Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter in the mission field

What a memorable week this was, and for many reasons! Chief among them all was commemorating the last week of the Savior's life, culminating in His glorious Resurrection. Couldn't have asked for better Easter weather either, it was spectacular! A lot better than it looks right now, that's for sure.

Anyway, it was a great and unique opportunity to bear testimony that He lives to everyone we talked to. I felt the Spirit and I know some people we spoke with did as well. Here's a quick experience from yesterday about bearing testimony of the Living Christ. Elder Janiec and I were tracting at the end of the day, and had talked to many people who were very kind and filled with the true spirit of Easter. At the LAST door we knocked (funny how often stuff like that happens), we met a gentleman who didn't waste anytime telling us that he was a "born again" Christian who was already saved. He then quoted some scriptures from the King James Bible about  salvation, and then he told us that his church believes in the doctrine of election, or in other words those whom Christ has already chosen to be saved. He asked us if we knew that Jesus Christ was our Lord and Savior, and if we believed that everyone will be saved. Elder Janiec responded with a great statement of the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, and how we believe God loves all of His children and does want them all to be saved, but that not everyone will be. The gentleman's forceful response was if we believed that everyone would see Christ at the great and last judgment. He didn't think that sinners who refused to repent and accept Christ would get to see Him at all. At this moment, the Spirit prompted me: "Speak now, but be humble." I bore solemn, pure testimony that Jesus Christ lives and that He loves us, but that we all have a personal responsibility to accept Him AND live His gospel. I closed with saying that I know that everyone will have an opportunity to see Him at the final judgment, but those that don't repent will not be able to witness His majesty and glory forever if they refuse to come unto Him. This changed the whole conversation, and he softened up quite a bit and told us he appreciated what we did as missionaries and wished us the best of luck. This was yet another witness to me of the power of bearing pure, simple testimony. Nothing but doctrine. That was just one experience, there were many this week as we bore testimony of the Savior to everyone.

We were also able to teach 12 lessons this week, the most we've taught since I've been in Wilmington. Out of that also came 2 new investigators, both of which had great questions and seem well prepared to accept our message. We found plenty of solid potential investigators as well, so things have taken a definite upswing here. I'm not satisfied yet, I know there is still a lot of good that can be accomplished. The member work is starting to pick up more, and we have several Family Mission Plans already set up for this week, which is great! We now have the benefit of two outstanding RM's to assist us, Eric Taylor and Brynn Martin. They both shared their testimonies in Church yesterday, and they seem excited to continue doing so while working with us. We also got to hear from Troy Maki, who is leaving for the MTC this weekend. He won't have much farther to go after that, considering he's been called to serve in the Utah Provo Mission speaking Spanish. It's amazing to see what missions can do, I know I will never regret accepting the call to serve our King!!

Looking forward to another Zone Conference this week, sounds like it will be fantastic. Brother Tracy Watson, director of the Prosleyting Department for the Church will be coming. According to President Robbins, he helped put together Preach My Gospel, so it should be very interesting to see what he has in store for us.

Glad to hear you all had a wonderful Easter, best of luck to Kenz as she heads back to school. Wow, Dad is going to have the house all to himself! Although, I doubt he'll do what I usually would when I'm home alone; you know, stuff like junk food, TV, video games. The mission has changed my perspective, it's been very interesting to see what matters the most. I can't believe how much time I wasted in those past years, it's something I don't like to think about now.

Also, please thank the Heaton's for the wonderful Easter card, it meant a lot. I forgot to mention this last week, although I'm sure you noticed from the pictures, but the cookies are fantastic!! Well done Mom and Ellie! Well, I think I've covered everything for the week. Miracles are happening here and also back home, I've seen it in your lives and the lives of those around you. I couldn't ask for anything more than for those I love to be happy and to know that God loves them no matter what. May the spirit of Easter continue to fill us with warmth EVERYDAY, for without the Savior's miraculous gift, we'd have no reason to be here. May God bless you all and help you to share His gospel with His children, the world needs it so badly!!

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