Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 79: "The only thing harder than living the Gospel is not having the blessings of the Gospel in your life."

The weather here has been so nice. Aside from all the wind it has been around 50 degrees the entire week. So even with the wind it is still really warm. It was warm enough last P-day for us to go play touch football out in a park. The wind has been exceedingly strong though. It has blown me off balance a few times.

I have been focusing on meeting the members in the Casper 8th ward and going on splits as often as possible to keep the work moving forward. And it has been. There have been several surprises as I have done all that is within my power and relied upon the Lord to do the rest. It proves that the Lord is able to qualify the called. I have felt His sustaining influence as I have done my best to put my will with his. Suggestions of things to do and people to see come to me and I have been able to accomplish a lot more than what I have originally planned as I have listened to promptings on who to see and who to plan for. As I have done my best to fill time with productive activities the Lord has guided me to those that need to hear his message of peace and hope. I would not be able to do this great work without him and without the help of the ward members. They have been very supportive and there wasn't a day last week that I didn't end up going on splits.
After P-day on Monday I went with Nate Burtagnole, the Bishop's son, to see Brother Terry Young. He was excited to meet with us, but got sick on Sunday and wasn't able to make it to church, but we will be seeing him again later this week. We also were able to teach the Reardon family about real intent using an Alma 32 lesson on reading the book of Mormon being the only way to receive the Fruit or blessings of knowing the Gospel is true. There was a powerful spirit present so either they will choose to act on what they felt was true or they will choose to ignore those promptings and dwindle in unbelief. If they choose the latter it will sadden me, but there is nothing that I can do for them that we haven't already done. They must choose for themselves.

On Tuesday Brother Sorensen and I went to see the Hunt Family. We taught them about hope and the blessings it brings into our lives. Melvin has a goal to get back into spiritual things, but will need a big push. He didn't end up showing at church like he said he would, so we will follow up with him later today and ask him why. We also saw Sister Chapman and taught her about the importance of the Sacrament in remembering Christ daily and getting peace from doing so. We shared 3 Nephi 18 with her and showed how when we partake of the Sacrament we are testifying to the Father that we will always remember His son Jesus Christ. Right as we were finishing up her grandson came and asked a few questions. It was great being upheld by the spirit to answer questions I would not have known how to answer otherwise. It was a fulfillment of the promise that the Lord will give us the words to speak in the very moment that we need them. He saw that they made a lot of sense, but still was unable to believe them. But he was very respectful and this experience taught me to do all that I can and then let them make the choice.
We had a great Zone Conference this week on Thursday. President Anderson trained us on how to teach and help people towards true and lasting conversion. Sister Anderson trained on what we could do to make the best choices. She based the training off of Elder Oak's talk Good, Better, Best. The Assistants trained on Family History work and how we could use it to better convert Investigators, Retain Converts, and reactivate members who have strayed off the path. They showed us a great way to do easy Family History Work even if we think it has all been done. I was able to use this training later in the day when we had dinner with Sister Brauchie. I was able to find a name possible to take to the temple within 5 minutes. Here is a video that shows how to do this. https://familysearch.org/campaign/reservationopportunity-vp?cid=ld-tc-1017 and this next video is an example of how family history can impact a family.
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-08-105-because-of-james?lang=eng


We also got great training on how to use visuals combined with scriptures to help investigators understand the principles taught and invite the spirit to teach in the Master's way. I was able to use a lot of these suggestions to have a great lesson with a New Investigator later on in the week. One of the power statements that President Anderson said has stayed with me. I'd like to share it. "The only thing harder than living the Gospel is not having the blessings of the Gospel in your life." I have found this statement to be very true as I have visited several families throughout my mission.
Saturday felt like two days just because we were able to get so much done. It went by really quickly though just like it usually does at this time in my mission. Days are shorter, but they feel ever the more satisfying as I do all I can to help the people around me come unto Christ. I went on splits with the Ward Mission Leader Spencer Larson. We had a very spiritually uplifting message with Charles, the new investigator I mentioned earlier. He responded well and his heart was softened by the message we shared. He agreed to eventually be baptized. He readily accepted the challenge to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about whether or not it is true.

I'm very glad to have shared some experiences I've had the past week. Hope you have a great week this next week as well. There is a lot of potential and the work here is really picking up.
With love,

Elder Davis

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