Well, the weather is still great and so is the work!
Miracles are pouring in the east right now! Christopher was baptized on Friday! I've never seen someone so excited and so happy about the gospel. His mom came as well and even came to sacrament meeting for the confirmation and stayed all three hours. Now Christopher's sister, Ashley, has a desire to learn more as well. This week, she was hiding from us and wouldn't even come to the baptism. Her date for the 25th is now dropped. She also has some memory retention issues but is picking up on a lot in the lessons. I'm so glad Heavenly Father put Nick and Tiffany in our path in the past because now we know the teaching tactics for these instances. The gospel does bless families.
Aries is stoked for Thursday! He receives so many different confirmations that this is true. He got goosebumps as he watched the Restoration DVD. There's a few more Filipinos at church for him now to hang out with and fellowship. There should just be a Filipino Branch in the East already! Elder Mercado could be the Branch President... just kidding. He plans on going back to the Phillipines to baptize his family as well.
We received a referral from the media about a lady, Linda Baker, that had a member from Cardston talk to her about the gospel while she was at work. She had the most overwhelming feelings of peace and comfort as he talked to her and she took a Book of Mormon. As soon as she started reading it, she knew it was true. Her co-worker told her that Mormons don't believe in God or Jesus. Linda showed her the testimony of the 3 witnesses and said we do believe in Jesus and Heavenly Father. She's already a missionary! She said she would be honored to be baptized on March 3rd. She has WOW issues and is going to Jamaica for a week so her date is not in stone right now but it's amazing how the Lord places these people in our paths.
Carly has been reading on and off. She's also been cancelling on our appointments. She's getting her wisdom teeth taken out this week but we're praying our hearts and souls out for her. We still feel like there's some hidden concern that we're unsure about. The Relief Society is getting her visiting teachers which we're pretty stoked about.
Justin is moving along. He's reading on and off but is showing up at church regularly. He seems more focused in the lessons and we're praying that the desire will continue to build and build as he reads the scriptures.
Constance is still at the same spot. She loves reading and coming to church. She has a great fellowshipper and loves the people. She's getting better at keeping the Word of Wisdom. We worked out some steps for her to take so that she can stop. Her partner Henry won't sit in on the lessons. She has some fear about talking to him about marriage. We've got to find some way to get Henry to sit in so we can teach them both the beauty of being married.
Small and simple things bring great things to pass! Elder Harris got a phone call from someone with the wrong number, and asked that man if he would like to learn more about the church. He said yes and passed him off to us. We found 3 people in that home who want to learn more, one person was baptized 7 years ago and one of them is praying about being baptized on March 3rd! Ask for referrals from everyone!
Everything in the area is going great. I never would have thought that Elliston Park would be busier than the YSA Ward. We've got to find a way to manage both. The zone is doing pretty well. I just wish everyone was obedient for the right reasons, not because they're afriad of us rebuking them but because they love the Lord.
As far as me, well it doesn't matter about me at all does it? We're doing the 40 day fast right now. If anybody wantsin on this, do it. You just list out what keeps you from having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, make a covenant to stop doing those things, repent at night if you slipped up and re-covenant again. There's so many miracles happening right now. I love you all and am thankful for the prayers offered for us. The work is doing so well and I am so exhausted yet feel so great.
It is still so WARM outside! It's just gotta hold out till June and we're good. We had stake conference and our zone had 11 investigators there. 4 of those were ours and it was a great meeting.
Well, the week was good. Christopher is on date for February 10th and came to church again this week. He only has a few more lessons and then he's ready! The members are really key in the whole process because they're helping him out so much with rides and having fun at church.
Carly is having a tough time getting over her fears. She is afraid of what her parents will think so we will find out what to do either tonight or Tuesday night. I know for a fact she will be baptized in February, it's just a matter of what day.
Constance came to church again. Sister McConkey is the reason for it. It's a picture perfect situation of member involvement. She believes Joseph is a prophet and has already read 116 pages of the Book of Mormon (not the ones Martin Harris lost, although that would be legit). She did accept a date softly for February 18th. She can feel the Spirit and she knows that what we are teaching is true.
Well, the 3 leg is over. Elders Hawkins & Perez are going to Medicine Hat. I'm getting Elder MAHONRI Contreras! He is legit! He's from Guatemala and is hilarious! The weather was awful this week but has gotten better. I hope I get to stay in East Calgary forever.
Miracles are on the brink right now! Carly said she knows this is true and she is supposed to be baptized on Sunday. She's having a tough time getting over that step. Her family wants her baptized in the end of February but we know the Lord wants otherwise. We're having daily contact with her. We're doing everything in our power to see that she is baptized on Sunday. We're praying that she will use her agency wisely.
Carlin is losing interest. He's not showing a lot of interest in finding out if this is true. He's more interested in just picking up more information. It's like pulling teeth to find out his desires. He still comes to church and seems to like the social aspect of the church but not much the doctrine.
We picked up a new investigator from the North. His name is Justin. He's living common law with a member. It seems like he's just doing this for her. She is on the path back to the church but it's frustrating because he doesn't have the full interest level. We're thriving on their commitments and I'm glad that we've been trained on how to teach towards the commitment. I know that Justin has an interest in there somewhere. It's just a matter of the Spirit bringing that to our knowledge.
Christopher Baker went to church on Sunday. His mom has social anxiety issues. Chris said the only way he would go is if he could bring his Nintendo DS. We compromised. He came and the teachers told him to put away... He loved church! He talked to us about how he learned about the iron rod and wants to go back next week! His date is for February 10th.
Constance, who let us in for dinner last week, had dinner with us and Sister McConkey. They hit it right off. It was picture perfect member involvement. She came to church on Sunday and is going to get her husband to come next week!
It was fun with Elder Hawkins and Elder Perez. I'm amazed at how in just a matter of six weeks, a missionary can go from hating the work to being consecrated to it. Only the Lord knows how.
Well, the cold is here. The field is officially white and ready to harvest.
Lith is going through trials right now. She didn't make it church so her date is going to have to be rescheduled. Again, we look back and think, "What more could we have done?" We got members who offered rides and called her in the morning, we've had daily contact. Again, we don't give up but keep showing her that we love her and are going to stress the importance of commitments. She is ready to live the law of tithing and has been living the word of Wisdom. She is recognizing that Satan is doing everything he can to stop her from progressing. The ward is really excited in helping her out and inviting her to activities as well.
A date for Carly is just one lesson away. She knows this is true. She even called us and let us know how her Book of Mormon reading was going. She let us know that her dad is supportive of her being baptized but her mom is questioning the decision. Carly is going to bring her mom to church in a couple of weeks so that she can see for herself. Let's just baptize the whole family! She was at church yesterday and the lesson was on the temple. Tears poured down her face as the teacher taught about how our families can be together forever. It was incredible! The Spirit touched her heart. Matt is also okay with her being baptized by someone else. It's just a matter of him convincing her and letting her know the importance of it.
We had a sweet experience. We stopped by our former investigator. It was cold and windy outside and she invited us in. She was making stew and asked if we wanted to stay! We accepted and sat down with her. It was a good experience because we were able to find out her religious background and understand what we could do to help her. We read from the introduction to the Book of Mormon. Normally, we just read the 1st & last 2 paragraphs but when we were about to move on to the next principle, she said, "Wow, this interesting, can i read more?" She read the whole introduction. It was fun seeing the Spirit working in her. She didn't accept a date but invited us over next week for another dinner! It will be good to have a solid member with us when she accepts a date.
Well, the miracles are there if we want them. President Maher spoke at ward conference yesterday and asked the congregation, "Why are you here? Because it starts at one? You are all here to serve your Heavenly Father!" It was bold and powerful because there was so much love and truth behind it. It's something I know I could directly apply to me as a missionary. "Am I still out only because there's still 4 months to go? Or do I love my Heavenly Father and want to serve Him?" It was a good moment to refelct and find ways where I could come colser to the Savior. I hope we all are able to find ways where we can become more goal oriented and not so much task driven. The Lord's definition of achievement is constancy. There is no end or final task. It keeps going. There's no rest in the kingdom. I had a good interview with President this week. It's a comfort to know he is called of God and holds the keys to this mission.
Everything is going great! We had 2 baptisms in the zone this weekend and everyone is pumped for March! We have a goal to get 100 baptisms in March. We ask that you pray for us that we can have the faith necessary to achieve this goal and bring so many of God's children back to Him. We met with our district leaders and they're making plans to help our missionaries become spiritually tied to this goal. We definitely will get 50 in January. No doubt about that.
We've met with Lith this week. She is showing strong commitment. She is reading from the Book of Mormon but always cross references it into Arabic. She also speaks Dinka so we might be able to convince her to translate the Book of Mormon into Dinka. It's amazing how receptive she is to the Spirit. She knows it's true and she keeps praying and feels great when she meets with us. We've laid out daily contact to help her out this week to get her tied to the ward. The WML is helping us out which is sweet! She has WOW issues but knows that she can overcome them with the help of the Priesthood. She requested us to give her another blessing. She accepted a date for January 28th!
We ran into a Part member family, the Baker's, on Thursday. We were teaching the less active mom and her daughter. Then, her nonmember son, Christopher came down and listened to the Restoration. He felt the Spirit so strongly and he accepted a date for the 28th as well! Unfortunately, his mom has anxiety problems and can't be in a room with more than 5 people. Chirstopher was upset because he only wants to go to church if it's with his family. I don't blame him. We gotta pray for a miracle that Sister Baker can overcome her illness and rely on the power of the Priesthood.
We told you about the less active family that Elders Johanson, Perez and I tracted into. There's the grandpa, the uncle and his son (nonmember, age 14), the mom and her daughter that God led us to. We stopped by a potential and he wasn't home. We said a prayer that we wanted to find the elect and that we would not leave the area until our purpose was fulfilled. As soon as we opened our eyes, we realized we had already knocked on a ll of the doors. So we decided to walk around. As we walked, we noticed a row of houses we hadn't knocked on yet. We knocked on a few and then ran into the Harris's. Eileen thought this was odd because her daughter had told her that she wanted to go back to church 3 minutes before we knocked on their door! We're going to be teaching Lorne (the uncle) and his son this week as well. It's neat how the Lord works in small ways.
We were supposed to teach Lorne's son, Truman, but the appointment cancelled. We were driving and saw ambulances outside one of our members' homes. We stopped by and it was an old couple who was just sealed in the temple 2 weeks ago. The wife had a heart attack and passed away. The husband was in complete shock and his nonmember son was in tears. The husband called us all over and we had a prayer together. The Spirit was so strong and he thanked us for it. The nonmember son was so touched that we stopped by and showed respect for the situation. It was a different experience for me but I was amazed at how strong Brother Cervos held himself. He was so calm and understood that he would live with his wife again. I'll never forget that.
We're meeting with Carly tonight. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying. She feels good about it. We're stoked to see her accept a date!
The work is great. The elders are working hard. There appears to be less diligence in the zone about PMG programs. It's frustrating but it's also an opportunity to show charity and explain to the elders that if we want to be happy and successful, we have to listen to the words of the prophets. Now I know why the Lord repeats over and over again in the Book of Mormon that if we keep the commandments, we will prosper.
Crazy week! Such a good New Year! Congrats Nikki!!! All i can say is, "we told ya so!" I'm going to ask President on Friday if he already knows my departure date and if it is wise for you to schedule the date already. Grandma Slagle, Thank You for the toffee. I'm now my companions' best friend! I also got a letter from the Fisler's and Grandma Madsen! Thank you so much!
Good things are happening! We've been praying constantly for the elect in our prayers and we found one! Her name is Lith Akou. She is the aunt of a recent convert. She speaks Arabic, Dinka & English. She can also read those languages. We were planning on just teaching Rachel Saturday when Rachel told us her aunt would join in on the lesson. She told us she was laready a member. Lith walked in and the first thing that came to my mind was , "You better firm her!" I thought that was the most obscure thought that ever came to my mind. I put it off and tried to ignore but the promtping kept coming back & back. I thought this was insane. She's already a member!
At the end of the lesson, Lith started explaining about her background and we found out she wasn't a member. Mentally, I wanted to slap myself. Why do I always think I'm right? Why can't I be humble? Lith told us this was the 3rd time she had met missionaries and she figured God was telling her she should listen to us this time. Anyways, Elder Hawkins invited her to take the lessons on Tuesday but the prompting would not leave me. Lith asked us to say a prayer for her because she was going through a rough time. As I prayed for her, the things that were coming through my mind were things that prompted me to give her a blessing afterwards. I asked Lith if we could give her a blessing. We taught her about authority and how it is restored. We gave her a blessing and I asked her how she felt. The Spirit was in her heart and I invited her to be baptized on January 28th. She accepted.
We met with her again today and found out she has been struggling. She has been addicted to alcohol and feels that her faith is weak. We taught her the Restoration and she felt the Spirit so strongly. She read through the Arabic Book of Mormon. She said it was so clear to hear and she can understand it easily. She is committed to coming to scripute classes throughout the week and is ready for daily contact. She is golden!
We taught Carly again. She felt the Spirit so strongly as we taught her about the Plan of Salvation. She feels so peaceful when she prays. We knew it was important for her to pray at the end of the lesson so we prepped her boyfriend for this. Matt was encouraging her to pray at the end. It took 45 minutes at the end to get her to pray in front of us. Because it was taking so long, we invited her to pray and ask if she should be baptized... without a date. I was hesitant about this until she prayed and asked if she should be baptized on the 14th! I'm sure we all had the cheesiest grins on our faces but she is going to read everyday.
We are striving to find the elect everyday. We don't want to waste the Lord's time with those who are unprepared anymore. Elder Perez is doing great. We are still working on getting the elders 100% obeident. There is always something that pops up that frustrates us because of simple things elders are doing that are keeping them from being successful. We have trained everyone on being consecrated to PMG programs. Elder Perez is someone who is definitely conesecrated to those.
I love all of you and am literally exhausted every night because of our busy schedules. Thank you for the prayers. They are being answered through God's children who are prepared to receive the message. This is the most important message anybody will hear. My companions are great and we are having fun every step of the way.
It was good to be able to talk to you! It's always fun to hear your voices. I'm glad we were able to talk more about spiritual things this time. Our sacrament meeting was great because it was all focused on Christ. It was a good day... especially with the Chinook keeping it up above 0 C (32 F). It hasn't been winter yet!
It's been a good week. We picked up a new investigator this week. Her name is Carly and she is the boyfriend of a member in the Franklin Park Ward. It was a sweet lesson. Elder Perez and I emphasized authority in every single point. We knew we did this because when we asked her how she felt during the Restoration part of the lesson, she said, "It's nice to know that there's people with authority and not just for the sake of saying they have authority." Unfortunately, I don't think she connected the Doctrine of Christ with the authority. That's going to be our next focus. It's a struggle with her because she is pretty shy and doesn't like to answer questions. She does enjoy going to church every week which is a huge positive.
We learned a good lesson about the Holy Ghost and acting on revelations it gives us. Elder Hawkins was receiving promptings constantly about stopping by Shawn. We thought this was odd because the last time we stopped by, he told us we were over and he never wanted to see us again. The promptings to stop by him continued to press on Elder Hawkins' mind so we went over there. Nicole showed up at the door. We wished her a Merry Christmas and thought we should just go on our way. We walked away and Nicole told us, "Hey, Shawn wants to talk to you!" I thought, "Oh dear, we're going to get chewed out..." We went in and talked to him. He seemed really pleasant. Once Nicole left the room, he told us he felt terrible after we left and he wanted to call us but didn't have our number. He said he and his grandparents (who are on the other side) overcame the adversary and he wants to meet with us again. He said, "I kinda know that what you're saying is true so I'm going to give you a call once I have everything figured out."
We always have to act on the promptings the Spirit gives us. I also learned that we cannot fear. I was so afraid of what the result was going to be that it almost kept me from acting. As far as the zone is doing, everyone seems to be doing well. Elder Grbin is very enthusiastic and takes his responsibility seriously. Elder Johanson is doing the same. We need to help him out with comment sheets. Elders Woodard and Grodkowski are struggling with the 7 Days in their ward. We correlated with them and the Ward mission leader and developed a plan to help them overcome the opposition they're seeing. Strathmore is starting to turn around. Elder Angulo is pumped to work hard and with the knowledge that Elder Esplin has in the area, they're definitely going to get their goal of 5 baptisms.
The weather is so nice!!! Im excited to call you at one oclock!
As far as our area is doing, the numbers don't show it but we are working hard. We got 3 new investigators and one of them came off of a referral from a 7day! Our member brought his friend Michael and we taught him in 30 minutes the first lesson. We asked him how he felt and he responded, "I feel GREAT!!!" He accepted a date for the 31st! After we established daily contact and the B2b, he brought up a concern. He has 2 jobs, one on a party bus and the other is a bartender... I knew opposition was upon us. He really doesn't want to give up his jobs. Unforutnately, we didn't have time to go into the doctrine behind those commandments. In our next lesson, it will be the major focus. I'm glad we know how to teach towards commitments now. He didn't come to church on Sunday so the date is dropped. Now we have to pour out our hearts to God and be proactive in making things happen.
Carlin cancelled on our appointment but came to church. He really enjoyed it. In Gospel Principles, the lesson was supposed to be on exaltation. I thought to myslef, "I really don't want our investigators to hear us talk about Kolob right now. Is there anything else we could hear?" Then, the teacher opened the book to "Christ's church in former times". SCORE!!! When we opened the book to apostasy, Carlin said, "Madsen & Hawkins know this one!!!" We're glad there's retention there.
More miracles are on their way. Elder Perez is amazing. I know his testimony of the firm and the 7day increased this week. In fact, it might have happened with Michael and John! He teaches the doctrine so simple and pure. Elder Hawkins is so diligent and always acts on the promptings of the spirit... and im in it for the ride!!! Ha, just kidding. These elders are great!
Well, the cold hasn't quite hit us yet which I'm enjoying. We haven't had to really put our toques on yet so life is good. Elder Stephan is getting transferred and I'm going on another 3 leg! Im now with Elders Hawkins & Perez in the East still. It's going to be fun aGAIN!!!
Well, I'm excited to see some things happen this transfer! It's been a rough week for us. Shawn set a date on Thursday. When he realized he had to move out or get married, it was bad news. He called us over before his appointment and gave us a bag with all of the Book of Mormon's, pamphlets and dvd's and gave it all back. It was really hard to swallow down. We had 7 member presents scheduled that day and all of them cancelled except for one. We were very diligent with the 15 minute principle and did not see a lot of immediate success yesterday but still kept our heads high. Carlin was the only person we met with. His mom is in the Sunridge ward and he just met her this week. He came to church on Sunday and enjoyed it. He has a strong relationship with God but doesn't understand the importance for religion. I wish we knew that before the lesson. He is committed to reading the Book of Mormon and gave a very sincere prayer at the end.
There have been a lot of trials and opposition this week and I know that they're merely opportunities for us to grow. I am going to be patient with the Lord (that doesn't mean im going to mope around and wait for a miracle to fall in our laps, but we're going to work hard knowing that eventually he'll bless us).
I've been reading the Book of Mormon (who would've thought) and caught this neat insight in the war chapters. Towards the end of Alma, Moroni narrates that they were struggling because they had no provisions. The next verse says that when they noticed this, they opened their hearts to the Lord and poured out their souls to Him. It's a principle that we're living right now because we're at the point where we almost don't know what to do with some of the people that we're working with... so we're going to turn to the Lord!
This week was pretty good. It looks like we're going to have some investigators on date this week! it is snowing outside so it looks like we wont see cement or asphalt till I go home.
Elder Whiting gave us a referral for someone who was moving from Brooks. We stopped by the place and found out it was the wrong address. We talked to the person there and ended up teaching her instead! Her name is Vivian and she has 2 kids who are 11 and 12. She's native and she's very humble. She left Lloydminster in search of a better life. She knows that God has led her here and she has a very strong testimony of prayer. The Book of Mormon is also really getting her attention. In our 2nd lesson with her, she didn't read much, so we started reading with her. It was very helpful to her because afterwards, she said, "oh, now I know how to read this book!" It literally is a second language to people so it was a neat experience to be able to read with her and help her out. She prayed at the end of the lesson and asked if she and the family should be baptized on the 24th!
Our other investigator who is making progress is Sean. He's living common law and has a strong desire to learn more. Unfortunately, his partner makes it so that he can't be as open with us because of her negativity towards the church. He told us at the end of the lesson that they're no longer dating and that he will change his answer about baptism once we can be alone. He's looking for a new place and has a lot of real intent. He's having a tough time because his grandparents died. When we went over the spirit world, the Holy Ghost touched his heart and he knows without a shadow of a doubt that his grandparents sent us to him so that he could have a better life. Pretty neat eh?
We talked with Danielle (rather, she talked to us). She is Presdent's friend and we set up a return appointment with her. She seems to enjoy the people in the church but isn't interested in converting. We know there is something more deeper than that (smoking, family issues).
I liked this past ZLC. The Lord has given us one thing: Time and the agency in which we use it. I picked up on a lot of things that have been on my mind lately. I realize the biggest regret I now have are the things that I looked as a task. I was always focused on the end. Because of that, there was less charity and less effectiveness. It's also hard to gain any knowledge when you look at challenges as tasks. I'm now dedicated to living in the moment and not looking to the end of my trials. The phrase, "6 months left" is leaving my head.
Well, there's been lots of trials for us this past week. For Thanksgiving, we had dinner with British people... Jk, that's not our trial. It was actually pretty good. We had "Toad in the Hole" which is sausages in Yorkshire pudding.
Dan is doing pretty well. We taught him the Word of Wisdom. He's been living it for 4 days now! He has a really good fellowshipper who's there for good support. On Friday, he called us and told something happened with his mom. We haven't been able to meet with him for a couple of days. We're getting back in there and it will be amazing for how strong the Spirit will be.
We went through our former's and picked up a new investigator named Constance. We had a really interesting first lesson with her. She has a strong faith in Christ and was really glad to know that w ehave a prophet on the earth again today. She's not sure if she can be baptized again. We tried resolving her concern by showing her examples of people in the New Testament who were rebaptized. Amazingly, you can't prove the gospel is true by logic. It has to be the Spirit that does it which is our focus with her as well.
Whoever thinks that Mormons are the only people on the earth with strong faith in Christ defintiely needs to visit whi Delrose. She goes to a Chrisitan church up here but I don't know if I have ver seen someone with so much belief in Christ. She gets fed up with all of the hypocrisy in religions. We had an incredible lesson with her about the importance of authroity. She has some things that she needs to work on. She said the closing prayer and only said she was thankful to meet with us. After the prayer there was a pause... she said, "Wait a minute, don't you want me ask if Joseph is a prophet now?" Talk about real intent. SHe prayed and asked if our church is the only church with Christ's authority and if she should be baptized. When she gets baptized, she's going to make one good relief Society president.
Well, I know that trials are merely Satan's applause. They are also opportunities for us to grow. We had to discipline some elders this weekend. Not fun. Now I know how much stress it is to be a parent. I've learned that we can't be complacent with where we are at.
Well, things are starting to look better this week. Munsamy still wants to meet with us. It was pretty coll because we stopped by and he wasn't there but then we caught him walking home from work and taught him that day. His mom is still against him being baptized. It's really frustrating. We helped him to teach himself of what God wants him to do but there's still that fear in him. We taught about fasting and we're going to have a special fast with him that his mom's heart will be softened.
Valley View gave us a referral for a YSA kid named Dan. He's from B.C. and he might be staying in Alberta. He has a very profound stuttering problem. Because of his issue with speaking, he hasn't been to a church since he was a young kid. His dad also died when he was young as well. He came to church and in Gospel Principles, the lesson was on the Plan of Salvation. The teacher asked his to explain the Fall and Dan taught the whole thing. It was neat to watch the happiness in his face the whole day. He definitely felt welcome and loved. He has a date for the 30th but it's tentative based on whether he stays here or moves back to B.C.
There are more things going on. I got to go on exchanges with Prairie Winds the other day and taught 4 of our converts. Tiffany is doing well and is going to church every Sunday. She's even bringing friends to the ward as well. The Smeaton's are fantastic! They have callings and their son Bradley that Elder Hansen and I taught is married in Hamilton and staying strong. It was so good to see them again.
I don't remember if I told you this but about 6 months ago, Elder Hansen and I talked to this Siek (Muslim) lady on the street. She was too busy to talk but we gave her our number and prayed that she would call us... Sure enough, she did! She told us that the anniversary of her 2 year old daughter's death was approaching and she needed a message to lift her spirits. SO we talked about Kolob... nah im kidding, it was the Plan of Salvation of course. The Spirit was so strong when she found out she could live with her daughter again and she accepted a day to be baptized. Well, I got transferred but found that she did get baptized and now they're teaching her husband. I got to meet with ehr on Wednesday as well. It's amzing how the Lord works in small and simple ways.
P.S. Yes, its cold! Its about -15 to -20 C but its for the Lord so who cares!
Good news!!! It hasn't really snowed yet! It's the middle of November and there's still black streets out there with lane lines and everything! Don't worry though, it'll be here and won't go away until I go home.
We're going through some struggles right now. We're working hard but we're not sure if we're working smart. We seem to be exactly where the Lord doesn't want us even though we're doing good things (talking to everyone, knocking on doors), we're not sure if we're doing the best things. We're going to find out what those best things are.
Munsami was doing very well until last night. He called us and told us that his mom found out that he's getting baptized and got very upset with him. He also didn't show up to church which caused his date to drop as well. Tonight, we're going over L3 and will establish a plan where he can bear his testimony to his mom of the truths that he has learned. I know that he will be baptized in November still.
We're having struggles with our other investigators as well. We had a decent lesson with Daniel. He's still struggling with his lifestyle change and feels that he hasn't gotten an answer yet. We're glad that real intent was brought up several times these past couple of days because as we talked about the commandments, he said he wasn't willing to keep them... Well, now we know why he hasn't gotten the answer that he's looking for. He brought up tithing and we were rather blunt with him and told him to "Prove the Lord herewith..." He said he would pay tithing. It will be great when he sees the Lord pour him out a blessing.
I love how simple the gospel is. Be obedient, and you'll be happy. I can't think of a better way to put it.
The east is the best! The field is definitely white up here! We've found so many potentials already and alot of good things are geared up and ready to happen
Daniel is struggling. he feels like he hasn't received his answer yet. He also isn't putting in the necessary time to find out if the Book of Mormon is true which is frustrating. We also helped him understand how we can receive answers. Another main concern he has is he's not sure if he will be able to hang out with the group of friends he has right now. Once he gains a vision of who he can become and how the Atonement will help him, then all of those concerns will go away.
Darose has some issues with her pastor. He told her not to meet with us anymore. She still want us to come over tonight. We're going to re-emphasize the Restoration as we go through the Plan of salvation with her.
Munsami is doing great! He came to church this Sunday and has incredible faith. We taught him the first half of the Plan of Salvation and will finish it up this week. We have a great fellowshipper for him and he's looking really strong. He's been keeping the Word of Wisdom and he'll be baptized on the 19th.
We had a cool experience with one of the people we found! We talked to Marissa at the street corner and she gave us her address. We left and felt a prompting to go and check her address. We went there and noticed it was an apartment complex and she didn't give us her room number. So we wondered, what are we going to do? Elder Stephan thought we should go and find her on the street. We weren't sure if that was what the Lord wanted us to do until we asked ourselves, "Did we go to the airport?" Then we drove and tried looking for her and couldn't find her. So we followed our plans and then saw her walking down the street again. We pulled over, knocked on a couple of doors to make it look casual, and then approached her to find out her info. She is prepared!!!
Well, transfers came today and I feel pretty swell. I'm going back to the east for the winter! I'm covering a YSA ward and a family ward (Franklin and Ellision Park). There's a lot of good work going on there so it will be good to keep it going up there! My new companions are Elders Hawkins and Stephan. Elder Stephan is a new missionary so this will be an interesting treat.
We had a very spirit filled weekend. Clara was baptized and confirmed! Bishop asked her how she felt and in a little kid voice she said, "Happy!!!" Amazing what the Holy Ghost does. The elder who did her interview said that she opened the interview with a paryer and asked that Elder Harris wouldn't drop her! Because her knees don't bend very well, we had Elder harris and Brother Hill in the font. There was a white man, native and black man in the font! I guess there's more diversity in Cardston than we thought!
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy came down along with Elder Hiller of the 70 to reorganize the stake. I shook his hand at least 4 times. He also put his hand behind the back of my head and pulled me super close to his face and said something that I couldn't even remember because I thought he was going to kiss me or something! It was a really spiritual event. You could look at the new stake presidency and say with satisfaction that these were men called of God. Elder Hallstrom talked about how there's a difference between the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ. The church is our outward expression of our commitment to Jesus Christ. This includes going to church, temple, activities, our callings and anything else that people can see. The gospel of Jesus Christ is something that we can't measure. It's our inward commitment to follow Jesus Christ. The gospel and the church rely on each other. You can't have one without the other. We need both the gospel and the church to become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
It was a great weekend and I don't know what happened to the time in Cardston. It flew by so quick! I'm glad we were able to see a lot of success towards the end.
Well we had another baptism this weekend. Tyler was baptized and confirmed by his dad on Saturday. It was a really spiritual event. We prayed that morning that a nonmember would be touched by the service and would want to meet with us. That morning, we did everything we could to get our investigators to go. Not one of them could make it. We went to the service and the 10 minute 1st was very powerful. We were still bummed that none of our investigators could feel that spirit but afterwards, we went to the Moxley's and Tyler's stepdad (nonmember) was so impressed that he asked us for a copy of the Book of Mormon. I'm so glad I've been able to be a part of this expereince. It almost seemed impossible that his mom would give him permission but the Lord was able to soften her heart because of the faith of the individuals who were praying. The Lord certainly tests us.
Clara has been dodgy this week. She felt really embarassed last week at church and has been setting up times to meet with us but has been always falling through. Sunday morning, Brother Hill invited her to church and she came up with all sorts of excuses. So Elder Harris and I stopped by and talked to her. She came up with all of her excuses and also said she felt embarassed last week and didn't want to come back. So, we decided to be bold. We asked, "Clara, does God want you at church?" She started by saying, "Well yes but..." and I'm glad we cut her off because we said, "Then what else matters... God wants you at church every week so that you can be forgiven of your sins. Now some members are coming from Glenwood to pick you up, Will you be here at 9?" So that was the end of that. She was there and enjoyed the Spirit and the Glenwood ward was incredible at introducing themselves to her. Elder Harris and I were praying and both received a strong impression that her date should be pushed back to the 29th.
We've been really focusing this week on staying close with the less actives. They have the non member friends so we've been working really closely with them. Ron is struggling right now. He's been cancelling on us and we invited him to the baptism but felt that he was too busy. Kyle hasn't been at our last 2 appointments that we've scheduled with him. He can still be ready by the 22nd. It's a matter of just tying him down because of the far distance he lives away.
As far as the rest of the zone is doing, we have 9 with a date which is the most I've ever seen since I've been here. I know that after the training we had on goal setting that those dates will stay solid! Something I heard this weekend really stood out to me about personal revelation. We have to have a desire, willingness to act and then follow through on the promptings that the Holy Ghost gives us. It is often in the "doing" that we find we are being led. When Elder Hansen and I would tract in Praire Winds, it would be so often that we would walk with a prayer in our hearts, and we would see a door and we wondered if that person was prepared or not. We'd think about it, then say, "welp, there's only one way to find out eh?" (out in canada is pronounced like "oat" by the way"). Every single day, we found a new or potential investigator. If we want it, we can have it. We just have to be willing to act which is often less difficult than it seems to be.
I love all of you and I heard from a missionary that I got a letter from Lisa so I'm excited to read it. I apologize that I haven't been very diligent with writing letters and so I will re-commit myself to do better. We're having stake conference in a couple of weekends and Elder Hallstrom of the Presidency of the 70 will come down and there will be a new stake presidency. FUN FUN FUN!!!!
Well, a happy birthday to David and Kaleo! And Heather this weekend! I had 4 Thanksgiving dinners this weekend so I am all turkeyed out!
So I was in Vulcan on splits this weekend with a new missionary and boy did it feel good to tract again. In 20 minutes, we found 5 potential investigators, gave out 4 copies of the BOM, and set up an appointment with a family for Monday night! It was crazy how much fun me and Elder Thomas had. We were walking and he goes, "we need to do this more often!" I would say it was a successful exchange if we can get a new missioanry to enjoy finding throgh his own efforts.
Lots of good things are happening down here!
Tyler is getting baptized on Saturday. His mom gave us the permission slip so he's good to go! Kyle Sweetgrass's date was pushed back because he didn't meet with us last week and because he lives north of Standoff, it's a challenge to get lessons. We did re-set it for the 22nd and it looks like his cousin Zach who we've been teaching as well will be able to baptize him. We're teaching commandments today so he's almost ready to go! The grandparents are endowed members so there's been a lot of support for these two.
Clara, who has a date for the 22nd, has faced so much opposition. On Tuesday, her grandson was ran over by a truck. Miraculously, he was fine with only a few bruises. Brother Hill helped Clara understand that the only way things will get better is if she goes to church. So she made it church in the 4th ward on Sunday. Satan will do whatever he can to stop people from progressing eh? But Clara has been strong and has strong fellowshippers to help her.
Ron is continuing to want to meet with us. We had a very helpful member this time to help Ron progress. He knows what we are teaching is true because he said, "Well, everything you teach is out of the Bible and the Testament (BOM), so it must be God's words." He also knows that we're instruments of God and that this is what God wants him to do. We invited him to be baptized but he said he's concerned about his obligations to work. We know that there's a deeper concern and Elder Harris and I both think it's the Word of Wisdom which we haven't taught yet but we have a funny feeling about it so we'll see what we can do.
We picked up a new investigator this week in Glenwood as well so things are going well. We're both working hard and are excited about all of the success that is going on.