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Week 20 in Ephrata

Date: September 23, 2013
Area: Ephrata
Companion: Elder Farnsworth


Dear Family, 

So I finally got transferred.  I've spent the whole summer here in Ephrata and I'm sad to be leaving it. I've met so many people and I've come to love the investigators, the members, and the missionaries here that have made such an impact in my life. Elder Farnsworth is staying in Ephrata and his new companion will be Elder Barham. I was with Elder Barham in the MTC and he's awesome so I know that Ephrata is in good hands with the two of them. 

I'm going to be opening a new zone - again. Crazy. Starting from scratch - again. It's okay though.  I like starting fresh with something new. My new companion will be Elder Duncan; I think he's from Utah. I've met him once or twice and he seems like an awesome missionary. We're going to open the Cascade Zone which is located in the Wenatchee Valley. The Wenatchee Stake is on fire and so they decided to split the stake into two zones! Elder Duncan and I will be working close with President Hunsaker along with the two other zone leaders who will be covering the other half. 

I'm sad to be leaving Ephrata, but I'm also excited for the change. I know the B______ family will get baptized soon and so I'll be close enough that I can probably come down for their baptism.

The other day we went to visit an investigator but he ended up not being home. As we were walking back across the street to our truck we saw a lady watering her flowers. Our goal is to talk with everyone, and so of course we crossed the street and started a conversation with her. As we were talking with her we found out that her brother had passed away the day before from cancer. We were able to testify to her of the Plan of Salvation and of the Resurrection. We read Alma 40:11-12 with her and testified of the Savior's love for her and her family. I know that the experience we had with her was not a coincidence. God was aware of her situation and we were placed there at that time to reach out to her and let her know how much God loves her. I think it is so amazing how we can be instruments in the Lord's hands and be a physical evidence of His love for His children. 

That experience along with many others has made me reflect on the Love our Heavenly Father has for us. I have thought over and over again, "What would I do without the knowledge I have of the Restored Gospel? How lonely would I feel if I didn't have a knowledge of who our Heavenly Father is? Where would I turn if I didn't have a testimony of prayer? Where would I find purpose in life if I didn't understand the Plan of Salvation?"

We recently found an investigator named T_____ and we were teaching her the Restoration. When we started talking about families we testified that families can be together forever. A simple sentence: Families can be together forever. When we said that she nodded her head. I asked her, "T_____, why did you nod your head when we said that families can be together forever?" She said, "I don't know, it just felt right." I love that sentence: "It just felt right." 

I used to hear people say things in church like, "I felt the Spirit," or the "The Spirit was so strong." I can remember sometimes getting frustrated whenever I heard that. It wasn't until I came on the mission that I began to understand just how much our Heavenly Father wants to communicate with us. It is on a daily basis. Sometimes He is inviting us to change a behavior. Sometimes He is asking us to reach out to someone. Most of the time He's just letting us know that He's there and that He loves us. It just feels right. I know that Our Heavenly Father lives, that He loves us, and that He talks to us. I invite each of you to pay attention to the still small voice. It is never a shout. It is never a push or a pull. It is always an invitation. 

I love you all so much.


Elder Paxton 


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