Monday, February 24, 2014

From Feb. 18th:

Wow this has been a productive week, so many miracles have happened. The work has really gone forward powerfully, especially since we don't have 20 inches of snow... That's hard to hear, but I'm glad the cars are working and everyone's safe.

We've got a few new investigators to work with, a few are falling off the wayside but we're having success nonetheless.

We haven't been too sure about Kevin for the last two weeks until last night. Last week a family that had dinner with the Smiths decided to stay for the lesson with Kevin, which was good, but then two more of Kevin's friends showed up and there were 12 people at the evening, and so we didn't try to talk with Kevin about his baptismal date, there was no way he was going to open up about his life with so many people. The Smith family had an FHE last night, and we separated for a few minutes just to talk about his experience with the Church and his decision to be baptized. He was still pretty certain about it, he had had an experience where he prayed about the Book of Mormon, his grandparents won't be in town until March and so we scheduled March 8th with him. I was struck last night about how easy it was to teach and soon baptize him, it's always been a challenge knowing how to best find and help people come unto Christ. He was just a friend of Breck S., a girl in the ward and came to a lesson when we invited him. He started reading the Book of Mormon then and was 200 pages into it after 2 weeks.

Michael's struggling pretty hard right now with smoking. We're hoping to get him to an addiction support group that goes on Tuesday nights at the Meridian seminary building. We'll bring him to Kevin's baptism and help him there.

So one of my good friends Andy B. - from BYU - showed up to Zone Conference, he was coming directly from the MTC to get a visa from the Mexican consulate here in Boise and forgot his temple recommend, so he had to wait at the mission office where our zone conference happened to be going on. He came in and sat in the only empty chair (right by me), and we were just stunned at what had happened. We had lunch together and then he had to leave but it was incredible to see him. I had a hard time refocusing on zone conference, but I took enough notes to take later. I think he needed to hear how much I love it here in Boise. He's fluent in German and is doubtless struggling with a call to serve in a language other than German. The Spirit is the same wherever you go.

We taught a man man named Volodymir today, a tiler who's helping build a home of a ward member. It went super well, he's nervous but has wanted a Russian copy of the Book of Mormon now for a long time. He's going to come to Church one of these weeks, and we're super excited because he's going to bring his 5 kids that are at home.

We went over to a neighbor with a departing missionary to offer service. He said goodbye and we asked if there was a time that we could share a message with her. A return appointment was set and she was very receptive to what we taught, she's Baptist but would love to learn more. Truly the field is white and ready to harvest, that's two people in the last week.

I'm so thankful for the gift of repentance. It's a part of the doctrine of Christ (best found in 2 Nephi 31-32) the foundation of everything we teach. This passage applies to everyone regardless of whether they have joined or not, as:
Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism (or humbly taking the sacrament, promising to strive to serve God and not repeat the same mistakes of last week). (Alma 7:15)
This work is true, I know it with all my heart. I was contemplating the end of a successfully completed mission the other night and I was just so completely filled with joy and gratitude for this opportunity.
And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me! (D&C 18:15-16)
I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ, He truly visits us in our trials and afflictions. I'm grateful for the Restoration of the Gospel, what God did through a modern prophet. Thanks for the mail and the prayers.

Take care!
Elder Szendre

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