Monday, March 9, 2009

The Miracle(s) of Missionary Work

Dearest Family and Friends,
The Book of Mormon is the word of God! Seems like an odd way to start off a letter, but I see it more and more each day as I continue to learn the difference between "study" and "read." The Lord truly does prepare His children to accept it, and I am setting a goal for myself to be able to hand out at least one Book of Mormon per day to someone. We have so many in our apartment, and they don't belong there! It can be somewhat daunting trying to make suggestions to the senior companion, but I've mustered the courage and explained to each of them the need to get the Book of Mormon into peoples' hands, and not just simply tell them we'll bring one back some other day. We are bound to forget because we're so busy, so I always make sure I have some copies in my backpack and another in my coat pocket.

We had another great Zone Conference this past week, President Robbins focused on teaching simple and clear doctrine using the scriptures and Preach My Gospel. That divinely-inspired guide continues to amaze me, I can never get enough out of it! As I've followed the counsel of President Robbins, I've noticed more and more that Preach My Gospel doesn't talk about anything that we don't already other words, it doesn't teach deep doctrine such as where in the world Kolob is located. Every time I pick it up, I think to myself, "This book was put together by prophets and apostles under the spirit of revelation, so it's almost like scripture!"

We too are stressing increased member involvement here, I think I told you last week about the plan we've come up with to do that. We have appointments in 4 or 5 members' homes this week, so it's a tremendous opportunity to help them set goals for referring their friends to us, and also a chance to show them that Preach My Gospel is not just for full-time missionaries. It tells each of us how to do missionary work, so members need not fear! From reading your letters, it sounds like the Lord is answering my prayers that you would have opportunities to share the gospel and bear testimony of it! And the continued increase in temple-building is evidence that the Lord is working to establish His Church throughout the world, even in Utah!

I do miss the daily drive past the Mt. Timpanogos Temple, but I have resolved in my heart that I will take greater advantage of it when I return. I would love to see a temple announced out here in Cincinnati, that would be a huge blessing to the members. They talk so frequently about how much the temple means to them, even though the nearest one is up in Columbus. As you may have heard, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (the OTHER M.T.C.) will be performing in Cincinnati in mid-June, we are looking to get tickets for people here. They came out here back in the summer of '07 and it went extremely well, the missionaries experienced great success as a result of that. So, as you can imagine, I am very much looking forward to seeing what it can produce this time around!

Exciting to hear that the Draper Temple open house was a good experience, and that Dee enjoyed it as well. That's interesting that she was baptized at age 8, I never could've guessed that. Best of luck to her as she takes the discussions at our home!

This week ended on a high note, we had a couple things happen that hadn't taken place in a while. First, we found ourselves a new investigator! His name is Kenny Ewing, an older African-American who lives out in Sabina. He let us right in when we started talking on his porch, and boy do I get excited when somebody lets us right in. My enthusiasm level goes WAY up, because you know how it can be when you're going door-to-door. You just want to start teaching as soon as you get inside, but I was able to bridle that for a little bit. We sat down and got acquainted with him, found out that he goes to the A.M.E. church out in Washington Court House. He asked us a question that set things up perfectly for the first lesson: "I've always wondered about this, but have never gotten an answer I was satisfied with. Where did all of these churches come from, and how did they get started?" I was thrilled, because what member of the Church wouldn't want to hear a question like that? We proceeded to teach a powerful first lesson, filled with simple, doctrinal statements and soul-searching questions. At the end of the lesson he told us that people from other churches have come by in hopes of getting him to join their denomination, but they've never been able to peak his interest. He then looked right at us and said that he was truly interested in learning more about our message, and he was especially excited to start reading from the Book of Mormon. We have a return appointment with him this weekend, and our goal is to commit him to come to Church this upcoming Sunday. So that was the first great thing that happened, and the second was that we received a member referral! I love those! It was for an apartment complex run by the members' sister, and it's literally full of potential investigators. We'll be having a discussion there tonight, so to me anyway the setting will feel almost like the one Brigham Young was in when he felt the Spirit after someone bore a pure, simple testimony. "A Man without Eloquence," was what the video was called, I remember Dad showing that during a family night once. President Robbins showed it to us again at Zone Conference. So anyway, I am hoping the opportunity to testify presents itself tonight, and I will not shy away when it comes.

Other than that, the work continues to move on despite the hardships experienced by thousands here. In time, I believe that the Lord will pour out His spirit upon the people and they will come to a knowledge of the truth. Thank you as always for the unending support each of you provide in my behalf, I can feel the strength of your prayers. It revitalizes my desire to teach the gospel to others, as I once did when I taught Primary. In addition, a momentous upswing in the weather has helped us be able to talk to more people, this past Saturday it was 75 degrees! I definitely see that the Lord is putting my faith to the test, as He has done on many other occasions. The key is to not lose hope and exercise my faith, for God will always open the way. Have a great week, may the Lord be with you each day and give you opportunities to bear testimony


Ging said...

I can't help but comment. I can't believe the miracle of what a wonderful young man/missionary my boy is becoming. I wonder if there is anything left for me to teach him???

shawn rowley said...

this reminds me of the days i spent in his shoes...

he has reached the "competence" stage, next comes "mastery".

pretty soon he will be back and home sick for his mission.

it all passes to quickly.