Alex's Mission Address:

Elder Alex McLean Ditto

Romania/Moldova Mission
Bdul. Primaveril Nr. 19-21 Et.1 #13
Sector 1
011972 Bucharest

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Monday, May 15, 2017

I am a father and we are agents!

Wooo nelly! This was a crazy week. Thankfully, the craziness was calmed as I got to talk with you guys!!! It felt like as if I had never left you guys- we are all still one big happy family!
A little photoshoot with an incredible door

I started my own "family" this week, as I received a son... meaning a companion straight outta the MTC! Elder Krieger is his name, and is from the land down under in Melbourne, Australia! Far out! I was really excited and humble to receive the calling as a trainer. This is huge for myself and Elder Krieger, as the way I conduct myself and show him how to be a missionary here in Romania is the base that he will take with him. Fortunately, he is totally gung-ho about missionary work, has an incredible desire to learn Romanian, and just an amazing guy to be around. He even let my try his Vegemite!!! 
First companionship picture of many... gonna be a gnarly transfer!

This week came with its' fair share of ups and downs. I was really tired most of the week. I think I was stressed out a little and also, being in Bucharest for 3 days in training meetings and running around like a mad man in that conglomerated city was just hectic! Thankful that Craiova is a nice, quiet city! 
Bucharest has a special place in my heart.

My"father" Elder Giron. I have great respect for this humble man. 

A nice lunch with the brothas before we head out to Craiova and Constanta!

My city!

Posing with a legend... Mihai Viteazul

I am really grateful that I am staying in Craiova for longer. I truly feel like I have a lot of work to do here and hearts to touch. I have to say, my heart broke a little as one of my most favorite investigators decided to no longer pursue the path of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I received the text, my heart literally went to the bottom of my stomach. I just couldn't believe it! How could someone, who has felt the spirit on multiple occasions, has expressed a sincere desire to make changes and come closer to Christ, just drop everything? The truth is, I have no clue. And my heart still hurts for this friend. I really felt like I put all of my soul, love, and energy into helping this person. I went to bed that night just feeling so down.
Poor Elder Krieger has been suffering from the jet lag

I really am just puzzled at this! I talked with Elder Krieger, with Dad, and as I was writing in my journal, it really kind of made sense to me. My purpose as a missionary got a little clearer! It starts with me and my faith. I am here because I love God, and I know He loves me. I have FELT his love. It is real. I am also here because I know that Jesus Christ has the power to heal our broken hearts and saddened spirits. Finally, I am here because I love my family. I have such a greater perspective on the importance of families because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it can bless everyone's lives.

This is why I am here and these are feelings that cannot be taken away. I have true happiness because of the way I live, a life that is in harmony with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

So with these personal feelings, I have the power to help others realize that these things that I hold dear to my heart, can truly bless their lives too... that they can have true joy! I am convinced that everyone that my companions and I have taught have felt the feelings of the Holy Ghost as they listened with real intent, and as I have borne my personal witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. Sooo again... why isn't every single person that I teach converted!?

2 Nephi 2:16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

This is my role as a missionary. I am here to make men "agents unto themselves." God desires each one of us to partake of the goodness that he has provided, but it is ultimately our choice. This is called the gift of agency... and you use it every single day! One of the greatest ways we can use this gift is by finding out truth and coming to understand God's will for us- and it just makes sense that God wouldn't just throw us under the bus, but give us guidance so that we can be led towards the truth and have true joy. Nevertheless, people still reject this great offer to find out for themselves. 

This is why God sends missionaries out all over the world! Missionaries are an evidence of God's love towards all of us! When I think about this, I have a greater desire to do all I can to share this glad message with everyone I meet and give them the opportunity to use their agency.
A little village in the southern hills of Romania

A very sketchy bridge

A giant Orthodox church is behind these trees...

This doesn't make it any easier that my friend rejected this amazing opportunity to change their life for the better, but I know that when the time is right, this person will use their agency to choose "liberty and eternal life." (2 Nephi 2:27)

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

The wonderful thing is that each of us have the opportunity to do this as we strive to be more like Christ and follow His example! 

When my investigator friends decide to use their agency to come closer to Christ, there is no greater joy than this. Mirela, our most progressing investigator has been coming to church for the past three weeks. She loves the feeling she has while being their. We met with her right after church and talked for a while. Mirela had a heartbreaking event happen a couple of months ago. Her husband left her and her daughter, and her family is kind of just destroyed. She says that all her life, her family has been her purpose, and now, she doesn't have them. I honestly can't even imagine how she must feel. I then thought about how lucky I am to have a strong and united family, with the gospel to bring us peace and happiness! This is such a wonderful blessing, that frankly most people don't have in their life. My heart yearns for these kinds of people to embrace the gospel and let Christ heal their broken hearts. I know that he truly does this because he has done it for me. 

Despite this, I know that Mirela AND her family will be blessed as she strives to be an example as she follows the example of the Comforter and our Savior- Jesus Christ. I have faith that she will make this great commitment to change her life around... and soon! 
Crazy billboards in centru

Just enjoying a nice day in the hidden of the world... ROMANIA

I admire the faith of any one who even has the desire to plant the seed of faith and rely on the Lord. Sometimes it is very difficult to see the blessings that will come from using agency in the way that God wants you to, but I KNOW that they come to those who act in faith! 
The closest I have gotten to hiking in like 5 months!

Man, life is just one great big journey and to be in the middle of helping others make the biggest decision of their life is just breath-taking! I know that the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is the guidance that helps us use our agency in ways that will allow the Lord to bless us. I know that we matter to Him! 

I wish all of you a incredible week, and hope that we can all be righteous agents!


Elder Ditto
Of course... I taught him the Ditto pose!

Elder Krieger getting lectured in Romanian by our landlord... he insisted on taking us on an adventure!
University of Craiova

1 comment:

  1. We'll be praying for Mirela! Happy for your new companion - he truly hit the jackpot when he got you as his trainer!!