Monday, February 29, 2016

Week #38 - Transfer week

Well, another transfer has come and gone. I'm not even sure how many
transfers I've been out anymore. It's all a blur. I'm super excited
for transfers this week. It should be awesome. I'm pretty sure elder
Merrill is leaving and I'm going to stay. He's been here for 6 months
already and that's usually the max someone will stay in an area.
Hopefully I get a sweet companion!

This week we taught a TON of lessons which was awesome. We taught 8
lessons to Less-active members. And we had 7 less actives at church on
Sunday. It was awesome. Our investigator, Clayton, is still on date to
be baptized on March 12th! We are super excited. He came to the New
and Returning Member Fireside with us last night and loved it. I told
him that if he gets baptized and speaks at that fireside, that I would
sing in it as well. Uhh ohh......I better start taking some music
lessons. We also found 3 new investigators this week. It was sweet.
They are all Hindu though so it's going to be pretty interesting
teaching them. We have a return appointment with them on Tuesday

Today, we are going into DC. We are going to visit the White House,
Chinatown, and some other museums. I'm really excited. I haven't been
into DC in a while and I'm excited to see some new stuff.

This week I was studying and I came across something I really love.
It's in preach my gospel. It says :
As we repent, our view of ourselves and the world changes. As we
change, we recognize that we are children of God and that we need not
continue making the same mistakes over and over. If we sincerely
repent, we turn away from our sins and do them no more. We resist any
desire to commit sin. Our desire to follow God grows stronger and
I love that. I absolutely love the atonement and the blessing of
repentance. I've never felt more of Gods love than I do when I repent.
I love and miss you guys!

Elder Leishman

With Clayton and Elder Merrill

Looks like a zone activity

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week #37

Well, another week has come and gone. I feel like these weeks are
starting to go faster and faster as time goes on. It's crazy to think
that this transfer is almost over, I'm excited for the next transfer.
The Wakefield area has been off the hook lately. We taught a total of
10 lessons last week which was probably the most this area has taught
since there was two companionships serving in our ward. We were able
to have some lessons with our progressing investigators as well as
some new investigators and some lessons with some less active
families. Key indicator wise, this week was awesome!
On Tuesday afternoon, we went to the Temple Visitors Center with one
of our investigators, the one that's on date for baptism, and we were
able to take a tour of the center and walk around the temple grounds.
There is always such an amazing spirit that is at the temple. Our
investigator told us of a really cool experience he had after he
dropped us off. He said he was driving home and he was thinking about
the temple and he just had this overwhelming feeling of love come over
him and he said he knew it was the Holy Ghost testifying to him that
he is on the right path and he is making his father in heaven happy. I
was really excited to hear about that. I have had so many experiences
like that on my mission where I just have this amazing feeling of Gods
love for me. It's such a blessing knowing that I have a father in
heaven who loves me. Now I just need to continue to show him how much
I love him in my actions.
On Wednesday, I was on exchanges with Elder Norton. He's serving in
the Fairfax wars. He's a new missionary and just came out this
transfer. So I decided that we were going to go finding, so I can show
him the ropes haha. So we went to George Mason University campus and
we filled my back pack with as many copies of the Book of Mormon as we
could. I think we fit 20 in there this time. And we told ourselves
that we were going to hand them all out. And we did!! In the space of
2 hours, we handed out 20 copies of the Book of Mormon. We were in
like the main area of campus, kind of like the main square. And we
told ourselves we were going to talk to everyone we could so we tried.
It was such an awesome experience and I know it was great for Elder
Norton because that was his first real finding experience. It's times
like those that make me really love being a missionary.
Well, I'm excited for this upcoming week. So far, we have a lesson
planned for every night this week. I hope it all works out. I'll have
to let you know how it goes next week! I hope you have a good week! I
love and miss you guys!
Elder Leishman

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week #36

Well, this week was awesome! Something really special happened this
week that I'll talk about a little later in my email. It started out
on Wednesday when we had a lesson with one of our new investigators.
In our first lesson with him we invited him to be baptized and he said
he would once he came to know that it is true. So we taught him the
second lesson on Wednesday and we asked him if he would prepare
himself to be baptized on March 12 and he said he would! It was
awesome and the spirit was really strong. He also came to stake
conference with us yesterday and loved it! He said he wants to come
back next week for the normal sacrament meeting. I'm super excited to
keep working with him!

On Thursday, our mission had a goal to have every companionship had
out a copy of the Book of Mormon and then report it to the zone
leaders how many people handed out Copies and how many copies were
handed out. So elder Merrill and I decided to fill my backpack with
copies of the Book of Mormon and head over to Geroge Mason University
which is in our ward boundaries and see how many we could hand out. We
brought 10 copies with us thinking that we could only hand out 2 or 3
but as we got going I swear we couldn't hold on to them long enough.
Yes, there were some people who rejected it but most of the kids were
super interested in what we had to say. We ended up handing all 10 of
the copies by 8pm. We still had an hour of proselyting left and we had
no materials because we had handed them all out. I wish we would have
brought more to give to people. I'm so glad we were able to hand them
all out and bear our testimonies with each one. We decided to split up
in the quad area (don't worry, we were still within sight and sound)
and we decided we were going to talk to ask many people as we possibly
could. We probably talked to 35 people that night. It was such an
amazing experience to be able to share the love of the gospel with
people my age!

So I want to tell you about this experience that happened on Friday.
So Friday is usually the day we do our weekly planning session which
can take anywhere from 1-3 hours. And so in the morning after studies
we decided to pick up our apartment because we have inspections
tomorrow and the we would just eat lunch and do our weekly planning.
Well, weekly planning rolls around at about 1pm and we get going and
it doesn't end till around 4ish. We hadn't left the apartment all day
because of our planning and cleaning and I was starting to get really
tired and a head ache from staying inside so long. So I was excited to
get to our dinner appointment so I can get out of the house, but when
we called our dinner to confirm with them, they said they had to
cancel because of "scouts". And so I was like, "great, just another
hour to sit in the apartment." At this point I'm going nuts. So during
dinner we decide to watch the testaments movie (literally the only
approved movie for missionaries to watch during meals) and during the
movie I swear I lost all my motivation to do anything. I didn't want
to get off the couch, I didn't want to study, let alone leave the
apartment and go out and work. We had no lessons for that night and we
were just going to be tracting or street contacting all night. So I
was sitting there thinking, trying to justify anything in my head. I
kept saying to myself, "well we could just stay inside and call people
in the Areabook, or we could clean our apartment, or we could do some
extra study". But then I got thinking about how you always hear those
stories of missionaries praying about where to go and then they go
there and find that one person. And I've always heard those stories
and it never really hit home with me. But for some reason, I went in
front of our area map while elder Merrill was in the bathroom and
knelt down and said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to give me the
strength and motivation to go out and work and then I asked him where
he wants us to go and I'm not usually one to do something like that. I
think I let my pride get in the way a lot but for some reason I
decided too this time. And as soon and I was done asking him where we
should go, Fairview Dr. popped right into my mind. We'd never worked
there before but for some reason I couldn't get that street off my
mind. So I finally told elder Merrill to get dressed (because it's
super cold) because we are going to work. And so we get to Fairview
Dr. and we start knocking on some doors and we'd knocked all the way
down one side of the street and we were starting to head back the
other way, we'd had no luck and I kept thinking to myself, there has
got to be a reason Heavenly Father sent us to this street. And sure
enough, we knock on this one door and a woman answers and we gave her
our little door approach and she invited us right in (probably because
she could see we were freezing) and she had us sit down on her couch
and we were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon and testify to
her of its truthfulness. She was really intrigued on what we had to
say and we asked her if we could come back on Tuesday and she agreed.
We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it
and she said she would. As we were walking home, I kept thinking to
myself, "I almost stayed in tonight, I was super close to just calling
it a night. If I would have done that, we wouldn't have found
Jeanette". Satan was putting it in my mind and trying to get me to
justify going out and working because he knew that if we went out we
would find Jeanette. I'm so grateful I followed the prompting of the
Holy Ghost to go to Fairview that night. I would have never known what
I missed if I hadn't gone out, but Heavenly Father would have known.
He had prepared Jeanette for us to come and visit her and all we
needed to do was ask where to go. Satan tried all he could to get me
to stay home but he lost. I like to think of satans temptations as a
competition. Who are you going to let win? Him or you? It's a battle
of good and evil. I'm just glad that I kicked his butt on that one.
I'm sure there will be many more of those instances to come to all of
us and I pray that we can always take heed to the promptings of the
Holy Ghost!

I love and miss you guys.

Elder Leishman

Aunt Jearlene had a conference in DC this week so Tanner got permission for her to take him and his companion to lunch.  It was snowy and icy and they weren't allowed to drive, so they walked 1/2 mile to meet her - thus his pants were rolled up.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week #35 - Another day another dollar

Well, another week has passed on my mission. This upcoming week is my
8 month mark. On Wednesday I will hit 8 months of being in the mission
field. It's so crazy to think I've been out that long. It really goes
by so fast. I feel like it was just yesterday I entered the MTC. I
feel like I'm still learning how to be a missionary. I feel like I
still make rookie mistakes but I guess we all do during all phases of
our lives.

This week we were able to find 2 new investigators and we taught them
both the first lesson and invited them both to be baptized and they
said yes!! It was awesome! One of them is a 16 year old girl that goes
to the local high school. The other is a guy who is about 28 and works
at the local movie theater. They both have had contact with
missionaries in the past and we find them just going through our area
book. We had a second lesson with both of them this week and we are
going to try and put them on date for baptism. Im super excited about
the work we are doing. Elder Merrill and I have been working out tails
off in this area for a transfer and a half and haven't really seen
much success from it and we are now seeing some fruits from our labors
and its all because of Heavenly Father. We showed him for the past 10
weeks that we want to work hard and he's finally bringing those people
into our path that need the gospel in our lives. This is one of those
moments in life when you have to give all the glory to Heavenly Father
and recognize his hand in every part of your life.

Last night, I was able to have an interview with President Huntsman.
It was probably the highlight of my week. I had asked him earlier in
the week if we could sit down and have a meeting and he said yes. It's
such a blessing to have priesthood leaders that we can turn too for
guidance and direction. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't able
to sit down with someone who hold to keys of the priesthood and
discussed the triumphs and trials of life. I feel like it's great
therapy for the soul. Well, my soul at least, I don't know how others
feel. But I feel like it's just a huge burden that we have to carry
when we go through trials and when you talk with someone about it,
it's almost like they help carry that burden with you. They are like a
support beam in you spiritual house. It's such an amazing blessing.
I'm so grateful for it. I hope everyone has an awesome week! I love
and miss you all! Keep up the good work!
Elder Leishman

With Elder Finlayson from Lone Peak HS

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week #34

This week was a lot more active than the last week haha. The snow is
starting to melt at a rapid pace. It's crazy, it been around 60-65
degrees the past few days just melting all the snow. Talk about
bipolar weather. It went from blizzard to warm in a matter of days.
Mother Nature can't really make up her mind can she?

But, this week was actually really awesome. We did a lot of personal
contacting and checking on some potential investigators. There is a
big push to ask for referrals from everyone and it's been kind of
tough remembering to ask from everyone but it really pays off. Even
when you're out tracting, if some one isn't interested, you can ask
them who they know that would be interested in the message. We got
probably 5 referrals from that this week which was awesome. Not all of
them panned out but it was nice to talk with people that are semi
prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel.

This week we had a lesson with one of our investigators who is married
to a less active member. It went really good. We discussed Jacob 5.
The allegory of the olive tree. A lot of people are super intimidated
by this chapter but personal, I really enjoy reading it. I understand
it really well and it touches my heart. I just want to share it with
everyone (hence why I made a Facebook post about it this week haha). I
can honestly find so much strength and encouragement from the allegory
of the olive tree. If anyone has any questions about it, feel free to
ask me. I'll do my best to answer them. I love being able to study
things like that. I wish I would have studied more of the scriptures
when I was at home. I wish I would have grown to gain a testimony of
the scriptures before I came on a mission because then I would have
shared it a lot more. But, I'm glad I now have a testimony for myself
about the scriptures. The scriptures really are the guides we should
follow to live a happy life. I love the Book of Mormon and feel like
it is so descriptive on how we need to live our lives. And if I could
leave you all with an invitation, it would be this. To read the Book
of Mormon and then to kneel down and ask God with a broken heart and a
contrite spirit and ask him if the book is true. Even if you already
have a testimony that it is true, you can use the extra strength. Our
testimonies aren't something that is stagnant. They are either growing
or they are diminishing. Let's try to make sure ours are always
growing bigger and stronger.

I love you guys. Have a good week!

Elder Leishman