Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Letter #12

Transfers were yesterday.  Quayd has a new companion.  We will be anxious to hear about him next week!  First, thenot-so-near miss... I can not even speak of it.  I am so thankful that he's okay! And then to hear how hard the work has been.  That's hard.  But, he continues to hold his head high and carry on!  Thanks for your continued prayers!  Here's excerpts from this week's letter...

This week, I truly have learned that Angels are on your left and on your right. We were going to our next appointment and stopped at a light.  My companion was a little bit ahead and across by now.  As I started riding on to the street, a flash of black comes around the corner....yep I was hit.  I didn't fly over what I thought could have been my final destination, or end my mission and that silhouette of blackness with the loud scream of rubber tires could have crushed my body on the black pavement. Instead I got a bruise on my leg. That was really it and how grateful I am. Haha  What's surprising is my companion was clueless. He didn't even see the whole SHEBANG or look back to see if I was okay. haha HE TRULY IS LOST IN THE LORDS WORK. He still has no idea that this happened. I'm just grateful I'm alive and still able to serve the people of Redlands California, whom I've come to love, especially during this hard week.

So let me start off by saying It's hard!!!!! It really is hard. The  mission, the Doubts or fears of being a successful missionary, especially training to be an effective, hard-working missionary is difficult. Living all the rules and higher standards, listening to your companion, hoping that you can bring people into the gospel. It's hard. Especially getting yelled at by people you have never met before. People yelling at you when you are just trying to do the work of God.

It's hard, but you make a choice and stick it out!!! There's no turning back, at least for me. No matter how hard it gets I don't quit and I won't quit. I made a choice to serve and I'm going to give it my all. Even when it feels like you've tried everything and think you can't go on. Rely on Heavenly Father, have faith and keep pressing forward.

So why am I saying these things well this week has been really hard. I'm not going to lie. it's been really hard.
Sometimes, I don't understand.... why!?!? Why after so many lessons, after so many testimonies, after so many witnesses and prompting from the Spirit, why someone leaves. why someone just says "hey these things aren't true, or that my parents think it's best that we don't meet any more."  After weeks of no appointments and of lessons falling through, we finally found some investigators, who have recently set baptismal dates, who have been and have wanted to feast upon the words of the gospel. But even with the truth and with the joy of the gospel, there is an opposition... Everything changes and it falls apart.

Kevin: Will not talk to us anymore. he won't even allow us to come and teach him.

Brandon: We taught a lesson with him and his brother Andrew. These two are ready to be baptized!!! Every day we stop by and I see the light getting brighter and brighter in the eyes of these young men. They are golden and I know there ready to follow Christ and make commitment through baptism. We taught the word of wisdom... I shared my testimony of agency and having the Holy Ghost and the promises within this revelation. I was impressed to share something that my father had told me, which he had learned from one of the apostles:..
about the Holy Ghost… How it quickens all the intellectual faculties, increases, enlarges, expands, and purifies all the natural passions and affections, and adapts them, by the gift of wisdom.  It inspires, develops,
cultivates, and matures all the fine-toned sympathies, joys, tastes, kindred feelings, and affections of our nature. It inspiresvirtue, kindness, goodness, tenderness, gentleness, and charity. It develops beauty of person, form, and features. In short, it is, as it were, marrow to the bone, joy to the heart, light to the eyes,
music to the ears, and life to the whole being.”

I shared this and I could feel the spirit. I know they could too. I promised them the blessings of living the word of wisdom and how this wisdom comes from the Holy Ghost, our constant companion and how they can have this by baptism. After the lesson, Brandon told us that he wanted to talk to us privately. I thought it was just a question, I expecting something good. This was not the case. Brandon told me some hard words. He told us that his mom said we were not allowed to meet with him anymore, that the lessons, the invitations, the baptism and the chance to help these young brilliant men have salvation stops Sunday. THIS SUNDAY!?!?!??! I was shocked. My mind was spinning in all directions, trying to find a conclusion as to why. I was thinking what happened!?!? You can feel this. Your mom can feel this. She's even had a dream witnessing and testifying to her, that its TRUE. You can feel the gospel. You are reading! Why?!?! How?!?! I couldn't speak. I just shook my head in unbelief, in defeat. I definitely felt defeated!!! Did we just end up at the bottom again!?!?  No investigators. no lessons. No one to bring unto salvation, just back at square one!!! It's hard and it's hard to say goodbye...

Joe:   he is leaving for 180 days because of choices he made a couple years ago. We gave him a Book of Mormon, talked to him, answering questions and concerns and how this book can really help him find the answers. It was bitter sweet. We talked to Krista and Joseph. Joseph isn't happy about his dad leaving and us not being able to visit. It's going to be hard for me and also for them, but, I know if they have faith good
things will come to them. We said goodbye.

I didn't know or comprehend how much you could love people. It just shows how much Heavenly Father loves us, but when it's time to say goodbye you just think to yourself "I can't leave these people. They need me!!! They need the gospel and how will they find it if I leave? “I don't know how much Heavenly Father loves his children. I only know
 that he does and that he continually reaches out in love. I don't know how many times Christ reached out with love, looking outward and not inward and having people reject him and eventually crucify him. Even after atoning for our sins, did he show his love for us!!! I can't can't comprehend that, nor will I ever understand it. But I do know it was for a reason. It was because of the love that he had and a desire to love others, help others, and serve. 

As a missionary. I have grown to love and care for these people, to try and help them make righteous decisions. Even when they reject it and oppose its teachings, I love them. I truly love them and I hope and pray for them, that one day, if it is the will of our father, that they will come and accept the gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All I know is that we need to have faith and hope that Heavenly Father still loves us and that Christ still loves us. It's because of Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior, Jesus Christ. That makes it possible for people to change and want to be better and live the gospel.

I have learned more about the plan in our lives and the atonement of Jesus Christ and what it can do in your life, than I have ever before, in my 19 years of this grand adventure. I have also learned what it truly means to love people, to love our family, our friends, our neighbors and our enemies. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. They care for us and our eternal happiness.  I hope to follow the Savior and love as he loves, care as he cares, serve as he serves and reach as he reaches and finally, lift as he lifted and continues to lift today.

We need to lift those, who think they can't progress, or can't change, or feel that they are nothing and not worth saving. For all of us, it's time to lift up our voices, proclaim the truth and help lift people up into eternal salvation. Because it matters and it matters to me even more, knowing that Christ still reaches people. He reaches them by heart and soul. He lifts those who think they can't endure through the trials of life. He inspires people to change.  It's through his atoning sacrifice that we can do this and he has done that in love.  It just takes a hand and one reaching out in love.

Thank You again for all those who are reading. I love you and I know that God loves you and I know that these things which I have spoken are true!

-Elder Corbridge

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