One of the great truths of the Gospel is that through Jesus Christ, we can change our very natures. People can change and people do change. I’ve thought on this topic a lot and as I’ve started to think of change in context of my relationship with others, a question came to mind: Do I let people change?
From start to finish, I have changed drastically from when I started serving my mission. I’ve allowed the Lord to mold and sculpt me, and though I still have a long way to go, I’ve also come a long way. On these grounds, I really appreciate it when others see the change in me and treat me accordingly. They don’t hold my mistakes a year ago against me and that means a lot. That’s what the question, ‘Do I let people change?’ means to me: do I recognize that just like me, everyone is changing AND do I treat them accordingly? This means forgiving friends and looking for the best in them. Christ said, “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
As time rolls on and change is made, do I notice the good or do I imagine where the metaphorical red stain once was and hold it against the individual? So from day to day, I’m trying to answer that question. It’s hard, but it sure is rewarding. Most people are probably familiar with Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from that book: “As Dr. Johnson said, ‘God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.’ Why should you and I?”
I probably gained 10 pounds this week. I would love to say it’s because I’ve started my long journey to being Mr. Universe. Nope. I added just a bit of insulation because we were fed 12 times this last week. That’s right. 12 TIMES. And I loved every minute of it. The area I’m in right now hasn’t always had the a great experience with the missionaries, so when Elder Snell got here 8 months ago, there were a lot of relationships to be repaired. Plainview is probably the strongest ward in our mission, so there is so much that can happen here. Every single one of the members is incredible! I’m so grateful to be here. Actually, fun fact: Half our ward is from Utah or Idaho. So basically, we have a good mesh of Utah and New York culture going on here.
This last Sunday was incredible. There were two talks and two musical numbers. The primary kids sang a song and Sister Pinelli, Michael Pinelli, and I performed the other one. Brother Whitney and Bishop Bjarnson gave some powerhouse talks. Especially Bishop.
Chris and Nadia are ~50 years old and from Santa Barbara, California and they are getting baptized this week!! They are so ready. SO ready. This last week, when they missed church, they told us that they wanted us to come over immediately so they could schedule a baptismal date and not wait any longer. They’ve been investigating for a few years and now they are ready. And I absolutely love visiting them. They read the Book of Mormon and apply it personally, they love to see us, and they hoping their parents will come to the baptism. If you feel so inclined, keep them in your prayers.
I love going to the Pinelli’s. They are a fantastic family. We got to go over to their house this last week and they taught us how to make Chicken Parmesan. AND IT WAS SO GOOD. Tony Pinelli (the Dad) is a fantastic cook. He was directing us around the kitchen and teaching us all kinds of cool stuff. Sister Pinelli is an incredible violinist and while we were there, she and her husband graced us with some AWESOME music.
Also, transfers are tomorrow. Elder Snell is out and is a District Leader somewhere. They are moving the Zone Leader pool to where we are, so I’ll be a Zone Leader this transfer.
Hope you all had a great week! Love you all!