work go better here and I was really preoccupied for a couple of days on it. Eventually I figured it all out and I've started trying a lot of new things and also shifting certain focuses towards other aspects of missionary work so that I can master it all and make sure that I have more solid plans and lessons with people. So far I've been having success with it. I've been able to help out Elder Jeffs and Huntsman too because Elder Jeffs crashed his bike and hurt his foot pretty bad. We've had to go on exchanges so that Elder Huntsman can get to the lessons they have scheduled. But everything is still working out great. Last night alone Elder Bassett and I made 2 return appointments and received a really solid referral. I have a lot of great feelings about the improvements I've made and I think that it's going to benefit us and the ward.
Although I was really weighed down by my thoughts and I had to go do work while I was having an allergic reaction and I had a lot of coordinating and planning for the events we participated in, I feel like I accomplished a lot for myself this week. I had to make some personal changes I think and I had to kind of make myself think differently so that I could figure a lot of stuff out about how I can make my teaching, finding, and planning better than it has been. The changes have been successful though.
Lastly, my last week at Fort Jackson was awesome. We were only expecting one baptism, but two Privates wanted to be baptized that day when they showed up and so we got to actually have 3 this week! It was great. I'll miss that place a lot. It's given me a lot of hope and it's taught me a lot of things that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. I got to help 18 people make the special commitment of baptism while I was there, and I feel like that I've accomplished so much with all of the missionaries I've worked with there.
Things are looking up for us and I know that a lot of things will turn out great. I know that all of the time that I've put into praying and consulting The Lord about how I can do better and do what He wants me to do will help me out the most. I'm trying my best to act on the faith that I possess and when I have, I've been immediately blessed every time.
There's not much else I have for this week. I think that I covered it all haha. I hope everyone had a great week!
Elder Sean Bills