“The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship”

Hello There!

How was your week? I hope that things went well and that you saw The Lord’s hand in your life at some point this past week.

I write this today with a heavy heart. B.’s mother decided against the baptism, and it’s been emotionally hard for me. I know that this isn’t about me or my companion, it’s about B. and his family. He felt he was ready, but now with this decision, he’s said that he is just going to keep learning. No effort is lost in missionary work, but it’s hard when you don’t see the full bloom and fruits of your labors. Some day though I hope B.’s circumstance will change and that he will know what he wants to do.

I am reminded of Elder Hollands conference talk from April 2014 where he says, “So here we have the burden of those called to bear the messianic message. In addition to teaching, encouraging, and cheering people on (that is the pleasant part of discipleship), from time to time these same messengers are called upon to worry, to warn, and sometimes just to weep (that is the painful part of discipleship). They know full well that the road leading to the promised land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ of necessity runs by way of Mount Sinai, flowing with ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots.'”

Honestly this week was good. We did get to serve at the Senior Center, the Methodist Church, and the Food Bank. All of which are wonderful opportunities to love those around us and serve as Christ served. We did have an exchange with the Florence missionaries. I stayed here in town with Elder Allred while Elder Smith went to Florence. During that time we had our regular appointment with Debbie who was baptized last summer, and we are reading The Book of Mormon with her. We were reading in Alma chapter 1.

Saturday and Sunday were great because we helped move a lady who had not been to church in a long time, while it was pouring rain, and we were able to split some wood with a part member family. The husband is not a member, and it was a good learning experience for all of us. Especially me, because I’ve never split wood before. I think I pulled a muscle though because I am pretty sore. Plus being out in the rain, goodness, i think I have a cold now because I could not stop blowing my nose during church! But Ray, the man that we are teaching right now, came to church again with his fiancé. I am so happy that they are wanting to learn more about Jesus Christ; it gives me hope.

I want you to know that I am trying my hardest, but truthfully, things are hard right now, but I just press forward hoping that a light will continue to shine for me, pointing the way to go. Thanks for everything. I appreciate you reading along with my adventures of being a missionary.

Best,

Elder Harper

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