Elder Winegar, In a Van down by the River, or Ocean actually

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Hey guys. The season of Gratitude is upon us. What are you grateful for? It's important to remember. Gratitude will make you so much happier wherever you're at in life. Anyways. This week was good. I still miss everything a lot but I am starting to love what I'm doing here. There's ups and downs like everything but I feel happy. 

News? News.


We went on two exchanges this week. On the first one Elder Moulton swapped with Elder Andersen and came here. We ended up being super overscheduled so I kind of felt like a failure leading the area but it's alright. We brought an investigator some flowers and I think it made her night. She's a very sweet lady.


We dropped off some Book of Mormons to the Chaplin at the Monterey County Jail so that one of our friends could have one.


We set up a little whiteboard activity down at fisherman's wharf. We wrote "what brings you joy?" on a whiteboard and had passerbys write their answers down. We met many wonderful  people, had some fascinating discussions, and overall it was a great success. 


We met with good ol' Nova Celeste again. She and her Van happened to be in town and she wanted to meet up with us. So we met up in the forest, her chapel as she says, and she informed us that she was certain that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon was true. However she was not planning on "converting," as she put it. We were a little disappointed but to each their own. 


We talked with Victor again this week. I just thought I'd let you know I still really love him and find his life experience so interesting.


On my second exchange I went to Seaside to stay with Elder Mouser. He and his companion informed me they had a lesson with Diana, who they had been teaching for months and who fully accepted Jesus Christ's restored gospel. But she was hesitant to be baptized because of some struggles she had been having in her attempt to perfectly commit to some of the changes she had to make in her life. They asked me to see what I could do to help her see that she was more ready than she thought. I told them I'd see what I can do. After a little encouragement and positive reinforcement from a new face, she has decided to be baptized. We are so excited to take this next big step. I know the increase of joy it will bring into her life and it warms my soul. 


In my chat with Diana, I shared with her a sentiment from Bradley Wilcox's talk (which I've been thinking about a lot if you couldn't tell) and I think it is applicable to many of us. The exact quote I shared was this:


"Some mistakenly receive the message that they are not worthy to participate fully in the gospel because they are not completely free of bad habits. God's message is that worthiness is not flawlessness. Worthiness is being honest and trying. We must be honest with God, priesthood leaders, and others who love us, and we must strive to keep God's commandments and never give up just because we slip up. Elder Bruce C. Hafen said that developing a Christlike character 'requires patience and persistence more than it requires flawlessness.' The Lord has said the gifts of the Spirit are 'given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do.'"


Often in our lives we hold ourselves to an unrealistic standard. We expect that we need to be perfect before we are good enough or before we can be happy. As Elder Wilcox beautifully expounds, this is not God's message. He does not expect us to be perfect. In fact quite the opposite. He knows we cannot be. And so he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to ensure that our best is enough.


Friends, please believe me when I say, your best is enough. If you are trying, that is all our Heavenly Father expects of us. Give everything you can and Christ will do the rest. I promise you. 


The converse of this perfectionism is also true but remind me to talk about that next week I'm feeling long winded…


I have a sobering announcement to make. I have been pondering upon my weekly songs and I have come to a sad conclusion. I simply cannot retain the pace at which I am sending songs to you all for two years straight. So I have decided to cut it down to 1 or 2 songs each week. 


The songs on my mind this week are some favorites that remind me of a very important person in my life. Enjoy. 


In Too Deep--Jacob Collier

Unsquare Dance--Dave Brubeck


Catch you all next week. 


Elder Winegar


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