Monday, March 6, 2017

Meetings meetings and more meetings

This week was a pretty slow week! Holy Moly! We had Mission Leadership Council on Tuesday! As always, it was really good. We decided on some new standards of excellence… basically they are mission goals established to raise our vision and increase our faith. They help us stretch, work effectively and reach higher levels of performance. We were pretty happy about that.

Zone Training Meeting was Friday as well, so Elder Brian and I trained on those standards of excellence, and we also trained on the strengthening and enabling power of the atonement "grace. Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the 12 apostles gave a talk called "The atonement and the journey of mortality." He talked about this strengthening and enabling power as contrasted with the redeeming and cleansing power of the Atonement. They both work hand and hand to help us, if we use it. Don't have much time to go into depth with it, but go look up that talk!

Thursday morning there were some emergency transfers in the mission, and we had to pick up some elders and move them around…5 hours of driving! That was fun hahah. Elder Brian and I bought drinks from the gas station and basically road tripped.

Wednesday night, Martha came to Book of Mormon class again! We taught her afterwards, and she is 100% committed to a baptismal date on April 8th! She said that the only thing holding her back is her drinking coffee. In the church we live by a commandment called the word of wisdom where we abstain from tobacco, illegal drugs, addictive substances, coffee, tea, and alcohol. One of the requirements before baptism is to be clean of these things. We are still working with her to help her overcome it. she seems excited!

Another investigator named Frank (he is14) went on a campout with the scouts on Friday, and we did not even know it! One of the guys in the young mens (also a former stake president) texted us for Frank's number and personally made it all happen! We have been getting a lot of help with fellowshipping Frank, and he loved the campout! Now he did not come to church, but we will be working with him still. He is super solid, and just needs to be coming to church some more!

One thing that we have been doing in this area, is not leaving an area that we had planned to be in, until we knew why we planned to go there. That has brought many cool experiences. Last night we went to contact a Bible referral, but all day yesterday I felt way under the weather. Getting sick is fun! We knocked around the referral, and this guy answered his door. We introduced ourselves as Elder McLaughlin and Elder Brian, and he said his name was Elder Aiken... He is some preacher of a church. We talked bout the Book of Mormon and started teaching about the Restoration. I mentioned the apostasy and that the Priesthood authority was taken from the earth. He did not agree with that- and frankly that is where our church and the others take a different route. For us, there had to have been an apostasy in order for a restoration to occur. He started talking about why there was not an apostasy, and then went into the fall of Israel... we read Amos 8:11-12 where Amos is prophesying of the downfall of Israel, and talks about the apostasy. He did not agree and then went on about messengers and how God will use men and women and inspire them to bring a message to other people. I politely stopped him and then testified to him. I said something along the lines of "Sir, I agree completely with what you just said about messengers being inspired to bring news or a message to one of God's children. As representatives of Jesus Christ I know that we have been led here to you today to tell you that more happiness and direction can become yours through studying the Book of Mormon." I testified that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that if he would read it, he would come to know of that truth. We told him that all we were doing is inviting him to read this book and see if what you learn won't bring you closer to your Savior. I felt the spirit strong as I testified and my feelings of weakness from being sick went away as we testified.

The Book of Mormon is true scripture. The Bible is as well. We believe in the same Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and Holy Ghost that all the Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians believe in. We are Christian and all we desire is for people to see what they are missing. There are so many great Christian people here. I love that. Our purpose is first to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and understand the Atonement of Christ. Then it is our responsibility to invite others to partake of this atonement through sacred ordinances done by priesthood authority that has been restored, and to help those we invite to understand why all of this is important.

Elder Holmstead, Brian, Boone after MLC dinner

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