Here is some of what he had to say this week:
We are teaching this family. For personal reasons I won't disclose their names. They have been taught by missionaries for years and years. They even named their last kid after the 1st missionary that knocked on their door. There are Word of Wisdom issues in the house and the family has had a lot of struggles. Past missionaries haven't been very commital with them. Elder Ptacek and I went over to teach them the 1st lesson, The Restoration. We sat down and had them shut the TV off and taught a great lesson and felt the spirit. After the lesson we got to talk to the father out on the porch, as he lit up a ciggarette. He explained to us that he has tried to quit smoking before and he knows he needs to stop. He said he knows he's going down the wrong path and he needs to be a better example for his kids that are 11, 4, and 2. We went over to his house this last Sunday (yesterday) to teach him the Plan of Salvation. We knocked on the door and walked in to see the whole house was clean, the TV was shut off, and the whole family was just gathered together talking. Needless to say we taught quite the lesson and felt the Holy Ghost even stronger. Could this be the start of a family turning there life around 180 degrees? I think so. We will continue to teach, and I'll continue to update you.
The church is true. Amen.
I loved that! I believe that the gospel definetely changes lives. I have heard stories shared at church before where members will say that they took the discussions numerous times and then finally, one day, something changed and they committed to baptism!
Jake also shared a couple of quotes this week.
A quote that Elder Ptacek and I use a lot lately. It's a scripture, often used when talking about the saints going to Zion. Thine adversities shall be but a small moment, and if ye shall endure them well, God shall exhalt thee on high.
I love this too! It is a good reminder and makes me think, "this too shall pass." I had shared with Elder Packham some of the things that have happened since he left and this was what he said to me:
Mom, it sounds like the family has been given some tough breaks since I've been on my mission! Those will soon end though! Continue to pray in faith and everything will work out just fine. Alli wrote me a letter and there was a great quote in it: You are right where God wants you at this very moment in His divine plan.
We may not always know what his plan is. I'd suggest looking up the CES Devotional (Actually given in Allen Texas where Alli is from) by David A. Bednar. It was recent like in February. He talks about how we need to align our will with Gods will. It's tricky and it is something we all spend our lives doing. I love you. Anything is possible.
I am very proud of him. Grateful for his service to the Lord and grateful for the blessings that he is sharing with me.
The last thing that Jake wanted to share with me was about his friend, Kara Maxwell. Kara joined the church not long ago - I want to say it was before Christmas. I believe Kara had been thinking of going to BYU or BYUI - she currently attends ISU. Well, this is what Jake said:
I was so happy to read a letter from Kara Maxwell and to hear that she has, after fervent prayer and thought, decided not to go to BYUI or BYU but to go on a mission. It's so humbling to me to be a part of her life and to see her conversion. To see such a great friend have a strong conversion and continually thirst after the Spirit is such an inspiration to me, and will be for many others.
I want to echo Jake and say that I, too, know that each of us are right where God wants us to be at this very moment in His divine plan and that, "With God All Things Are Possible."