Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 59: He felt the spirit and immediately quit coffee and set a date to quit smoking.

I'm excited to email again today. Each week seems to reveal to me new insights on things that I need to improve on, things that I have learned, and things that I continue to appreciate and strengthen my love for. Looking back on the week is perhaps one of the best times I have. It helps me see all the good that came from our efforts in the week. The best part is always on Sundays as we go to church where we can see the results of continually inviting others to come unto Christ. Also seeing Less Active members change as they rediscover the testimony that has developed within them at the time of their baptism. Also seeing the difference it makes to teach them and help them apply the Savior's teachings in their lives and feel the result of doing so. And to visually see the great improvement in how happy they are. It really has been a blessing to be a part of that.

At one point during the week we were studying Preach My Gospel and came across a story of a guy who offered to give the missionaries a ride. As they were doing so they taught him the Restoration and asked if they could meet again with him. He agreed and as a result was baptized. Well later that exact day as we were walking back to the apartment, that same scenario came to us as a bus driver offered to give us a ride back to our apartment. It was amazing. We invited him to learn more, but he declined. Although nothing seemed to come out of it, I was glad to experience and know that God was approving of our efforts to find people to teach here in Marshall.
So Elder Lete is really great at relating to people. An example of this came from our teaching Less Active member Bother Castillo. He is really into anime and Star Wars. So Elder Lete was able to explain things in the Gospel to him using the show Naruto and Dragon Ball Z, something I would never be able to explain at this point. So after Elder Lete did that Brother Castillo understood and had a greater desire to start living the Gospel. It truly goes to show that God gives us experiences in life before our missions to help prepare us to relate to and teach the people we will help in specific areas.
On Wednesday night we had a dinner appointment with Sister Paultene. She was a little busy so she ordered pizza for us. It was Papa Murphy’s. I was super excited about this because it was the first time in my entire mission that I have had papa Murphy’s pizza and it brought back memories of home. So it was great and tasted really good too.
Several of our visits with Less Active members have gone really well. Brother Kidwell initially opposed the Word of Wisdom, but when we read it with him, he felt the spirit and immediately quit coffee and set a date to quit smoking. Sister Roberts has seen a great change in her demeanor as she has returned to church and shared the Gospel with her friend Elizabeth whom she took with her to church. And Brother Castillo has accepted the challenge to pray daily and meet with us often. We promised a boost in self-confidence and a deeper relationship with God. On one night we had a great lesson with the Gregersons on the genealogy of the Old Testament. Well it was actually more of a timeline of the Abrahamic Covenant. She was super happy to have little "aha" moments every once in a while like when there were 8 souls saved on Noah's ark relating to baptism. It was fun to teach and resulted in a great discussion with a giant picture on the chalkboard of lineage.
On Saturday we received a call from Fey, a potential investigator, asking us if we could get anyone to help her transport a bed from the furniture store to her apartments across town. We called Brother Savage. This turned out to be inspired because not only did he help us, but he and his son were influential in fellow-shipping Fey's son Talon. They invited him to church and as a result, he came!!!
It was great because we were unexpectedly called upon to teach both Gospel Principles class and Primary so we weren't able to fellowship him ourselves. But the branch took over at that point. The Savage family invited him to sit with them during Sacrament meeting, they showed them where his class was because Brother Savage has a daughter in the class, and the young men got his phone number and he is invited to activities on Wednesday nights. It went very well and at the end he asked us where to go next and we told him it was over. We think he was willing to spend all day at church if that was the case. It turned out to be another great day as well because two less active members we have never met showed up and participated in Gospel Principles class. And on top of that, the Ivanov family gave talks. They have strong testimonies and have only been members for less than 2 years. The Spirit was very strong during their talks and we were able to use those feelings to powerfully testify later in the day to Brother McDonald.

Bother McDonald is less active and his wife has received the lessons several times before, but this time there was a spirit present that came through pure testimony of the Book of Mormon and studying the scriptures having the power to bring their family closer together. Right in the middle of the lesson, Brother Jones and his son Luke showed up for home teaching. They were able to testify to them both of the importance of prayer and finding out for themselves. Previously Brother McDonald's wife has been uninvolved and not listening, but as the lesson went on, she felt the Spirit and her heart was softened. We were very glad to have been able to be instruments in the Lord's hands to provide the situation where the spirit could be present and create the desire to change.
Now today we have a lot of fun activities planned. We are going to go over to the YMCA and see what we can do there in terms of recreational activities for P-day. We are also going to have another trip to Subway to try to possibly set up appointment to see the workers there. They keep asking us questions about what we do and other things, (Only possible because we go there every P-day for lunch before we go shopping).
Hope your week has gone as great as ours has. I love each of you. Continue to keep up the good work. We are all in this great Work of Salvation together. I am excited to hear from you about your experiences.

With love,
Elder Davis

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