Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Preach the Gospel and a Conversion Story

I started preaching the Gospel because I was told to. Kind of like Adam when the angels came to him and asked him to sacrifice animals he told the angel that he did not know except that he was told to. That is how my mission started because I was commanded to do this.

Now this if a fine way to do things just because you are told to do them. This helps grow your faith. Doing something because I was told to. Now it is a lot different reasons that are all kind of mixed up. One is to be able to help others come into Christ. (Preach My Gospel chapter 1 talks all about our purpose). Other reasons include: the love and joy I have in doing it, the change I get to see in people because they follow Christ, I am also still doing it because I am told to as well, the knowledge that I get on my mission, the increased charity that I have for people, (they talked a lot about Christlike attributes in conference and I feel like mine has grown really fast on a mission) the challenges that arrive on a mission and how they help me grow, and a lot more that is kinda hard to explain.
Funny guy that is actually an active Mormon and is making fun of the street preachers. He posed for me.
This is my really good ticket that I found on the ground. That was a amazing blessing 
This is Jeremiah 

We took an investigator named Jeremiah to General Conference and the day before we talked about prophets and asked him if he believed in the prophet today. He said he did not know. So he went to conference trying to find out if he really was a prophet. He went to the afternoon and priesthood session and after he [President Monson] spoke in priesthood session he said to me, "That was really powerful, I know that that power could not come from a man but that was God's power. No one else. And about that question you asked me yesterday, yes, I know that he is a prophet of God and he leads this church towards God." That was so cool to be able to hear this from someone that does not know very much about the Gospel at all. 

Also I got a letter from Brother Maltsburger and it was his conversion story. Here it is. I put it on here [with permission]. You need to read it. He spoke in [stake?] conference and said some of those things there as well.
This Relationship Began over 18 Years Ago 
Baptism of Brother Malsburger 
I am new to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was baptized, last September, 2013. This is my reality leading up to that event.  
I built, Pat’s and my home in what is now the 4th Ward in West Jordan, back in 1993. That is the year we moved in.
I first saw Norm standing on the sidewalk, at the end of my driveway, looking at me through my open garage door. I was doing one of my many projects. Once he had caught my attention, we exchanged greetings and talked about meaningless things like the weather.  He explained that he was on his morning walk, and liked to stop and talk to his neighbors.            His walks continued and many times he stopped and we talked. We shared our military experiences, the state of our country, the beauty of our neighborhood and what was really great about life.            One day he informed me that he and Brother Sermon were my home teachers, and asked if the could come by and talk with Pat and me. Normally that would happen on a Thursday evening, but not always. That went on for many months, years actually and it was good to talk with them.            Most of the time the chats were all about our health, family, and how we were doing and if there was anything that he and Brother Sermon could do for us.  The usual lessons seemed almost nonexistent, but there was always something said or implied that one could call, thought provoking. I was always left with something to ponder and think about.
            Norm would show up or call and have fresh produce for Pat and me as well as many of his other neighbors. The fresh fruit and veggies were always welcomed, and we would share part of our harvest as well. 
           I had built an addition onto the back of our home after my retirement and needed help to move our hot tub to its new location.  Pat said to call Norm. I called and asked if he might know of someone I could hire. He said he didn’t know of anyone I could hire, but if I would give him about thirty minutes, he would see what he could do. In about that time frame several able bodies showed up at the door and the project was completed in a matter of minutes.  I didn’t even have time to buy pizza.   
One day Brother Riggs asked if he could send missionaries over. I really didn’t know if I was ready for that, but said sure.  Several missionaries came by from time to time. They all had lessons they wished me to learn and understand. All were good young men. In their own way of communication skills, they tried hard to point out where I was going astray 
I remember working with my dog Max at a small park near by, two Elders stopped and watched while I exercised him. Max is quite accomplished and knows many tricks.  I throw out three frizzbies in different directions.  He has figured out to pick each one up and stack them on top of each and bring them all back at once. One of the Elders asked what it takes to teach a dog to do that. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that it was not my doing but that Max had figured most of it out on his own. So I simply said, well first you have to love the dog.  They both weren’t sure what to say to that, and left Max and me to have a great day.   
I believe that loving an animal or someone brings the best out in both of you.  Brother Riggs shared this thinking as well.  Maybe that is part of the strength of our relationship. 
Again, Norm was out in the neighborhood, found me and asked if he could send the missionaries by.  He said that two new young men were assigned in the area.  I said okay, I decided I needed to be less aggressive with the new missionaries. I resolved to listen more and kibitz less. 
Several days later while working in my front yard, two young men came speeding up on their bikes, introduced themselves and asked if the might park the bikes in front of my truck. They sat down with me on the front porch and said they really like to do some service work for Pat and me.  They said that they did a lot of study, but needed something physical to do, a project of some kind. I told them if the were really serious about that, to drop by tomorrow morning. 
Elder Kolpakov and Elder Walker dropped by at the arranged time and asked what I wanted done. They said they could probably do most anything, but I might have to show them how I wanted it done.  They were here to work and assist me with whatever I needed.             I was in the process of excavating soil and removing a damaged window well that needed replaced.  I handed them both a shovel. They worked hard and only stopped when they were assured, it met my standards.
These types of meetings became routine. They included sprinkler repair, rain gutter cleaning, weeding the garden, you name it. They always had to have something to do for service work. I told them I was starting to feel guilty about all the work they were doing. They laughed and said I was doing them a favor. That it kept the days full of positive thoughts and they liked having some work to do.             We would talk on breaks and lunch, this time I did buy pizza. So we ate and talked about the scriptures, in particular the Book of Mormon, and they gave me a copy to read.  They asked if I had read it before, and I said I had gone through some of the book, but knew only a small amount of its content.  At another time I had mentioned I would like to read the Bible, the one where Jesus’s words were printed in red ink.  Surprise, they brought me a beautiful bible and I had them autograph the inside for me.  How thoughtful and giving is that. 
Many times the two of them would come to dinner. Pat enjoyed cooking for them. We had everything from Mexican food, barbeque, to good ole Texas biscuits, gravy, and chicken fried steak.  And let us not forget the ice cream and pumpkin pie.  They did love to eat, like most men their age. 
After a few weeks of talking, working and laughing, Elder Kolpakov asked if I might want to be baptized. I said I really didn’t know. He suggested I pray about it. So I did. Prayer was not new to me, but it wasn’t a regular part of my life. I had prayed for members of my family, when they were in the hospital with possible life threatening health problems. I prayed for my son, my wife, friends, even a very special dog or two.  I am even know to give grace at special meals. 
My time in the military and other events in my life had left a question in my mind about being worthy of being baptized. This time my prayers brought forth a dream, with light and shadows and the words, you have always been worthy. I was not awakened by the dream, but remembered it vividly when I awoke. 
After several prayers, I told the Elders I did wish to be baptized and the event date was set. Elder Kolpakov and Elder Walker asked whom I wanted to baptize me. I told them I would like Brother Norman Riggs to do that. I knew he was quite ill, so I told the Elders to approach him in a way that would let him suggest someone if he felt he didn’t have the strength.  At their visit with Norm he said wanted to baptize me and he commented with a smile, “Well it’s about time.” 
Brother Riggs baptized me even though he was weak from cancer and needed his sons’ assistance and assistance of my missionaries as well.  My family was there supporting my decision, what a great day for me.
Norm Riggs, the Navel Officer, the teacher, the professor, the friend, always provoking me with thought. His friendship of both WORDS AND DEEDS has me standing here now. Elder Kolpakov and Elder Walker, my two great missionaries, who taught with example and love, gave me such joy when they were around. 
At brother Riggs funeral he left me one of his ties, with the words “Now we will always be tied together.” I know I will see Brother Norm Riggs again. Norm may have to step down a few steps to greet me, and he will; that’s what friends do. 
I will see Elders Kolpakov and Walker, my great missionaries again.  We exchanged phone numbers and email and still communicate to this day and will for always. 
I share these truths with you in the name of my savior Jesus Christ Amen. Brother D. Dean Maltsberger
The one on the right is my zone leader the other is Elder Mansfield 
This is Elder Pilcher.
This is when Elder Liva got transferred. 
Me with Lisa and investigate who is from the South. She is really cool.