Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Lord Really has a Hand in this Work

This week has been interesting. We had transfers this week and both of us are staying together, but basically our whole district changed. One got whitewashed and the other one companion moved into a different zone. We also have 2 new Zone leaders. It is interesting switching leaders. Each of them work a little different and want things a little bit differently to be reported. It is a good learning experience for me because I have been in their circumstances before and I know what they need. It is just a different circumstance that I am not used to. 

I have a goal of finishing the Book of Mormon before I go home and I am way too far ahead. I am reading too much each day. I am kinda sad because in about 10 days I am going to be done with it. :( I love reading the Book of Mormon. It really has taught me a lot. 

This week we had a miracle. The Lord really has a hand in this work. I love it when I speak and when I learn form what I say. This is something that I have learned that the Spirit can teach me even though I am the one speaking. Sometimes people ask us questions that I am not sure how to answer and then I open my mouth and I feel the spirit speaking to me and I just talk. Sometimes I am amazed at the things I say. Sometimes it is really bold and other time is it is not even an answer to that question, but it helps them understand.  

Last night we went into this less active return missionary's home. He is recently married to a non member and he set up an appointment with us to visit. His wife refused to sit in the same room, but sat in the room next to it and said she would listen form there. It was a little funny, but she definitely listened and sometimes she would even comment from the other room. Eventually we got onto prayer and talked to him about prayer. It was a very special moment and he prayed at the end of the lesson and he was crying and I was crying. Very spiritual lesson. He also bore his testimony on Joseph Smith. That was very cool to see how the Spirit teaches people and how if we follow it we can be blessed. 

Another thing I learned on my mission is that missionary work is hard yes but most of the works is the Spirit's. We just have to bring it in the environment and then teach what we know. The Spirit is the converter not us. I am glad for that. It is already hard enough sometimes and to know that I can rely on Him relieves a big burden from me. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"I Love my Mission"

Dear Family,

I love my mission, and that is an understatement. I have truly learned how to love the people and love those that don't like to see me. Now I still get frustrated with some people when I know that this would truly change their lives and change their attitudes towards the world, but we are all still improving. 

This week we had a baptism of Bella. She is almost 10 years old. She has been active for about 2 years. She loves the gospel, but both of her parents are not members. They came for the baptism and they also heard the message of the restoration, because we shared it while they were changing. It was a good experience with the family. 

Also we went to a ward council yesterday and I learned something really cool. The church can put together a party relatively easy. I was watching the interaction between the ward council and the bishop. It is interesting to learn about. You have about 10 people there and that represents about 200 people. so you ask them to do something and they can do it and are not afraid to ask someone else to do it if they know that are not going to be able to do it. I learned a lot in that meeting. Also learned that the bishop really likes when we report back to him quickly. It really develops trust. 

We are teaching this lady named Merlyinda. she is really nice. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and she loves it. She is reading a lot and has a lot of questions about everything. She is going to be baptized on Dec 15th. She still has some things she needs to overcome, but I know that if she works at it and prays that she will be able to do it. 

We are creating a lot of dry Mormons. People that are coming to church and like church, but don't want to be baptized. It is an interesting problem that I have not had very much on my mission. They will eventually be baptized, but it will take a while. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Working like Crazy

Crazy week! Lots of things are happening. We are working like crazy.

We have found 5 more new investigators this week. Some of them are hard to work with because of their background. I think this is one of the poorer areas I have ever been in. So it is a lot easier to find but harder to help them progress. For example there is this lady we are teaching that has been through a lot in her childhood. Lots of things that have ruined her life and her perspective on life. We found her and started to teach her and the main things we are working on is helping her understand that God loves her and wants her to change. I think that is of great importance in this life. That is one thing that I love teaching and that I have a testimony in. God loves everyone no matter what has happened in their life, but he does not always love our actions. I find a lot of the time that people think that because God loves them that he will not use his judgement upon them. That is a false Idea: that God loves you so he does not care about your actions. 

It reminds me of the scripture eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die (1 Corinthians 15:32) and if we are found guilty then we will have a few stripes and he will let us unto heaven. That is not an exact quote but that idea come to me a lot when I meet these people. It is amazing how many of the prophecies that the Book of Mormon talks about are true and are coming to pass right now.  

Another cool story:

Last night we had an appointment with these girls that are 9 and 10. The 9 year old has been baptized and the 10 year old has not, but the strange part is that the parents are not members. The kids go to church every week and the parents stay at home. They are very nice, but they refused to sit in on the lessons and to participate. So we sat there and taught these 2 wonderful little girls the Restoration. They love it. The Dad in the mean time is sitting behind us playing on his iPad and listening to us. Strange. The only time that he made comments are when we were trying to schedule the baptism. We scheduled it for Nov 15th, so 2 weeks. Really fast. The parents were fine with it. Any ideas how to get the parents involved in this? I know that at least the Dad was listening in the background, so he is at least feeling the Spirit. 

We also got the best comment from the Stake President. He said to me specifically: "We are so blessed to have you here in this stake. You are really developing trust with our leaders and are teaching a lot of the people in this stake." Then he turned to my companion and said to him, ''You need to learn from this Elder (pointing to me) because if you do what this elder is doing then you will be able to help in ways that you did not know before." Afterwards he pulled me aside and told me that he and all the bishops are vary grateful that we are serving in his stake and to keep smiling! He tells me that a lot. Keep smiling. I always ask the leaders what I can do for their callings and this stake president has always told me that I need to keep smiling, because that will help the stake the most. 
I Love My Mission!

This month's training plan is all on obedience. I love this topic. It is something that we can all improve on and something that I am excited to train on in district meeting. There are a lot of scriptures and stories that are all about obedience. 

Maybe I will share the story of Robert and not listening to the coach. Punishments happen, but we must be humble to learn and to grow from those consequences rather then just becoming mad.

I hope your parents feel better and become stronger. 

I use the analogy of the gate a lot. Never quite like you put it, but as a way to tell them that this is the first step into the pathway. 2 Nephi 31. I love that chapter!

As a missionary I would be so grateful that you were sitting next to the recent convert. That is always something that is kinda scary to see when the recent convert does not sit next to anyone. Yes we use a lot of terms that don't make sense to a new member of the church. As missionaries we become a lot more aware of when the teacher or person giving a talk starts talking about things that our investigator or recent convert does not know.