Monday, March 28, 2011
What an amazing week! I was able to get permission to go on Saturday to the temple with Elder Moleni and Elder Aslanian to be with Will and Evelynn Thornton as they went through the temple together and get sealed for time and all eternity. It was so awesome! I'm so happy for them, they both looked so good and so happy! It was a really neat blessing to be able to be there with all of them. That was definitely the highlight of the week. but there are some others too. I told you last week about the man that I taught a few times in Bonners Ferry, whose grand daughter lives here in the Sunnyside ward. On Friday we had zone conference and that was really good, we talked about how to help our investigators receive revelation and also how to help them make and keep commitments in preparation for them to make and keep covenants with the Lord. It was good. However, we accidentally double booked our dinner appointments that night. So we drove straight from zone conference to our first dinner appointment with the man that I taught in Bonners at his grand daughter's house. So we ate dinner there and taught a short lesson about coming to church and invited him to come, which he said he would. but then he didn't. Anyways, we had to rush off to go to our next dinner appointment with another member in the ward, the Lopers, who have been working with their friends, another couple, the Hunts. They have had numerous religious discussions with each other over dinner so they invited us to tag along. The Hunts are Seventh Day Adventists. Both converted to it fairly recently. The wife had been reading in the Book of Mormon but stopped because it talks about the spirit world, which the Adventists don't believe in. And so she came to the dinner with a packet of six or seven pages full of scriptures to prove her view of death. Looking at it in the way that she was, it all made very good sense. However, there are a few instances in the bible which talk about the spirit world, which we pointed out. To which she responded, “well here's fifty verses to your three or four”, all of which were from the bible (ours included). We tried to explain to them that in light of the way that we view it, all those fifty verses point to how we believe, and if Joe Schmoe, the nondenominational christian pastor down the street were to be here then he would use the same scriptures to argue his point of view. So what does this all mean?? It means we need a second witness.. which just so happens to be the Book of Mormon! So we tried to get that across but with no luck, she kept saying show me in the bible, show me in the bible, if its in there I'll believe. So I've been doing a lot of studying since then about the subject and have found some pretty defining evidence in the bible that I hadn't thought of before. Now just to be clear, we know that Satan is the author of contention, so this was not a bashing session, it was very civilized and the spirit was there, they are very good people seeking the truth, and if proving to them about this spirit world thing out of the bible is what we have to do to remove the stumbling block that is keeping them from continuing to read in the Book of Mormon, then that's exactly what we'll do because there is so much power in reading from the Book of Mormon, its amazing! I've got one more highlight to share with you from this week, and this is definitely a good one! At the beginning of February, I fasted that Elder Tamblyn and I would be able to have a baptism together. That night, we put Tiffany Redford on date to be baptized. then three days later, she fell off date, but we taught Ed Brown and put him on date to be baptized, and we were able to be together when he was baptized, so the Lord answered my fasting and prayers. Well, I decided to fast for the same thing this time, that Elder Van Dyke and I would be able to have a baptism together. And then during church we had a member come up to us and say that his son would like to take the missionary lessons again and be baptized. So that night we went and taught Sam Palmer. He is 14. He has a desire to make changes in his life and be baptized, and so we put him on date to be baptized on April 16th which is the last Saturday of this transfer. The Lord is very much aware of us and He hears and answers our prayers and our fasts. I love you!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Not a whole lot of new and exciting things happened this week, most of our appointments that we had set up fell through. One that didn't though is a girl named Brooke. She was taught by sister missionaries in Southern Idaho and just recently moved here. Her mom is Mormon and her dad is Catholic and was never baptized in either one. All her siblings have since joined the church though and so she's feeling some pressure from there. She's got a few concerns and questions about God, and I think that if she were to gain a testimony of Him then the rest would fall into place. The great thing is that the Book of Mormon is a great place to be able to gain that testimony! She's really sincere and I'm excited to be able to teach her. Also, I found out yesterday that a girl who used to live in Clark Fork moved to Bonners Ferry and then to Libby, Montana and just now moved back to Clark Fork! The cool thing is that she was preparing to get baptized, had a date set and everything here in Clark Fork before she moved. but couldn't ever do it because she wasn't married to her boyfriend and wouldn't get married to him, who is a member already. So that was her hold up and then they split up and she moved to Bonners where I actually met her and helped her move out my first week in the area. She moved to Libby where I again met her there and taught here a few times while she was there when I would go on exchanges with the Libby elders. Her hold up then is that her ex's family all lived in Libby and they all went to church actively and so she couldn't stand to go to church because she would see them and have to relive the split up all over again. So now she is back in Clark Fork where she hopefully, finally has no excuses! She knows its true and she wants to get baptized, that was the last thing I heard about her while she still lived in Libby. So I'm excited to see that unravel. Also, there was a lady in Bonners whose dad isn't a member and we taught him a couple times at her house, but he lives down here in Sandpoint. The good thing is that her daughter lives here in the Sunnyside ward and so we talked to her last night and she's gonna have her grandpa over this week for dinner and a lesson! There are things that are coming to surface here and we are excited for it! Also I found out yesterday that Will Thornton and his wife are getting sealed this Saturday!! He was my very fist lesson that I taught in beacon hill. That is good news! Also this week we had a district leader training held in Spokane that we went to and that was really awesome. President Palmer is amazing! I think we are going to see a huge lift in this mission very quickly! I think that's all I got for this week. Love ya!
Monday, March 14, 2011
I'm lovin my new area! Elder Van Dyke and I came here without any preconceptions of whats going on and we have just hit the pavement and gone to work! We've knocked on a whole lotta doors and talked to a whole lotta people! We didn't actually teach a whole lot this week, but we got a whole bunch of return appointments for this coming week and so that's gonna be way good! Sunnyside is quite a bit bigger than Bonners Ferry. and there's a pretty decent little down town area where people walk around and go to all the different shops, so we've gone there a few times just to walk around and talk to people, its been fun. Elder Van Dyke is from Salt Lake City. He's an awesome missionary, he's been out just barely over a year.. he's got a lot of fire. President Palmer calls us the dynamic duo! Its kinda weird, when we recorded our voice mail on our new phone, we both talked, and I couldn't tell a difference in our voices. Its gonna be good. Clark Fork is pretty similar to Bonners Ferry, really small in town population and just a whole lot of boonies. We got into the area on Tuesday, and went to Clark Fork Wednesday and Thursday and came back for the rest of the week in Sunnyside. we are planning on working it so that Tuesday and Wednesdays we will be in Clark Fork and then we will alternate going to church each week. While we were in Clark Fork, we stopped in to meet one of the current investigators, who is seven.. so technically not even an investigator, but we went to meet her and her Mom. The Moms boyfriend ended up being there too, so we were able t teach all of them, the boyfriend seemed really interested and we are going back tomorrow to follow up. In Sunnyside, we didn't really teach any lessons, like I said, just contacted a whole lot of people and set up a bunch of appointments. which is good because since we have appointments, we can now have a member go with us and that helps the investigator meet new people and it also helps the member get fired up about missionary work! So we are excited to get things rolling here! If you remember, a couple weeks ago, I went on exchanges with Elder Thorman in the Sunnyside ward and I told you how we had to walk up about a quarter mile driveway. Well, we've had to do that a few times this week! I miss having the four wheel drive that I had in Bonners! Oh well! I was tempted to just take the truck with me and just swap it out with the car. But it would have just been selfish reasons because yea, it would be real nice and would save us a lot of time, but they definitely need the truck up there more then we do down here. Our Bishop here is amazing! We had breakfast and study with him this morning. He has been a Bishop before, and a Stake President, and a Mission President in New York! His mission covered the Bronx and Harlem, he has some great stories! But he is all fired up about missionary work and is really excited to have the zone leaders in his ward. It was really neat too because on our first Sunday, President and Sister Palmer came and spoke in our ward in Sunnyside. It was perfect! He talked about member missionary work and he called us up to stand on either side of him and he told everyone that he has given us to them to serve them, he called us his Ammons because we're here to serve. It was pretty neat. I am excited to see the work here grow, there is definitely room for it! The gospel is true and I am lovin it!
Monday, March 7, 2011
Ed got baptized!! It was an awesome service! I love baptisms, there's always such a neat spirit there. Elder Tamblyn is gone.. I've been staying with a member from the ward so that's been fun. We had an awesome teaching week too! We taught more lessons this week than any other week that I've been here. The work is just booming here.. there's gonna be four or five baptisms within the next two months! Jaak is sooo close he can taste it! The Lord has really been compelling him to be humble! And he recognizes it and we invited him to be baptized but he said that he's not quite ready yet, but he's close. He only has one more thing to resolve so we invited him to pray to overcome it. He is excited to overcome it because he is excited to be baptized. Joseph is still just waiting for his next interview and then he'll be good to go. We found a new investigator this week named Gerald and he is super solid! We taught him twice last week and he came to church yesterday! He will definitely be getting baptized in April, no questions, he is golden! We had lost contact with Jeremy and then he came to church yesterday! Hopefully he won't disappear again, and we will be working on getting him in the water by the end of this month. Ed brown is doing awesome! He has really caught fire in the gospel and will be getting the priesthood and a calling soon! I don't remember if I've ever talked about Billy. He was baptized as a kid but his family fell away shortly after and he's been in and out of state care for most of his teenage life, he's 17 now and he recently came to live with his grandma in the second ward. At first he wanted nothing to do with the church so we would visit a few times a week for a little while and just helped with some chores and got to know him better. Then he finally came to church and hasn't missed a Sunday yet. He got the priesthood and has even been to a few teaching appointments with us and is planning on serving a mission! I think I've talked a little bit about Sis Wells before, we accidentally pulled into her driveway thinking that it was a road because she lives out in the boonies and I was about to just turn around and keep looking for the house, but instead we felt like we should go knock on her door. So we did and she said that it was an answer to her prayers and she asked us for a book of Mormon! She is already a member, got baptized at eight, but neither she or her family have been active since, and shes been involved in a few other churches her whole life but she said that something was telling her to revisit the Mormon church. Its been a struggle with her, she has been 'kicking against the pricks' the whole time! She would text us all the time asking us questions and she just kept fighting and kept looking for excuses wherever she could, but we kept pursuing and just being there for her. Now she has been totally converted and just wants to serve! Its been awesome! She bore her testimony yesterday and she called me her 'spiritual bodyguard' and said that I would be for the rest of her life, so I told her I'd take that on! I have loved serving in Bonners Ferry, there's been its hard points where people used there agency and chose another path when they have been so close! But it has had so many rewards, I have been given so many blessings from this area, the people here and the environment here. I've learned so much about myself and also about what the Lord has in mind for me for the rest of my life. Its been awesome! So if you haven't guessed, I'm being transferred. The mission president decided to move the zone leaders to a different area in the zone and so I will be covering the Sunny Side and Clarkfork wards. Clarkfork goes into Montana a bit which means that I have served my mission in three states.. Washington, Idaho, and Montana! My new companion will be Elder Van Dyke. We served in the same district when I was in Beacon Hill, my third area. So I'm excited! We are both sweeping into a new area so it will be fun! Plus, I will still get to see everyone at stake conference! Well, I love my mission, it has saved my life! love ya!