Week two being in the Gila, and I'm ret' to go! (and serve the Lord, that is)Hello family and friends!
This week was a LOT better! I think that any transfer week is going to be a little rough. Adjusting to new areas, companions, being overwhelmed with things, your sleep cycle is sometimes thrown off, getting used to the change in scenery and people, all of it. But you know what, when you give it up to the Lord, He can perform miracles in your life.
We had some really good things happen this week, and some really cool things to look forward to as well!
I had a really cool experience while teaching the Restoration to a Part-Member Family, we were teaching a man named Ray (the dad) and the Stake President was our member present. Holy cow, the spirit spread like wildfire. But we taught using the pamphlet, and compared the priesthood to football. God is like the coordinator, who can see the whole field. He talks to the coach, who is like the prophet. Who receives information from someone who knows all things. The coach can know all things that the coordinator sees fit to tell him. The coach then instructs the players (us) who only can see a short distance around them, who, if they do not listen to and obey the coach's words, and try to figure things out themselves, will be less likely to succeed. He really understood these things well, and he essentially taught it back to us. Super cool. Then we proceeded to the First Vision... My companion passed it off to me to teach the first vision, but I directed it back to her, but then she handed it pack to me so I guess I was supposed to teach it haha. So... I said lots of prayers in my head, and man, the Spirit works wonders. I don't know how, but I was able to recite it, and the Spirit was so thick. You know how the Spirit is like a warm, fuzzy feeling? Well I swear it was 100 degrees in there. Maybe it was just me, I dunno. But Ray was really touched by it. And both my companion and I felt the prompting to commit him to baptism... and I was really wanting to, but "logic" got in the way saying we don't want to overload him. So I didn't make a decision, therefore it didn't happen. NEVER IGNORE OR PUSH AWAY A PROMPTING. It would have been absolutely perfect. Gah I'm so mad at myself. But we are having a lesson with him tonight, and we WILL invite him to baptism, unless for some reason the Holy Ghost says no. Smh.
So GUESS WHAT. On March 13th, we are having our stake conference, and there will be a member of the 70 coming, Elder Hansen. So while he is here, he wanted to go with our stake president to visit two families in the stake who are currently taking the missionary discussions. One of which is Ray... So my companion and I will be teaching a discussion with a general authority in the room. Ha! No pressure... It will be a cool experience, but I'm a little intimidated ahaha. We will be saying lots of prayers :)
We had a zone conference this weekend with Gila Valley and New Mexico Zones, so I was able to see some familiar faces that I didn't think I would be able to see for a long time! It was an awesome conference and I left feeling super pumped and excited to be a missionary! The topics of the conference were the doctrines of faith, taught by Sister Passey, who is a scriptorian and former institute teacher. Another topic was effectively teaching the Restoration. It is key that we usually start with this lesson first, because it allows them to start with that foundation of faith before inviting them to act upon something they haven't developed faith in yet.
Some notes from the conference:
- MIRACLES HAVE NOT CEASED!
- Simple does not equal easy.
- Everything in the Gospel has a reason for it.
- Hope looks to the future with assurance, without the physical evidence in hand.
- You cannot have faith if you do not know something. You can't believe in something if you do not understand what that something is. For example, we cannot have faith in the Savior until we have an understanding of who He is, His character and attributes, and how He works.
- Regardless of your level of faith, when you ACT upon it, therin is the power of God manifest and the little faith that you had before is now strengthened and more is added unto you, as well as the collective faith of the group.
- On the faith scale, where are you? The Armies of Helaman, or the Children of Israel?
- When we extend commitments: 1. Promise Blessings 2. Testify (Testimony and evidence) 3. Invite to Act upon their faith.
- The most important points for people to understand is 1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God 2. The First Vision 3. The Purpose and Divinity of the Book of Mormon and 4. The Priesthood is Restored.
At the end of our conference, President Passey gave our entire mission a March Challenge: Every day in the month of March, we have to teach the Restoration at least once. We have to teach Lesson One at least 31 times, once a day. Man, that's hard. Especially when we don't have a ton of people to teach. But President said "Well, sometimes God tells us to do hard things. We must have faith to do things we don't understand or that are confusing to us. Let's get to work!" God provides a way. If we have the Spirit, He will lead us. I'm pumped though.
Well I don't have much time left, but I know that this Church and this Gospel is true. The Atonement is real. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He suffered for our sins, weaknesses, and sorrows. He suffered for the pains inflicted upon us by others' use of agency. The Atonement is eternal. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration. The Priesthood is God's authority given to man to act in His name for the salvation of mankind. Everything that the Prophets say is applicable to us, and is given to us for our salvation, happiness in this life, and eternal life in the world to come. Families can be eternal, sealed for time and all eternity, to reside with God and become as He is. The Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the Plan of Salvation. There is no other name not means by which man can obtain salvation, only in and through Jesus Christ can we be saved, redeemed, and perfected into what God wants us to become. I hope you all have a fantastic week. I love and pray for each of you so much. I am eternally grateful for the family and friends that I have been blessed with in this life. I am truly blessed.
|Sister Charles and I after Zone Conference|
|Gila Valley Zone! (fyi the guy in the middle who looks like he is praying.... Sister Passey told us to look like dignified missionaries, who are ready to do the Lord's work, and so naturally, he is praying fervently.)|