Sunday, August 18, 2013

Week 13, August 12, 2013

Week 13, August 12, 2013

Hey everyone!

Well, we had another great week here in the MBM (Maryland Baltimore Mission). So, the day after I emailed and said I didn’t get the quest bars, I got the quest bars. haha The zone leaders had told the mission office they would take them to me and then left them in their car for two weeks... haha Oh well. They are still delicious and nutritious. In fact, I am eating one right now! I also got the package you sent me. I was all shaking it and Elder Hansen thought I was getting candy. I responded "even better! Vitamins!!" haha and I loved the magnet(tennis player: "My purpose in life is to serve others") and sticker (i-Serve) hahaha I love it, I love it, I love it! Pretty neat… anyway...

I am glad to hear everyone had a great time at the cabin last week. Boating is definitely the funnest activity! haha I definitely miss boating... or the water for that matter. haha  I cant wait to get the package you guys sent as well! That will be exciting!

It is pretty crazy that it is almost time for school to start again. Where did the summer go? Plus, Mormon night at the Orioles is this Friday! Booya! That is going to be a party. We are riding out with one of the young men in our ward we are good friends with. And we will see all of the other elders. I heard Elder Holland threw the first pitch at a Mormon night for some other team. That would be cool, but I’m not really expecting someone as cool as him to throw the first pitch.

So the big news for the week happened this morning... the news is bad & good... Elder Hansen was emergently transferred. New companion-Elder Dorsey is his name, and hopefully, missionary work is his game. I am excited to work with him for the next two weeks of this transfer. Then we will see what happens. We have no idea if he will stay or not when transfers come around. He seems pretty cool. I’ve only known him for about an hour but he seems like a great guy. Or I might be blinded by optimism. I’ll let you know next week. haha Unfortunately we had to exchange during zone soccer... I was not happy about all--quite disappointed, in fact. So unfortunately, I do not have any soccer highlights for you guys. I will in two weeks though.

Anyway, story time. So, on Tuesday, I went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I teamed up with Elder Ferrin. We thought we had a great day set up but every appointment fell through. We found out that every single one was canceled by about one thirty. haha So the sweet day that we had planned was totally emptied. So we changed up all of our plans and tried to contact some different people. Well, we didn’t see anyone. So it was around seven and we had already burned through all of our new plans. Elder Ferrin was looking at me like, "I don’t know where to go". And I was stumped as well. So we decided that we would pray and ask for direction and then visit the first active member that came to my mind. So we did so. The family I thought of was the Thompson’s. We rushed to their house hoping to finally talk to someone. The decision to go was on me. I was the one who knew the families in the area. I did my best to ask in faith and follow the prompting given me. As we drove to their house, I had time to think. Time to think about quick decisions isn’t always the best. I reflected on how I felt about visiting the Thompson’s. Analyzed the feelings that came with the prompting I received. I had to decide if I really thought I had received direction from God and that we would go where he wanted us to go. I decided I had indeed been guided and that we would accomplish something that night. We got to the Kilpatrick’s house and knocked on the door. No dice, the Thompson’s didn’t answer. So we got back in the car thinking that we must be in that area for a reason. We looked on the GPS and saw that a less active family, the Jackson’s, lived close by. I had no idea who they were, so we decided to find out. After knocking on doors all day we finally got one to open. This lady pretty much yelled at us to never ever stop by again. Apparently, we need to work on our first impressions... We finished the night and actually found a couple more people who asked us never to return to their doorstep. They were a little more polite though. So fast-forward to Wednesday. I’m back with Elder Hansen and the day is going in pretty much the same direction. No one was home. Then we got a text from the referral center. We had nothing to do at the moment so we went to check it out. Turns out it was the Thomspon’s neighbor. A guy named Professor. He let us in and was excited to talk to us. He mentioned how surprised he was that we had come so quickly. He told us how he had sent in a request for a missionary visit late the night before. He saw us visiting the Thompson’s and decided he wanted to talk with us. The story gets better. He plays tennis and he fed us dinner! We are good friends now. He is a Catholic and he wanted to find out more about our religion and learn more about mission life because a former student of his is serving in Brazil right now. Oh yeah... he is a college professor. Minor detail. Anyway, we found this guy because we were in the right place at the exact time we needed to be for him to see us the night before. If we had not gone to the Thompson’s, we would not have visited the Jackson’s. Even if Heavenly Father had inspired us to see the Jackson’s when we asked who we should see we would have been too early. It was really quite amazing. It was a learning experience for me. In this month’s Ensign, I read about personal revelation. This is something I study a lot. I apologize for not remembering who said it but somewhere in there it said that we must learn to walk to the edge of the light and then take a few steps into the darkness. Knowing that once we do so, we will receive further light. This might be the one time that I do not have my book of thoughts on hand right now... sorry not to have the exact thought. But it’s not important. The point is that we need to act on the promptings we receive. Then more revelation will come as we are on the move, following what we have already received. It can be strange, I’m not going to lie, to be walking on a path without knowledge of where it will take you. It is humbling. It is truly God's work and I am both humbled and honored to be a part of it. The amazing thing is that while this story may have been the most clear example of this, this type of experience happens to me all the time as a missionary. Pretty neat.

Every morning, I pray for guidance when I study. Sometimes certain random things will stand out to me. I find that these seemingly random things become important in the days meetings. On Thursday, I was talking to a less active member, a converted Catholic. We were talking and he brought up that he had a problem with the church not using unleavened bread for the sacrament. In that mornings study, I had come across the verse in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord revealed that we should not use wine in the sacrament and that we could use anything as long as we took of the sacrament with an eye single to the glory of God.  I asked if he believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet and had received revelation from God. He answered in the affirmative. I was then able to provide this guy with the reference and explain the answer to his question. He was astounded at my knowledge of the scriptures. haha But I am quite certain that the spirit just brought that verse to my attention as I was flipping though the pages that morning. And I let him know that. I told him the whole story of why I knew the reference off hand and testified that God answers prayers. It is so fun to be a part of experiences like these. They are priceless.

Dad- good luck in the tournament of love. Who is playing the exhibition this year? Since you didn’t tell me-- it is either someone so cool that you don’t want me to know or someone who isn’t as big of a name but still totally awesome. Just wondering... I loved your lesson from Lorenzo Snow. What he taught is very true. That is definitely the attitude that is needed to be most effective while working with the Lord.

Oh, you can probably send things to the mission office address. I gave you my apartment address too but either one will work. As long as my zone leaders don’t leave it in their trunk...

I’ve got to go now, but I will talk to you next week. I hope you are all doing well. I love missionary work!! hahaha Talk to you later.

Love you guys,
Elder Hinkle

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