Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I love being a missionary! This is such an incredible experience, and one that I am eternally grateful for. Me and Elder Sumrall - we have apostle names (Joseph and Hyrum)! 

We've got three member present lessons today, all of them on the Restoration. Can't wait. We're being very productive, and will invite our investigators, potential investigators and less actives that we've seen recently to watch General Conference and get members to have them in with them.

Devoting all my time and energy to the work has it's effects. One morning my companion woke up to me sleep talking. I said, "How can we help you members of the Ward Council?"

If you could pray for our investigator on Probation, he has a court date today and will find out if he has to wait 5 months or 5 years to get off probation. If he fails the lie detector he'll return to juvenile detention. He has such an incredible hatred for the crime he committed, and hopefully he'll not have to suffer too much more to be freed legally and spiritually. However, there's still hope because the First Presidency grants 200 exceptions to baptism every year for investigators on probation. Still, though, we'd rather have him get off sooner rather than later. I've reflected on this, and it's incredible that God doesn't deal with us with justice alone. As the scripture says, "And thou didst hear me because of mine afflictions and my sincerity; and it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me, therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions, for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son." (Alma 33:11) I'm so grateful that all the stupid things I do each day can be forgiven and with the Savior's help, my weaknesses can become strengths (Ether 12:27).

We had a miracle recently that we will see the fruits of tonight. There has been this Russian family in our area that just doesn't want to see missionaries. They won't let their kids play in the house of a nearby member because they have pictures of temples and signs that families can be together forever. I recently found this out, and so we spent this Fast Sunday fasting that their daughter who died from leukemia would appear to them in a dream last night and let them know that families can be together forever. It was something that we only had small manifestations of the Holy Ghost that it would happen by faith. "Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth." We had the faith that it would happen, and then this morning I was wondering if I would get a confirmation that it happened, because we had the faith that if it wasn't His will that would be all right, too. After personal study today, it came very strongly, that their daughter appeared to them last night. We're going by tonight and can't wait to see them with the member there and a message about how families can be forever. Notice that it was needed, in order to further the work for this family. This is a rare opportunity to hear the gospel preached to them in their own language. 

Pray for miracles when they're needed in church, family or with others. There's no other way for this work to go forward at the pace that's needed. Get a vision of your endeavors. We weren't called to maintain what has been done before, but to energetically and fervently go forward. Pray and fast for miracles when needed. I promise they'll come. Our mission is anticipating 200 baptisms a month, two per ward per month.

I know the work is true, every day my knowledge grows that Jesus Christ lives. I haven't seen him with my own eyes, but the depth of spirituality, answers to prayer and experiences with the Holy Ghost are real. We keep journals so we record when things we believe become things we know to be true. "And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." Moroni 10:5. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, his divinity and mission is especially manifest in the Book of Mormon and He did actually call Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness back to the earth. I love the Lord, He's there and wants to hear from each of us in prayer. May we always be true and faithful.

With all my love,
Elder Szendre

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