Elder Armstrong (my son who is currently serving a two year church service mission in Washington, DC) wrote this little pearl this week, and I combined it with one of his last emails in the area he just left. He was transferred to Belmont Ridge after leaving Reston, Virginia. He leaves behind 7.5 months of loving people, working hard and growing up. <3
“The week… wow its great to be a missionary 🙂 So sorry if this email might be a little long.
This week we had interviews with President Huntsman, which I always really enjoy. There was a little stress going into it, just because I’m training a new missionary. I tend to put unnecessary stress on myself, trying to make sure I don’t mess anyone up. 😅
A main focus on this transfer is promised gifts in our patriarchal blessings. (a personal blessing, kind of like a road map for your life in a lot of ways) President Huntsman asked us to share (to our comfort) a promised blessing we have received, and it was such an eye opening experience. Part of my blessing shares the promise that if I forget the things of this world, then I will be blessed with a greater appreciation of the Savior and Heavenly Father, and will also be blessed with any spiritual or temporal need.
I have come to see this continue to be fulfilled, many times. I know that if I continue serving God to the best of my ability – God will continue to open up doors for me.
This last Friday we got to go to the temple again! This time for baptisms with our recent convert Glenn. (Also, ask me about Glenn after my mission, and I’ll probably talk for a few hours just about what an amazing person he is. Such a cool dude.)
When we got there, none of the other Elders wanted to get wet so I volunteered to go with Glenn into the font. We went behind a family, and Glenn got to actually be a witness for the whole family. When the father had baptized his family, I got the chance to go in and baptize him. After I got done baptizing, Glenn walked into the font to baptize me. You’d think he was a pro with how awesome he did, especially when we had Korean names!! 😂
You’ll never find a sweeter feeling than when you’re serving in the temple, that I have a testimony of.
We left shortly after, and went back to Reston to have the iconic Silver Diner dinner. And honestly, it felt like family. It made me really happy, and also a little sad. I know I have at most another transfer left in Franklin, and its going to be sad leaving. I grew up as a missionary here, and have spent 7.5 short months serving these wonderful people. The feels man.
It was testimony meeting yesterday and not a ton of people were getting up. So GLENN (being the awesome person that he is) got up and bore his testimony. For those of you who do not know, John Huntsman (yes that one) passed away this last Friday. He’s President’s dad, and it was a very sad moment for a lot of people in the mission. Glenn got a chance to meet him at a fireside, and it was seeing the generosity of John Huntsman that was a large part of his conversion. Not his generosity in donating money, which he did do quite often, but for Glenn it was seeing him being generous with his time. Time he didn’t have much of. It was an amazing testimony.
Shortly after I got up and bore my simple testimony and expressed gratitude for the ward. Then one of our youth got up and shared his testimony, in which I got quoted from something I had said when I was at a dinner a his house. I had absolutely no idea that stuck with him. But there’s the truth about life. You will never really know just how much you impact someone’s life. The things you do and say do matter. So don’t ever be afraid to share your testimony with someone else. It just might be the reason they get to enjoy the Gospel.
There’s a song lyric from an old song I used to listen to that has been running through my mind while writing this.
“Who says you are one in a million?
You’re so much better than that.”
No one who lives today, has lived in the past, or will live in the future will ever have your spirit, your testimony, or your exact life’s experiences. So yes. Even when you have the thought I’ve had of “my testimony isn’t anything special, is it even worth sharing?”, I can promise you yes, it is. Don’t every shy away from sharing it. No one can be you 🙂
First week in Belmont Ridge down, and can I say… wow.
I have officially walked throughout my entire area, with some parts several times haha. That’s how small my area is. But yet it is still so awesome. The members in this ward are great, and it’s twice the size of my last ward. I’ve met a lot of our current investigators, and they are very cool people that definitely are seeking the truth. I can’t wait for our lessons with them this next week.
Less serious, but equally awesome things about this area:
1. I have a washer and dryer in my apartment. (My last apartment didn’t, which is rare for this mission) Hallelujah.
2. TWO. Yes…. TWO bathrooms, which are 5 times the size of my last bathroom that I shared. I think I can wake up happy just knowing that. Counting my many blessings lol.
On a more serious note, I guess there is a certain stigma that this area has, that the work is super slow, and that the last recent convert that came out of it was 2 years ago. Elder Johnson, (who has been here for the last 6 months already) is a great missionary, and I can’t wait to break that stigma while working with him. We’ve got a lot of great plans to work with members and through other methods to pick things up. It’ll be awesome, and I am excited to get to work.
I’m often reminded of the scripture that I’m 98% sure I have on my missionary plaque, which is Ether 12:4. It says,
“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”
I know that my “hope for a better world” is why I am out here, and why I will not be deterred by anything. My hope is that somehow I might be able to be the servant of Christ that my Heavenly Father wants me to be, and that I might share that hope with those I serve. I love this gospel and look forward for whatever amount of time I have here with the wonderful people in the Belmont Ridge Area.”