I don't know what happens in the play but lots of people were really interested in us once we said that.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Elder Low's Report,
This week I've been reading in Helaman. As I read I was struck particularly by the account of Nephi and Lehi. The whole world had gone wicked, the Nephites were on the verge of extinction, yet having been influenced by the words of their father and their desire to do good, they went out and taught the word. Though the world seemed lost, these two men become in a few chapters the most successful missionaries of the Book of Mormon, converting almost the entire Lamanite people:
18 And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi did preach unto the Lamanites with such great power and authority, for they had power and authority given unto them that they might speak, and they also had what they should speak given unto them—
19 Therefore they did speak unto the great astonishment of the Lamanites, to the convincing them, insomuch that there were eight thousand of the Lamanites who were in the land of Zarahemla and round about baptized unto repentance, and were convinced of the wickedness of the traditions of their fathers.
I know that there are people waiting for us. They have been prepared by the Lord and touched by the spirit, but if we are distracted by other things we will miss them.
This week our district has really been trying to focus on finding the elect. Our pools have lots of cool people and teaching has always been high since I’ve gotten here, but I felt strongly this week that we as a district had not been putting our full effort in to find the people the Lord was preparing for us, becoming instead distracted with teaching those who weren't elect. We talked about this as a district and committed to do better, and as a result we have seen tons of miracles. One that we saw happened on Friday. After district training we went to go knock doors. We went to the spot we had previously chosen, prayed... and didn't feel good. So we went to back up... didn't feel good there either. This went on for an hour and a bit, as we rode on our bikes further and further away. Finally as it was getting dark we came down a back road and stopped in front of a trailer park. We had said previously that day we didn't want to knock a trailer park but after an hour of searching we knew this is where we needed to be. We prayed, and as we opened our eyes we saw a Spanish man walking. We went up to him and asked him if we could give him one of the “He is the gift cards”. He said yes. He then looked at us a little unsure and then asked if we had a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants with us. We said we did not and asked what made him ask. He said "Well I just finished reading the Book of Mormon that two young men like you gave me a bit ago, and it just... it just really filled me with light." Our mouths dropped. He continued, "I remember reading somewhere in the book (probably in the guide to the scriptures found in the Spanish version of the Book of Mormon) that there was another book related to it called The Doctrine and Covenants, and another called The Pearl of Great Price. After feeling so good reading the Book of Mormon, I can only imagine what is contained in these other books."
This man whose name is José, came to church on Sunday 2 days later, and accepted the invitation to be baptized.
I know if we follow the Lord, and have faith in his power to convince and convert mankind, he will lead us to those we have been sent to this earth to find.
Elder Low's Report:
This week I’ve finally arrived in my chronological journey through the Book of Mormon in one my favorite parts, the war chapters in Alma! I'm super excited. I really like these chapters because they demonstrate the practical application of the principles taught by Christ as well as the rewards that result. I think the message of all these chapters is summed up well by the words of Moroni in chapter 44 which says:
3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.
4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.
Literally the success of all that we do is completely and inseparably connected to our faith in the Lord, demonstrated by our actions. As we excise our faith in the Lord, even when all seems hopeless, swearing with the 2000 stripling warriors that we "do not doubt" and continue to work, we will accomplish his purpose for us, and we will find that truly what he had planned for us, is far more than what we could have ever planned for ourselves.
This week our district saw tons of success particularly in the baptism of the Vasquez family in the area of West Palm North, as well as the tremendous work and effort going on between the missionaries in the district and the ward members. The ward council is getting excited as they see that their efforts have effect. New members are being very well fellowshipped and people are talking about future callings that they may soon accept, and referrals from members who we didn't even talk to are coming in. One such experience that happened in our personal area was that we worked as hard as we could to try to get new investigators, and though they came, quickly they dropped off, and we found ourselves in a jam, seeing that no came to church who had planned to. But the Lord provided through our awesome members. They brought a friend to church; two to be exact. One of them is so interested declaring that he loved everything that was going on. Truly this is a time of great thanksgiving, but it is not enough. This week we will be again focusing heavily on finding the elect.
I know that we must trust in God. He will always sustain us. I know that this is true.
Elder Low's Report:
This week i was reading still in Alma, and I read chapter 41 which contains a scripture mastery and how wickedness never was happiness. This verse had never hit me as hard as it did this time. It shows just so plainly how we shall reap that which we sow:
10 [my son] Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.
13...the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.
I know that this law also applies to us and our investigators. We must sow diligence to obtain results. We as well must help our investigators sow testimony, if we hope for them to reap activity.
As a district in the past and this week we have had a lot of blessings in helping our investigators move towards the goal of baptism, to the point that recently all of the district members have baptized. This is super exciting for all of because we know that the Lord is blessing us and is proud of the work we are doing. As well in our area we had the blessing of helping our investigator Selvin be baptized and stay strong. At his baptism he said that he felt like we were all one family, that before we knocked on his door he had been praying that the lord would send his angels, and that he wanted nothing more than to be a strong part of this church. He has gone to every activity and a couple of member presents with us. We are so excited for him and the other recent converts now in our areas, but also as a result we have lost a lot of our focus on finding. This week we will be doing all we can to find those that are ready. We know that the Lord did not send us here to find one of his elect, but all of them.
I know that as we help all to push forward, continually taking steps towards eternal life, we shall with them receive that very reward.
Elder Low's Report:
This week I read a lot in Alma, finishing my reading of the missions of Ammon and his brethren and moving into the teachings and ministries of Alma. Something that caught my attention while reviewing what I read was a part which talked about the rewards and consequences given unto men. The chapter (28) talks about a battle in which many righteous people died. However instead of letting this great loss overshadow his writing Mormon, emphasizes something different:
14 And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.
Though in life we will have many challenges as we come unto Christ he will fill us with joy despite and because of them.
This week we had a huge miracle. As a district we really tried to make ourselves the kind of missionaries who are worthy to receive blessings. As a result the Lord blessed us so much. The district members had people calling them literally asking them if they could be baptized. We as a companionship also really benefited from this. We had a really hard challenge at the end of last week when one of our most solid investigators had a hard shock trying to adjust to coming to a different church. We thought he might drop us. Yesterday he came to church and was smiling from ear to ear. After someone else’s baptism he got up and hugged us. He’s getting baptized later today.
I know that as we follow our savior Jesus Christ in all that we do, whatever our trails, they will be swallowed up in the Joy of the Savior.
Elder Low's Report:
This week I read in Alma, about both Alma and Amulek as well as about the sons of Mosiah.
Alma chapter 14 particularly interested me, not because of any one particular verse, but because throughout the whole thing they stick together. Through all their trials they endure together.
This week the district really did awesome at helping one another. We had training on unity right before specialized training, which was than reemphasized there. The district members really took this to heart. Many of them asked for help on real problems that they were having in their areas and as a result, things that would have been difficult on their own, were easily accomplished as a district. As a result, two people received baptismal interviews, one was baptized this past week, and the other is to be baptized the next. They are doing awesome.
We also really tried to apply this in our area, especially with unity with the members. One such instance we received a phone call from a member who... well we really couldn't quite understand what he wanted but he told us to go visit a person named Velma at a certain address. Without the proper info, it was going to be difficult and awkward, but we decided that this was an act of faith by this member, and that we needed to trust him. We went immediately. When we got there, all we could say was, "we don't know why we're here, but we're looking for Velma." She turned out to be a less active that needed a blessing. We sat and talked to her and her family. Her husband and sister are not members. We invited them to church. A lot of our investigators did not come to church that week, but one of those did.
I know as we act in unity with one another upon the principles of righteousness, we will do so much more good and we will be hastening the work, that all those who are waiting shall hear the word of the Lord.