Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The first line says it all...

I LOVE WILMINGTON! What a privilege it is to still be serving in this one-of-a-kind area! We have set our goals high, and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them. I really want to see some people get baptized, but the trick is not to become complacent when they are progressing towards that point. Elder Janiec is on his last 6 weeks as a full-time missionary, so we definitely are going to be "raising the bar" so to speak. I have really been studying the Book of Mormon a lot more in depth, and section 5 of PMG has a page where it lists all the chapters that contain the doctrines we teach in the lessons. It says we are supposed to teach these to investigators, so we don't even have to wonder where to look for good scriptural examples....it's all right there!

Preach My Gospel is unbelievable! Two of the families in the branch, the Taylor's and the Fear's both have families lined up for us to teach once the school year is over, and we are really looking forward to that! Our hard work with the members is beginning to yield fruit, and no way are we going to complacent about member work. We also got a referral for someone that we gave a pass-along card to, which is incredible considering we didn't think she was that interested when we first talked to her. Well, lesson learned, I guess. Or, as Pres. Packer put it," That just goes to show that you can't tell by looking at a frog how high he's going to jump."

Here's a crazy story that happened this past week. We tracted into this fellow in Blanchester named James Patton, who invited us in and allowed us to share the first lesson with him. On our second visit, we focused primarily on the need for a prophet and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He had lots of questions that ranged over parts of different lessons, and we answered them as best we could. I had a feeling that we should leave him with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, but I didn't know if he understood the importance of the Restoration yet. He then shared with us a dream he had when he was in his 20's (now he is 60). In the dream, he died and saw his spirit leave his body. He said that he wasn't in heaven, but nor was he in hell. He found himself in this huge hotel where everybody had a room for themselves. The interesting thing was that he saw all kinds of people there, those who had lived good lives and those who had lived evil lives. He said that he was waiting, along with everyone else, to be taken to a better place, but that he felt there was something very important he still had to learn before he could leave. Elder Janiec and I were absolutely stunned. I then explained about the spirit world to him, and he pondered it for a long time. We decided to leave him a pamphlet, and he closed the meeting with a wonderful prayer in which he stated that he couldn't find fault with anything we taught, and that he wanted to learn more. It was a pretty remarkable lesson, the kind that you never forget. So yeah, it's amazing the kind of experiences you can have when you look for opportunities to teach. That's what we are called to do, is to be teachers. If we aren't doing that, we might as well just go home.

I forgot to tell you this on Mother's Day, but Jay Leno came to Wilmington and did a couple free shows in an effort to boost people's morale in lieu of the DHL crisis! Of course we didn't get to go, but I think in it's own way that it will help us facilitate conversations with people because they will be in a better mood. And we all know how pathetic it is trying to talk to grumpy people. This transfer has a couple fun things coming up as well. Next Monday will be the branch's annual Memorial Day picnic, and the members and us have been inviting people to come to that. In other words, it's a great missionary opportunity. We'll be doing some grilling as well, so it will definitely be some good practice for my future cooking skills....pray that I don't burn everything! Then, from June 10-13 is Wilmington's Annual Banana Split Festival. This is considered the birthplace of the banana split, so you can imagine how many people from out-of-state will probably be here! Hooray, even more people to talk to about the gospel. I feel like I know half the people around here, so it will be nice to see some fresh faces. Yes, we do get to go to that, in fact we're helping out in making the banana splits. The Fear's are among those that are in charge of the whole thing, so they always enlist the help of the missionaries. President Robbins will most likely be coming to that as well, so it should be cool to spend some time around him.

And lastly, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is coming to Cincinnati on June 18th, and we are looking for people that are interested in going. We have an investigator who really likes them and sounds real excited about going, so we'll probably be giving a ticket to him. And yes, the concert presents yet another opportunity to share the gospel with people. To sum it all up, things are looking really good for the work here, but it will be up to us to make sure we follow through on our commitments and goals. Thank you for your wonderful letters today, it is amazing to see how much the Lord is blessing you each day despite the difficult circumstances all around us. Thank goodness we have the fulness of the gospel, and that a prophet leads us today. I pray for your continued safety and well-being, and it is evident more and more that the Lord is granting my earnest petitions.

A special thanks to the Landrum's for their letter today, nice to see they are doing well. Hard to believe that Britney is almost done with her mission, seems like she just left! Wow! That's missionary time for ya.

Hope you all have a great week, I love and miss all of you!



What a fine young man. Glad I know him.

shawn rowley said...

i don't remember him being that talkative at home????