"Wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared."
- Ether 12:32
Another interesting thing you should know about the Newton-Conover area is that there are a lot of wild onions here. Elder Dedrick stooped down once to pull one out of the ground, took it home, washed it off and ate it. He kindly offered to share with me but I didn't go for it.
This last week has been very surreal. We stopped to make a phone call on Sunday and witnessed another crazy man crash into a street pole, though this time the car's rear-right wheel got bent horizontally and he started driving his devastated car down the street. This occurred right outside a Baptist church, so as Elder Dedrick called 911 and I ran to survey the wreckage strewn all over the street, a ton of church-goers filed out to see what had happened. We talked with them briefly, but I decided it was time to go once the pastor started asking us, "So do you think you're going to heaven when you die?" Instead we set a return appointment with him, when hopefully he would not be surrounded by his congregation and have a point to prove.
Anyway, I don't know what it is with Elder Dedrick and I witnessing people crash all over the place.
There was something I read in an email from my dear friend Elder Ward that hit me very powerfully. I paraphrase his conclusion:
Faith is a belief that determines our actions.
Hope is a belief that determines our attitude.
And I got Spirit-slapped in the face. I think that my whole mission I've had quite a lot offaith, because I have always gone out and worked all day, every day, following all the rules and making all the invitations and doing everything as best as I possibly can. However, I realized that I haven't had a lot of hope. I put the work in, but need to have hope that people actually will keep the commitments and actually can get baptized.
One great thing about Elder Dedrick is that he has a ton of hope. Every prayer he says he asks for Heavenly Father to lead us to somebody we can baptize in April. I've never had a companion do that. I try to keep that attitude of his going and learn to emulate it. This last week was the second time in my mission that I've met the Standard of Excellence for total lessons in the week, and that was even with two days getting taken up by ID-card stuff.
The last thing I will mention is something our bishop said in his sacrament talk on Sunday. He told us that his wife frequently says to him, "If you love me, show love to my children." He continued by saying that Heavenly Father probably thinks the same way: "If you love Me, show love to My children."
I think it important that the prophet's address this last conference, during the Sunday morning session when the most people would be watching, was about having love for people. Only the Gospel will save the world, and that because it teaches us to love as the Savior did.
I love my mission. The Church is so true. Hurrah for Israel!