Monday, November 25, 2013

Zone Conference
last pday with elder my companion

November 25, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in Jacob, and came across this line in the 4th chapter:
"Behold, they believed in Christ and
worshipped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him;..."

I thought this part was particularly interesting as it showed that the people of Israel kept the law of Moses that they might point themselves towards Christ.
To me this was really interesting, because I feel that this is why the gospel is so important. Joseph Smith stated that really all things we do are only appendages to the life of Christ. Really our message to the world isn't that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but that through him we have a greater and fuller understanding of how to follow Christ, to fulfill our mission here, and return to live with him.

 My companion decided that we were going to work close to the church on Sunday, and so decided to park there and just walk to the area in question. So that's what we did.
Before leaving we said a prayer, we were sorely in need of people to teach and asked the Lord to help us find someone to help back into the gospel.
About 10 minutes of walking away from the church we got a phone call from a sister who said that she and her family had come to prepare for a church event, but had forgotten to bring someone with keys to the chapel, and wondered if we or the other elders were close enough to help.
Knowing that we had but little time left in the day and that by leaving now and having to return would make it difficult for us to finish all of our duties, my companion and I discussed the matter. Seeing the clouds moving towards us and already starting to feel some of the rain on our faces, not knowing when another person would be able to come by and help them, my companion and I decided that we should do what we thought the Savior would do and help these members before the rain became too severe.
As we walked back towards the chapel, and man yelled at us to stop, and we turned to find a man walking with purpose towards us. It turns out he was a recent convert to the church, and though he had lost contact with the elders and the members as a result of a move, he still loved the gospel, stating that every time he went past the church he felt like saying, "I'm sorry."
We took down his phone number testifying that God still loved him and wanted him to come back to his church.

It was a miracle, and if we had not decided to do what we thought Christ would, we would not have found him.

Elder Low

November 18, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been studying in Jacob and a little bit in Jarom, and I found it really interesting what Jarom says at first in the plates. Knowing he doesn't have much room to write, rather than try to scribble as much in to the space as possible so he can get his part in, he states;
" And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me." (Jarom 1:2)
After reading this I found it very interesting that though Jarom stated explicitly that he had revelations and prophesies he would not write them seeing no reason to, as the plan of salvation had already been known.

This week we started teaching a man who was having a lot of problems. He was having trouble at work, troubles staying afloat, his family was scattered all over the world, and though he felt like all he and his wife had great faith in God, they felt God had abandoned them.
Every time we came over he seemed to have a have a heavy heart and mind and had trouble paying attention or comprehending how the gospel could help him. Finally on Saturday, we went over again and my companion and I felt compelled to teach him about the plan of salvation specifically.
So we went over and the lesson began as usual; he had a difficult time understanding, but as we began to teach about the Lord's purpose for us here, to grow and progress to overcome the natural man that we may rejoice in our coming closer unto God, repenting and changing, he began to listen with more intent.
We testified that God doesn't as often take away our trials, as much as he does strengthen us as we come unto him to become enough to overcome them ourselves. We testified that God loved him, and that the opportunity he now had to accept the Gospel was the Lord's response to his prayers.

Often times I get caught up on teaching what they need to know to get baptized. I teach them the commandments and that they are to be baptized without teaching that why we want to be baptized is so we can fulfill the Lord’s plan for us, and receive the blessings that come through it.

Elder Low

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 11, 2013

Elder Low's report: 

This week I've been reading in all the little books between Jacob and Mosiah that I usually neglect to read, and was particularly impressed with Words of Mormon as it talked about the Lord's purposes, His miraculous power and wisdom, and that if we follow his counsel through the spirit even if we don't know why we're doing so, his power is manifest.

This week we did a really good job at finding new people to teach, new investigators were popping out of the woodwork it seemed, but at the same time we were having a really hard time at translating those new investigators into to people who wanted to progress in the gospel until baptism and beyond.
This was a little discouraging but not very surprising.
It had become obvious this week that though our work habits had bettered, our boldness and courage to challenge our investigators to repent had lowered. This was for sure because of a lack of faith. We had so many investigators tell us that people just don't get baptized in two weeks that we'd begun to believe it, and our faith in the healing and changing power of the atonement had decreased. However the Lord knows how to change his servants so that they'll follow Him.

As we were in this slump and were one day knocking doors, we started talking to a lady. We prayed with her and she seemed to feel the spirit but I still felt it unlikely that she would progress. Luckily the Lord isn't so faithless. I suddenly realized that we needed to invite her to be baptized, we did so, and she accepted without hesitation.
The next day we went over and after readdressing baptism and asking her if she would still continue to prepare. She said "of course" and seemed to be a little confused why we thought it needed to be readdressed.

The power of God in changing hearts is incredible for our investigators and for us.
I marvel that though I was faithless in the Lord's power, still by following the Lord's promptings, He led us to a person waiting for the gospel, and changed my perspective.

Elder Low.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been studying a lot in Mosiah, and felt really overwhelmed after reading King Benjamin’s address as he stated at the end of the fourth chapter:

"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives,
ye must perish.
And now, O man, remember, and perish not."
To me this is a very powerful statement, as it demonstrates very simply that the doctrine of Christ and his gospel are not condemning, but saving. To me it feels like King Benjamin is almost begging his people to follow the commandments of God that they may be able live spiritually rather than perish.
His people thought it was powerful too, as after saying this he looks around to find that the whole nation had fallen to the ground. By acting on the words and promises of this man that they believed to be a servant of God, obtained a remission of their sins unto great joy.

This week my companion and I have been teaching a man who had contacted us on the street, and having a father who was a faithful member of the church asked us to come over and teach him.
Through out these lessons we've had a lot of success. This man has felt the spirit and knows what we are telling him is true, but this man has had a very difficult time quitting smoking.
Though he knew it was bad for him, though he knew he needed to stop, and wanted to stop, somehow he still was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. We tried teaching the Word of Wisdom and promise the blessings that were associated with it many times, but still nothing.
Finally one day my companion and I got the impression that we needed to teach this man more about the Book of Mormon. We weren't exactly sure how that was going to help him as we thought he already had a strong testimony of it, but we both felt that was what we needed to do.
So next lesson we walked up to his house just as our investigator was walking in from smoking.
We asked if we could share a message, and he said that was fine.
We talked about the Book of Mormon and he listened and answered our questions, but we felt like we were still missing something. Looking about the room I saw his cigarettes, and I stated,
"John, we know you're trying to stop smoking, and wondering how to do it,"
I then pointed at the Book of Mormon and said,
"the word of God has an incredible power on men, and I promise you that if you read this book every time you have a craving to smoke that craving will go away."
The spirit just filled the room and he agreed to do that.
That was three days ago.
Two days ago we followed up and he'd gone from 16 to 2 cigarettes a day.
I know that the gospel of Christ can and will help us if we let it, and use it in our lives, that through it we can live a fuller and happier life and that it's profound and saving power has the ability to change lives.

Elder Low