Monday, August 30, 2010
"You receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" the miracles come if we prove our faith and always endure through. This week was filled with miracles and tender mercies from tbe Lord. It started off with Francisco. When I first got in this area, about five months ago, Francisco was one of my first lessons we taught here. Unfortunately he moved out after about a week and we never saw him again but we decided to go back and try him again. Turns out he's back home and wants to meet with us still. So we taught him the restoration. Francisco is at a point in his life where he needs a change. He is tired of the life he lives now, he feels very unstable and unsure about everything. We assured him the if we put our faith in Christ, He will be our rock. We shared with him Helaman 5:12 and promised him that he will find stability and direction and purpose in this Gospel. Promised him that if he puts his faith in Christ, he will be able to start a new life and be forgiven of everything he's ever done. Told him that his family needs him to step up and be the example so that they too can feel of the Savior. We soft committed him to be baptized which means WHEN you Know these things to be true, will you be baptized. He said yes but he didn't want to set a specific date, but at least he knows our purpose as missionaries and knows what direction he needs to go. In the mission field worldwide we are refocusing on getting our investigators to pray vocally with us present, because without that how can we know if thy are praying on their own, or if they even know how to pray at all? So I've made a personal goal to never take no for an answer and to never compromise. So with Francisco he offered the ending prayer and it was so sweet because he gathered his kids around to pray with him. Tender mercy number one! Next is Deicy. Deicy is Ashton Couch's girlfriend. Ashton was baptized about a year and a half ago, he's 17. We've known Deicy for a while because of Ashton but she's never been interested in learning more about the church until now. She asked us if she could be taught and so we taught her the restoration. She really liked everything that was said and believes it could be true. We gave her a book of Mormon and invited her to read from it. We invited her to say the closing prayer. She was very hesitant. We went over how to pray but she was still unsure. One thing that we do as missionaries when we invite someone to pray, we immediately fold our arms and bow our heads. It shows that we have faith in them that they can pray. So we did that and waited as the silence filled the room. Missionaries get real used to the silence! Well, Deicy was still really hesitant and suddenly we heard Sister Couch praying instead of Deicy. So when she said amen, instead of ending, we said thank you sister couch for showing Deicy that perfect example of how to pray. Deicy, will you now pray for all of us? She was still hesitant. So we asked her if you could thank God for anything, what would it be? If you could ask Him for anything, what would it be? You just said a wonderful prayer, now will you say it again but this time address our Heavenly Father and end in the name of Jesus Christ? And she did. And what a sweet experience it was to listen to her first uttered prayer! Tender mercy number two. She said that she would come to church and when we saw her again she had already read to 2nd Nephi 13! Next is the Espinoza's. We were able to meet with them twice this week and it was really good because the first time we were able to focus on Rose, 9, and the second time we were able to focus on Lily, 13, Rose wants to get baptized and we are working towards September 18. In the second lesson with them they were both kinda hesitant to pray, even though rose already has, and so when invited to pray she didn't want to and pretty much the exact same thing happened as did with Deicy. Sister Espinoza gave the prayer instead and they thought they were off the hook! But we re-invited lily to pray and asked the same questions we did Deicy. She prayed. Then we did the same to rose. She prayed. So hear we have a mother that is trying to do everything she can to help these kids along the right path and trying to get them to come and be interested in church and in Christ and all three of them this night said a beautiful prayer out loud as a family. Tender mercy number three. Next is Jessica. Jared was baptized about a month ago. Everyday he gives Jessica a ride to and from work. so throughout his conversion he has been talking to Jessica about it. She agreed to meet with the missionaries to learn more. We had a way good lesson with her about the restoration and Jared helped teach a lot of it. He is solid! Well as we got to know Jessica and she opened up to us it was evident that this is the time in her life that there needs to be a change. There's a lot of things that have happened in her past and a lot of things that are happening now with her family that has made her very humble and teachable, which makes her susceptible to feeling the Holy Ghost. She accepted the invitation to be baptized on Sept 17 and we are all working towards that goal. Same story with the closing prayer, she was hesitant but she did pray. It was a beautiful heartfelt prayer and I am certain it was her first time to ever pray out loud. Tender mercy number four. She came to church, we met with her before it began to teach her about the sacrament meeting and she read to 1 Nephi 10! Neither Deicy or the Espinozas ended up coming to church. but Rose and Sister Espinoza did come and watch a baptism on Saturday and that is always good. A member on Sunday brought a guy to church named Raul. We talked to him afterward and he said he really enjoyed it and would like to learn more. We are meeting with him this week so I will look forward to reporting back on him next week. It has been such a wonderful blessing to be able to watch as these children of God come unto Christ. It is truly a miracle. The miracle of conversion. I am so grateful to be able to be a tool in the Lord's hands as He prepares and guides His children to follow Him and follow Christ.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
We had another really great week. To start it out, we went and did some service staining a fence. They gave me the sprayer to use and I was a little bit hesitant to take it, but of course did anyways. Well, I got done staining one section of the fence fairly quickly and then moved on down to the next section, got about half way done and happened to look through the fence and noticed the neighbors ac unit was covered in stain. So I ran over there and started wiping it up when I noticed that not only was the ac unit covered in stain, but so was the house! So a staining the fence service project turned into everyone for two and a half hours cleaning and scrubbing the neighbors. I felt so bad! It was horrible! But the week got a lot better and we met with Sister Espinoza and shared more with her about the book of Mormon, answered her questions and she committed to read it everyday. They are progressing along really well and it has been a miracle to be able to watch them come closer to Christ. She told us with tears in her eyes that her wild three year old autistic son had knelt down with her to pray and that he actually was reverent and seemed to understand who he was talking to. I love being a missionary! So I forgot to mention, the other week the church and community had a big clothing exchange in the gym at the church so of course we had planned on going. Well we ended up going to the chapel the night before to take a bathroom break and as we walked by the gym we saw all the clothes spread out all over the gym, there were clothes EVERYWHERE!! So since we were early we had the first pick on all the clothes, don't worry, we got permission! And I found two suits that fit me! Which is good because with winter coming up soon we will have to go back to wearing a suit everyday so I was already planning on getting a goodwill suit, but nope, I got two suits for free, and get this, one of them is machine washable!! Well, my last companion in Spokane, Elder Moleni, was called to be the new assistant to the president. The already existing assistant is Elder Zohner, and he was my zone leader back in my first area. He was with me when we taught Jessie Jones (when I gave my pentecostal type sermon) (14th week in Spokane) the point is, I know the assistants really well. So this week they called us and asked if they could come work in our area for a couple hours and then sleep over at our house. We were excited because Elder Mudrow has served around both of them a whole lot on his mission and so anyways they came and we were able to split off and Elder Moleni and I were able to teach a few lessons together again, just like old times! It was fun. Then the next day, yesterday, they drove us to Moses Lake where we were able to receive training from Elder Christiansen of the seventy. Like usual, it was a very good experience that we were able to hear from and get to know a general authority. He was very personal and took the time to shake hands with and talk to each individual missionary. One last experience from this week. A couple weeks ago I was asked to give a talk on the last Sunday of the month. When I was given the assignment on paper the paper said that it was on the 22nd. I figured it was a typo and decided to wait until this week to fully prepare. I did however write down a few scriptures that I wanted to use. Well, this last Sunday we were sitting in the congregation and I noticed that there's only a youth speaker sitting on the stand. So I checked to see who the speakers were that day and sure enough... Elder Burns was listed to give a talk. Unfortunately I didn't bring the little notes that I had and so I quickly wrote down a few scriptures and a few thoughts and by that time it was time to give it! I thought it went alright for an impromptu performance haha anyways, funny times being a missionary, luckily I've gotten pretty used to having to give talks at last minute, this wasn't the first time and I'm sure it wont be the last! Well, we are finding new people to teach all the time, but very few end up progressing. However we still press forward in this, the Lords work.
Monday, August 16, 2010
This week turned out pretty good. We were able to meet with Sister Espinoza and had a way good lesson with her about the Sacrament and why its important and she committed to coming on Sunday. and then she showed up! I admit I had my doubts that she would, which is bad, but she pulled through! And she brought one of her daughters that's nine years old so that was good too! Well, Brother Harvey moved out this week to another ward in the area so the other missionaries are going to take over there, it was a way good experience to be able to watch him progress. He quit smoking and is working on progressing to receive the Priesthood. Jared is still going way strong, he is attending YSA activities and coming to church each week, and the ward has him lined up with a home teacher. So this week something amazing happened. We went over to a member's house for dinner and they made the most amazing rhubarb crisp I've ever had, I loved it so much that they gave me like half the pan.. It was amazing! Therefore I will work this week on getting the recipe and will be sending it home pronto! We also had a way good meeting with our new stake president here and he talked to us about sacrifice and consecration. Really good stuff and he bore strong testimony. I've been working hard to see how I can better, more fully serve the Lord for the last year. As far as doctrine and learning the scriptures I feel like I've learned and progressed to where the Lord wants me to be knowledge wise. So now to make the most of my last year I need to focus and continue to refocus my efforts to better and more fully become consecrated to the Lord because that's when the miracles will begin to flow. Well I love you all and mom and dad, you can be looking for that recipe in the mail!!
Monday, August 9, 2010
I'm gonna have to apologize in advance because today's email is going to be really short. There really wasn't a whole lot of action this week. Last week we had set up a whole bunch of appointments for this week and every single one of them fell through, Brother Harvey we found out is moving so we won't be able to teach him any more. The Espinoza's didn't show at their appointment and then called us and said that they would be at church but then didn't show up there either. So pretty much it was just one of those weeks. But a highlight of the week was that Jared received the Aaronic Priesthood on Tuesday so that was really awesome. Also this week there was another fire up the hill by where we live that was HUGE and came about 100 yards away from burning down a whole subdivision, everyone had to evacuate. Luckily they were able to control it and get it out before it got to the houses. We've had some big lightning storms here that have started just tons of fires. The other day we could barely even see the valley the air was so thick with smoke. So this week was just a trial of our faith and we got our transfer calls last night. Yes another six weeks has gone by and I am staying in east Wenatchee with elder Mudrow. So we are excited to be able to stay together, Elder Mudrow is a great missionary! I love you all!
Monday, August 2, 2010
We had another great week. I spent Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday in Moses Lake receiving training from President Palmer and from Brother Bothell from the missionary committee in Salt Lake. Only the leaders from the bottom half of the mission came so there were only like twenty missionaries there so we got to be pretty familiar with each other and with President Palmer, it was a way good experience. They are changing the way that missionaries are trained in the MTC and so they want us to be trained the same way so that we can be on the same level as the new missionaries coming out. I think its probably safe to say that it was a life changing experience for me, just the way that I view missionary work and also a few other things as we discussed about certain aspects of the gospel. Well this week we were also able to teach the Espinoza family and we invited the girls to be baptized. One of them said yes and the other said she'll think about it, they didn't come to church like they said they would which is always disappointing. And some other GREAT news... my drought is finally over!!! Jared got baptized Saturday night! It was an awesome service and yesterday he got confirmed and received the Holy Ghost! Then on Tuesday he is going to be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood. It has been a great blessing to be able to teach Jared and watch him progress and grow in the gospel as he follows the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.