Elder Lovgren's first week back in the mission went well. He's serving the people in Rancho Santa Margarita (but letters and packages can still be sent to the mission office in Irvine and he'll get them.) Here are a few things he said:
- I'm just glad I'm here back where I know I need to be. I've been meeting some of the sweetest people ever. Truly just nice people.
- I just feel way more clear headed now since returning home. I've also seen how much my story will be able to reach to peoples hearts. I've already connected with a lot of members through telling them that I returned home and it's turning out to be a great blessing and accomplishment. I'm so happy I did what I set out to do! Now I'm here to finish strong.
- A cool little miracle that happened at the beginning of this week! The very first day Elder Christensen and I left the apt, we ran straight into an indian woman who came right up to us and said, you guys help people right? We nodded and asked what she needed. She said she needed a ride somewhere so we told her we could accomodate that. We got to talking more and she opened up about how religious she is and how everyday shes on the search for more truth. She attends 4 catholic masses a day...... Shes really on one! haha But shes still confused about a lot of things shes reading from her bible. We told her we as missionaries are basically guides to help her gain a stronger relationship with the Lord, that being through prayer and scripture reading, etc. She then said, "Oh yeah, that book you're holding, I've almost finished it! Maybe we can read it some time, it is very interesting..." Seriously this was the first woman we talked to since I got here. Miracle! She then went on to say how she wants to come to church! She wants to meet the bishop! She wants to be a missionary! She was really excited and honestly you could feel the spirit so strongly from her. She really was a Godly woman.
- We were trying to explain to her that it's really your choice to be happy in this life. We all have our own agency - freedom of choice - were not forced to do anything. And so it's kind of her choice to be scared of the maffia coming and killing her and all these types of things. So we were just trying to explain to her that fear doesn't come from any good source, and that anxiety and that fear she feels to not listen to it that it doesn't come from anywhere good.
- It's, honestly, amazing being back and serving these people. I'm feeling all the same things I was feeling before - same emotions. And I'll say it is amazing how much different the work is now that I am a different person. I really feel that there was a complete change of heart and mindset when I was at home and now I'm seeing it out here. My head isn't clogged with what's going on at home, I miss all of you and love all of you but my heart and my mind is just tuned to the people here and it's honestly an amazing feeling. I think about how when I made the decision to come home the reason was to be a fully consecrated missionary and what's funny is that I literally thought being consecrated was something else and did not understand that it meant completely giving yourself to the Lord and the work - being completely 100% immersed. It was essential for me to return home and get my mind off some stuff and now I just go throughout my day. I don't wish to be back at home, it's just kinda chill. I just go throughout my day and wherever the Lord leads us is where we go.
- I love you guys. Pray for me. Pray for the missionaries. We're out here trying our hardest. Some people are not the nicest. Some people are totally out to tear us down, and those people I think need our prayers more - that their hearts can be softened - because at the end of the day we're all trying our hardest to move forward in this life, you know, progress and be happy. I know that I'm in a happy place and I want to share that with others.