Hello Family and Friends!
How was your week? Oh man, words cannot fully describe how eventful this week has been. I would like to start off by saying that I will miss Elder Kelsey our 3rd Missionary Companion due to him being emergency transferred to help serve in another ward in Corvallis. He was a very sincere missionary while we were teaching and his testimony of the Gospel is simple but so powerful when he shares it. But, the work will continue to go forward with Elder Hanssen and I here in Newport! We are so excited for these coming weeks and here’s why!
We are planning out a Newport Community Family Luau and we are inviting ALL the churches in Newport, Toledo, Depoe Bay, and Waldport to participate! Our goal for this is to strengthen the community through the different religious faiths. This event is not going to be a proselyting event, but rather a time to get to know one another and break the ice of misconceptions. I shared with one pastor the other day that the idea behind this is the build lasting relationships between each church and to show the public and local world that despite any differences we have, we each have a belief and we have to unite together on common ground and defend what we believe against a world that is removing itself from God or any likeness to Him. I think this is really exciting to be completely honest. If anything, there has been one church so far that didn’t accept our invitation, but we hope that simply by sitting down and visiting with them and extending that hand of friendship will allow Christ’s light to shine through and touch their hearts. We just want to be friends with people, and it’s sad that others choose not too simply because of what we believe. I hope that that can change over time.
This weekend we had a couple people that Elder Hanssen taught a while ago come up to Newport and it was great being able to get to know them. Turns out that they all are recent converts! They have such strong testimonies and it was such a pleasure being able to meet them. They really touched my heart and made me feel like I had worth and that Elder Hanssen and I made quite a team. I really am enjoying working with Elder Hanssen, he is a great missionary and he knows how to work, how to be bold, and to invite! Just today actually we saw a woman that we are meeting with and it was fun to see her at work and we were able to confirm our appointment with them tomorrow evening. They are a super amazing family and we hope to see many miracles come to them.
This week on Sunday we were both asked to share our personal testimony and introduce ourselves officially to the congregation. I was humbled by the gesture to do so and I shared with them my favorite verse from How Firm A Foundation which reads,
7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
What a powerful verse, it’s certainly a favorite, but then I found out that it is Elder Hanssen favorite as well! Well I hope that you have an incredible week! Thanks for all that you do and for your love and support!