Monday, January 27, 2014

From January 21

Wow this work is really hastening. We started off with 2 or three lessons per week, we've been up to 5 lessons for the last 3 weeks. And then yesterday to kick it all off we had  two member present lessons. We felt prompted during weekly planning to set a goal to get 5 member present lessons this week, an all time high (the most we've had is two) and we had no idea where they'd come from. However with two yesterday and at least one more that we know of, we know there will be a way, "And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness." (1 Nephi 17:3) We've officially got 4 investigators right now, and at least 5 more people that are fairly close to becoming such.

We're teaching members a short version of the Restoration, helping them feel the Spirit when we read the First Vision to them and then scheduling an appointment three weeks out, and simply letting the Lord put people in their path and letting them invite them. We've taught three people now by this method. It really will be the most fruitful method of finding we've got so far.

Summer was taught at the Yeakley's home when her high school friend Pierce invited her to come to our appointment with their family. I might've wrote this last week, but when we read to her the First Vision we asked her how she felt, she said emotional, we asked her to describe those feelings and she said she couldn't because she would start crying. There was nothing special about my voice, the way I pronounced those words in a semi-boring monotone voice, but yet she felt the Comforter or the Holy Ghost. "Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—unto what were ye ordained? To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth." (D&C 50:13-14)

We're now teaching three Ukrainians. We met Valentina yesterday, who cleans the house of the Kofoeds in the ward. We got talking about life in the former Soviet Union and how horrendously difficult it is, and after a long discussion we scheduled a time to come back to the Kofoed's next monday and teach her about God's plan for our happiness. Our lesson with Galyena and Yuri in Meridian was incredible, it was truly like being transported into a different world for an hour and a half, an unusually long lesson, but they are so passionate about religion.

Michael is still very desirous to be baptized, or at least heavily anticipating it. He served in Somalia and can't get over the fact that he took a man's life. In the last lesson a week ago we taught the Law of Chastity and that he and Brianna would have to be married or move out to be baptized. Two days later she was moved out. We just found this out, he was absent for the last two Sundays and seems to need space he's suffering so badly spiritually from his wartime service in Somalia. Perhaps he needs counseling and has PTSD, but he's felt spiritually drained ever since. 

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my cname, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:18, 26-27.

No pain lasts forever, and we're hoping with him being confirmed and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost his intense thirst for comfort will be satisfied.

Nicole is a woman that doesn't come to Church that we've been seeing for over a month. She was super interested at first, and when she couldn't meet she would say, "I'm really not trying to ignore you." We got an appointment and taught her the restoration and she brought her nonmember boyfriend, and it went super well, one of the greatest lessons we've had until now. They didn't seem too interested in another appointment afterwards, but we continued to be super friendly and we stopped by and shoveled their walk. Then we baked them a cake (the one grandma sent) and asked if we could bring it over, she said yes and we brought it over, had a super super friendly visit and scheduled a time to come by and teach them again. Anyways they didn't come to the appointment. Everything we did was us reaching out to them to serve them and they never said no, then this morning we got a text saying that closeness was an issue and she requested to not have anymore visits from us. It's so sad, but I take comfort in that Gideon was among the Nephites that rejected Abinadi when he came and established God's Church among them, eventually repented and was one of the most stalwart men in the Church, so much so that a valley was named after him.

This work is true, God really does speak and guide his Church. And not only in the Ecclesiastical leaders but also the missionaries are led and the windows of heaven have been opened and God's working so many miracles everyday. We are saddened when people won't repent, but no effort is ever wasted! May we always be true and faithful.

Much Love,
Elder Szendre

P.S. sorry for not sending the baptismal pictures last week.

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