“I Can Do All Things Through Christ Which Strengtheneth Me.” (Phillipians 4:13)

Well this has been the absolute best week ever! Go America! The scripture in my title was referred to by a man we met this week who was originally from Kenya. From the sound of it, apparently he was a member of the church then and served a mission in Korea. This scripture was actually quite suiting to describe our week, as we were striving to learn this principle. In return, we were able to witness miracles by the divine mercy of God.

The thing that stands out from the week was actually the message our mission president shared in zone conferences. I learned from the Larsens, (senior couple missionaries) that he had been preparing the talk for months and finally felt this an appropriate time to share this very important message. Due to the sheer volume of everything he prepared, he had to read his talk, and was only able to share part of it. It really drained him. He talked about obedience, but not in the way you might think. The reason he found this talk so difficult to deliver was because he needed to carefully tell us to stop being so obedient and to be more obedient. My study journal exploded with notes, but unfortunately, I don’t have it with me; so here’s what I have from memory. (This applies to more than just missionaries)
Missionaries in this mission have developed a desperate desire to be “exactly obedient,” as Elder Oaks has encouraged in the past. This is a good desire, but President Weed noticed that in many cases, it was leading to feelings of frustration and inadequacies among missionaries. He agonized over the solution to this, and it essentially came down to motives. However, this is a topic that can not be simplified, due to the many interpretations of ways one could explain the problem. Essentially, missionaries thought that they could bring about miracles of their own volition through their exact obedience. First, we can ever be “exactly obedient.”  Second, only Christ, who brought about miracles and even his own salvation by his obedience was “exactly obedient.” The other points President Weed shared in full were:
  1. Obedience
  2. Striving
  3. Receiving Correction
  4. Trust
I can’t even tell you how much Elder Gardiner, I, and everyone else in this mission needed this counsel.
Well, here are a few more of the miracles for the week:
One of our investigators read all the way to 2 Nephi in a week, and is still reading!
Another investigator came to our Thursday scripture class and heard our message about “faith unto deliverance” based on 1 Nephi 2-4, Hebrews 11, and other select scriptures; which was exactly what he needed.
We committed a less-active family to prepare to go to the temple, and the returning sister we have been working with is very close to getting her endowments now!
We had a great lesson with another investigator, and helped him make friends with a brother in the ward who recently moved in.
We started teaching a new investigator from a member referral.
We met with several active member families to talk about increasing their missionary efforts.
We taught a lesson to a former investigator we have been looking for for months, and his cousin Jeff.
One of our investigators came to church and everyone loved him!
This was probably one of the most successful weeks of my mission. However, it was not all fine and dandy. We experienced some very dark and discouraging moments as well. This was all the result of hard work, but I know it was only possible through God’s will because we wanted to devote ourselves to Him, not for self-gratification.
Hope y’all had a happy 4th! God bless America!
-Elder Samuel Runyan​
Here is a video of our attempt at healthy eating and a picture of a “Japanese cucumber” we got from Jeff’s brother (they own a farm.)

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