Monday, January 28, 2013

Feed My Sheep, Feed My Lambs

Dear everyone within the range of my words,                               
What.  A.  Week!  Oh my goodness, I feel highly blessed of the Lord right now.  Exact obedience is truly bringing miracles.
So what happened this week?  I'll start at the beginning.  We decided to scrap many investigators last week, contact and find a bunch more, and just try to build up the area as best we could in a week to use as a jumping ground for this week.  Well, the Lord wanted something more.
We found a family (married parents, 4 kids, ages 4, 13, 15, and 17--two of them potential Aaronic Priesthood holders) who accepted the message of the Restoration outright and will be baptized on the 23rd of February!  They are so ready for the Gospel.
What else could possibly have happened to make me so joyous?  During church, 2 separate men (in their mid-twenties) came up to us and set up appointments with us for this week.  They also said something to the effect of, "We need to be baptized and serve God as quickly as possible."
This transfer, Elder Whitaker and I had set a goal of 8 baptisms and we didn't know how we'd meet it, but we felt right about it.  And now...  Well, the Lord is providing.  Our faith is being met with responses.  And we're awed by it.
Mom, you asked how I get along with Elder Whitaker.  The short answer is that I love him and I find him to be one of the best missionaries I've ever met.  He's exemplary, funny, a great teacher, a focused planner, good at goals, and has such a testimony of this work.  We're seeing miracles together.  He's a true friend.
I'm getting toward the end of Helaman and I'm loving my reading in The Book of Mormon.  I'm more and more touched by its simple, powerful message.  The Book of Mormon truly answers our doubts, enlarges our souls and brings us closer unto our Savior and our Father.  I love it and I'll never put it down.
I came to a sad realization this morning:  I have 5 Fast Sundays left before I head home.  I'm...  Not ready to leave!  It's gone by so fast.  I don't know about you all, but it scarcely feels like it's been a year-and-a-half since I left home.  It's been a good run thus far and I know that the next 5 months will be even better and even more filled with work.  I'm tired, but I can sleep when I'm released.  (I know it's not true--there's too much to do to get life started again when I get back!  Still...  I have a 2 day plane ride to sleep on, right? )  ;)
In other news, Anna, Heather, Jessi, and Jane should expect letters in a few weeks.  I finally sent them off today.  My goal to write 2 letters a week has been going well--now I need to make one to send 2 letters a week.  =)
I guess I'll share a poem I wrote this last week with you.  I'm reluctant to do so as I'm no great talent, but I like its message.  Be kind.  =)
Feed My Sheep, Feed My Lambs

I'd offer gold and precious gems
For love engraved on perfect hands
But all He ever asked of men
Was, "Feed my sheep, feed my lambs."

Still, now and then I've wandered blind,
Losing sight of His perfect plan--
Ignoring as His voice reminds
To "Feed His sheep, feed His lambs."
With arms outstretched, He gathers home
A wand'ring flock into His land
And asks that we help do the same
And "Feed His sheep, feed His lambs."
I wondered at the easy way
Forgiveness caused my soul to stand
And I promised there, that very day,
"I'll feed Thy sheep, feed Thy lambs."

I'm loving the work, I'm loving the scriptures, I'm loving the people, and I'm loving the Lord.  I love the changes I'm starting to see in myself.  I'm growing more and more content with my work ethic, with my goal ethic and with my organization ethic.  I feel like a successful missionary--and I would even if I hadn't had one of the best weeks of my mission just barely.
Work, work, work--there's nothing better.
I love you all and I wish you the best.

Elder Eckman

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