Monday, January 23, 2017

Happiest Week of the Mission!

The Greenville District

I love teaching people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is hard sometimes to go and approach a door, or some random person in the street, and talk to them about a special message you have been called to share. But this week, all of that seemed so easy for me. I felt more confident and excited to just find new people and teach them. the people of south carolina need this message. It is hard to talk to everybody, virtually impossible. That is why we prayerfully seek the guidance of heavenly father as we plan, set goals, find and teach. 

This week we have seen many miracles. Earlier this week or maybe even last week, we were planning who we should go visit. As we finished praying, a thought popped into my head. November 24, 2015 I was in training in Simpsonville, just south of Greenville. I went on exchanges with Elder Russell who was one of the Zone Leaders here at the time. I remember meeting and teaching an amazing black family. It is a family of 7! I went to our area book and looked all the way back to that day, and saw the records of the people. However, I could only see their names, and no number or address. So we looked in our phone contacts and there the mom was! We gave her a call and we set up an appointment. On exchanges, Elder Fife went to that appointment and he said they were so great! The mom had said she wanted her kids to all be baptized, and that baptism was what she wanted too! They invited them to Book of Mormon class and to church, but because of sicknesses they couldn't make it out. I was super pumped when he came home and told what went down!! One day this week we will see them!
Tuesday after District meeting, we went to a Salvadorian Pupusa place near the church. it was dang good by the way. A friend from BYU- McKay Gillette, is serving her mission in El Salvador, and she just got transferred. The lady waiting our food was from El Salvador, so naturally I thought to go to the car to open my email and see the name of the city McKay was in to talk with the waitress about it. As we got up, Elder Fife noticed an old guy sitting with his daughter and law and son. His name is Luis, and he is someone who Elder Fife and I had taught over a year ago!! I was so shocked!! We talked with him and his familia and still haven't had the chance to go over, but we will! A scripture from Isaiah 55:8 popped into my mind as I reflected upon this experience "For my thoughts are not your thoughts." Sometimes we don't realize we received a prompting until after the fact…this was one of those cases. The Lord will use whatever tools necessary to come into contact with people who he needs us to talk with!
Later that night, on exchanges we were biking on a sweet trail called the swamp rabbit trail. It goes throughout Greenville apparently. Anyway, we were headed to a lady named Connie who was a book of mormon referral, but we got lost, and instead started talking to a guy named Jake walking his two dogs! We talked about his life and he went to Ole miss and lived in Nashville..had the ole miss haircut too-- the bangs thing. We talked for a while and we shared a short message with him and left him with an articles of faith card. We have an appointment for this week to stop by his house! See, sometimes the Lord has a different plan! We wanted to see Connie, but he placed Jake in our path.
Speaking of Connie, I finally go tot talk to her on Saturday night! We had mini missions this weekend, and so I went with a priest, and Elder Fife went with a priest. It was pretty fun!! We saw a bunch of people sitting on the porch at Connie's house, and so we parked and walked up! We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and testified of the restoration! It felt like everything just flowed! She seemed so happy to see us, and she said she was at a point in her life where she decided finally she needed to seek God. She said she regrets not opening the door for the other missionaries who have stopped by in years past, and she was super stoked about reading the book of mormon. She said that it all made sense. We are told that we are sent to our certain areas because it is expedient unto the Lord for the salvation of souls, and I felt strongly as we talked that Connie is someone who I was sen there to find and bring to a knowledge of the gospel.
Another awesome thing happened Saturday night as I was out with a priest. We went to go contact a referral up the street from us named TJ. once again she was not home, so we headed back to the car. As we were walking I felt prompted to go to a guy named Andre, who was a few apartments down. I started to walk towards that direction when I felt another prompting that I shouldn't, so I walked back towards the car. I then felt super confused, not knowing if I should or shouldn't go, so I decided to do it anyways. The priest with me named Rock was so confused because I kept switchin directions hahaha! We showed up and Andre- whom I have never met, answered the door. He looked scared at first, then he let us in. He told us tha the had just finished praying for direction from God, when he heard us knock!! God answers prayers, and we were an answer to one of them! He is Muslim, and such a great guy. Muslims are not Christians, but the word 
Muslim means one who follows the will of god. or something like that. He reads The Quran and the Bible and from previous missionaries he received a Book of Mormon, and reads from that too! We taught a brief restoration and will go back this week! Something Elder Fife and I talked a bout was that without fail, when we receive prompting to do something, an immediate prompting not to do it, or a sense of fear or intimidation comes to us. Satan can mimic the things that God does, but the only thing he cannot mimic or create is the sense of peace.
We met a guy this week who sat us down and for an hour told us about his view on theology. He doesn't like it, and wants proof of the bible- the original tablets. He wouldn't talk theology with us, and I felt hopeless, even as I bore testimony. It was a sad feeling to see that because someone wants so much evidence, he has missed the mark and lost his faith he once had in Jesus. The very next person we talked too warmed my heart. Her name is Susan and she had come to church once in August. She is widowed and I could feel a sense of peace about her. We pulled up, and she opened a sliding window and asked if we were the Mormons. We said yes and she said she was happy to see us! That is always a good sign! We went to her side door and talked with her through the screen. We had a good heart to heart and I felt the spirit which she had. She knew quite a bit about the Book of Mormon and she shared a personal spiritual experience she once had many years ago. We talked about he law of chastity- don't remember how that came up and we read from the Book of Mormon. She is so great. I felt genuinely love for her as a 72 yr old widow. There are so many good people here in Greenville and in the south. I am growing respect for them each day.

One last experience: We went to intact a bible referral named Deloris. Her daughter is Pandora who actually called us last week wanting us to visit. We got in and had the two priests with us. Deloris is going to give her first sermon next week and invited us to hear it! We can't go, but we were excited for her. She prayed bout what it should be on and she feels that it should be on prayer. We got into talking about the God head, and her belief is that God, Jesus and the holy ghost are all one person. Jesus is god in the flesh is what she believed. She explained it in a way that made sense. 

She said that she is a mother, grandmother, and a great-grandmother. The same person fulfilling different roles. We explain that they are three separate beings, who share the same purpose which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Then something amazing happened. We were able to show her through testimony and through the bible the true nature of the godhead. We brought up genesis where God talks about "us", and we referred to Matthew 3 where the Savior is baptized. We used John chapter 7 where father is mentioned. We used the verse in the gospels where jesus commends his spirit to the father, and also mentioned the Lord's prayer in that he refers to his father and we said that you cannot pray to yourself. She believes that now. The entire time she was thinking out loud and being that she is well versed in the bible, she pulled out scriptures from her memory that confirmed what we were saying. This took the span of 45 minutes, and I'm grateful that the bible gives us true knowledge of the nature of the godhead. 

That is a lot, and I got to go!! read your bible and book of mormon!

serving at the food bank

1 comment:

  1. Lovin' your letter Elder! You inspire me to be brave when I am prompted. I am RS president and need to act on promptings. Thanks for giving me strength through your example. (and you thought your mission was in the Bible belt!... here too Elder!) love you! Aunt jan


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