Sunday, October 2, 2016

3/14/16 A Milestone of Life

Hey Crew!
It's been an eventful week in the dirty rob. Our Mission Leadership Conference in Bentonville was a major turning point in my mission! Which was rather poetic, since last Friday commemorates 1 full year as a dedicated servant of the Lord. I. Learned. So. Much. Spiritually feasted, and I could hardly write fast enough. Wednesday we drove over to Springfield to pick up a sister training leader who was going with us, had lunch at the mongolian grill called Huhot (so good) and drove down to Bentonville Arkansas for exchanges with the assistants. Elder Brown and I had a great time working together and had some good laughs. I learned about the power of more frequent, specific prayers from him; something that I now try and emulate more often. Bentonville is a cool city, a lot smaller than I expected but a very wealthy and rather historical place. It's the HQ of Wal-Mart, where the first store ever opened. All their offices and whatnot are here, and basically all the members work for the company. And a lot of them are really high up. And really rich. Reeeeaally rich. I've included a quick pic of the square where the first Wal-Mart store opened, it was called Walton's five and dime or something like that. We stayed at the assistant's apartment and the next morning was MLC. Brother Hemmingway from the mission department was here to train our mission leaders, he's the head hancho of proselyting efforts in the church I guess. He taught me more key things about this work and the tools I have to perform it than I've probably learned the whole last year of my mission. He was incredible! There were so many takeaways that will help my work and effectiveness, which means more souls will come unto Christ. It was a fantastic training meeting. This week we have zone conference to roll out the training we received to the rest of our missionaries, Elder Horsley and I will train on several of the key points Brother Hemmingway taught us about having short, powerful lessons. I'm excited. Other than that our week has been pretty standard with great teaching opportunities. We taught a new investigator family for the first time and the wife said she'd definitely consider baptism and read the book. Husband is a little trickier, but we're excited about the new development. We have an upcoming baptism this weekend for Sarah Melville! I don't know if I've mentioned much about her but she is absolutely golden and so pumped to enter the water. She's an officer in the army and has been dating an RM member named Josh who we are convinced is just flirting to convert. Haha just kidding, but we tease him :) Sarah has really gained a strong testimony of the truths of the restored gospel and read a major portion of the Book of Mormon. Doesn't get any better than that! Sad part is that the week after her baptism she is being transferred to Italy, and Josh is being transferred to Alaska. Buuut they're both excited about that because both of those places are literally 10,000 times better than Missouri haha. Oh, also we taught a powerful lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ in our investigator class at the military branch, and several members brought their "battle-buddies" who were interested (essentially the army equivalent of a mission companion). After the lesson, young private Cole came up to us and said, "Um, excuse me sir, I would like to be baptized." We said okay how about in two weeks!! Deal. I felt like John the Baptist in the wilderness when people listened to his sermons and then just jumped into the river hahaha. Servicemen are so humbled, and also forced to live almost all the commandments on base, so it works out pretty well.
I think that's about the gist of my week, but I'm probably forgetting something epic that you'll never ever know about, sorry. I am thrilled to have another year in the service of God. I want to make this one count. I have goals on goals on goals to try and be better, serve more, grow more, be more like my Savior. I'm really proud to be called a Disciple of Jesus Christ. That's my favorite part of who I am, and I'll always have that identity. He is my Master! I sure love Him.
Until next week :)
Elder T. Hakes

Downtown Bentonville

Basic Training graduation for several members in our branch!

One year up in flames

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