Saturday, December 28, 2013

From December 23, 2013

This has been such a great week. We now have two baptismal dates set now for Michael and Brianna for February the 11th, and that was on the first visit. She trusts Michael so much to do that. 

That appointment went super well. We taught the Restoration (, and Michael really opened up about his experience with the Book of Mormon, how it's the most powerful book he's ever read and that he's understanding more about war from the war chapters at the end of Alma. Brother Hunter, their neighbor, was able to bear witness of his experience with the missionaries and how he knew that the message was true before the second lesson. He prayed about the Book of Mormon and then read from it and while he did he felt this intense feeling of joy and peace wash over him. It was amazing because Michael K. had had that same exact experience 3 months ago sitting there in 1200 acres of silent forest, not unlike the first vision as well. At the end we invited both of them to be baptized and they accepted, and then the question came up as to why they would need to be baptized again. Brother Hunter, again, jumped in with how the missionaries answered that question, that with the death of the apostles and God taking John away from the people no one had the authority to baptize. He related his experience of being baptized 10 years earlier in a different church and the tremendously different experience it was in being baptized by restored priesthood authority. However they are living together, so February 11th may not work. 

We had another visit with Nicole and Billy a less-active member and her boyfriend, we were able to shovel their driveway and really connect with Jordan their son on Friday and we set a return appointment this coming Thursday.

Brandi A. is coming along, although she wasn't quite ready to be baptized so it was postponed. It's so important that when they do make that covenant with God that they've developed the faith to fully repent and have made lasting changes in their life.

As a mission we're trying to get 500 new investigators between December 6th to January 6th. As of today we're up to 216, with 384 left to get in the next two weeks. We're really praying hard and working hard to get there. I like what Elder Martino said about the hastening, that it's not about working harder, but smarter.

With that hastening of the work, the 16 Stakes of Zion in Boise, Meridian, Eagle and Star are having a combined fast to hasten the Work of Salvation in 2014. We all need to prepare ourselves for the many opportunities that God can open up for us to open our mouths to share His Restored Gospel with His children. It is a matter of prayer and humility and it may be as simple as giving someone a Finding Faith in Jesus Christ DVD. A member invited the Anderton family for a discussion and they felt an  incredible outpouring of the Spirit. Another time a member invited their neighbors in for a discussion and they felt that their neighbors' daughter's spirit was there trying to get her parents to accept the Gospel.

Last night we taught a lesson after dinner and the Spirit descended into the room so strongly and I felt so much joy that words cannot even describe. There is truly no end to the joy we can receive in this life and in the eternities, all trial and pains that it took to get there have been forgotten.

This work is true, I love being a missionary, there truly is no more rewarding work than among God's children. It's my prayer that each of us will anxiously desire to serve and enjoy the blessings of the Holy Ghost this Christmas season. May we ever be true and faithful.

Elder Szendre

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