I have a firm testimony that the Lord recognizes our efforts. More effort, more blessings and more heavenly aid. What can you do to SHOW the Lord that you need his help? Asking is easy. Prove it. Faith without works is dead! He doesn't expect perfection in order to answer your prayers and bless you with aid. He expects effort, and faith and repentance. I've felt His power flood my life in a way this week that I have not quite experienced before. I've come to a point where I need to let go of myself in every little way and think more of Him and His purposes. As I did that with aid of the purification challenge I sank into depths of peace and felt a fuel burning in me that carried me beyond my expectations for myself. I'm only on day 10 of the challenge, I can't wait to see where day 40 takes me.
We saw so many miracles and successes this week, I could write a book. Maybe several books. Transfers came and went and I said goodbye to my cowboy buddy Elder Thurgood and welcomed Elder McArthur to the best area in the mission. He just finished training and has been out about 3 months. He's from Paradise California and is here to work! Which is good, because we've got a lot in store for us. Bishop Southwards wife and kids were out of town this weekend. How does he choose to spend it? By utilizing his extra time to advance the work of salvation. I probably would have watched Netflix or gone to a football game. He spent it teaching 15 lessons with us and ministering in a way that inspires. His priesthood power and keys have created a tidal wave in this ward. We found 9 new investigators, (I say "found" but I should say "were handed to us on a silver miracle platter by Bishop"), set 5 more baptismal dates, drove investigators to stake conference and truly impacted the course of these peoples' lives. We have 10 baptismal dates scheduled for the next 3 weeks! Talk about a Christmas miracle people. There are so many people prepared to receive the gospel and yoke themselves with Christ. What better holiday gift is there? I am blessed to be involved in this work, right here, right now. Of all the thousands of missionaries on this entire planet, the Lord put Elder Hakes right here. I testify he knows best how to lead us along. He knows and endeavors with success to provide us the path that will lead to our individual growth, progression and salvation. He knows me. What a cool thing. That knowledge alone makes me feel really good.
Exciting things coming up: we have a zone conference with Elder Bradley Foster of the seventy this Friday, so that will be sweet! We have an all-mission conference (the first in years) on Dec 21 in Bentonville! That is going to be righteous. I get to Skype my momma in a couple weeks! That will be a treasure. Elder Southward, our area authority who happens to live in our ward, set us up a gym membership because its dang cold in bishops storage garage at 6 in the morning. I'm pumped. Literally! I don't expect all 10 baptisms will happen this month, but I pray and labor that they will.
Love you, remember the reason for this light-filled season.
Elder T. Hakes