Hello to all!
This email is arriving a day late, given that yesterday we had our big Zone Leader Council meeting with an Area Seventy, Elder Di Giovanni, and because of travel problems we were not able to email yesterday. It was a very powerful conference, we felt a lot of "Godly sorrow" about things we need to work on in the mission as leaders. It is good sorrow, because it leads to change, or in other words, repentance. Elder Di Giovanni's wife used a great example to start it off. She put a piece of paper on the pulpit that said "PIANO" and asked Elder Andreasen (who was pianist) to go up and play a hymn on the pulpit. He looked at the pulpit confused and said that it did not work because it obviously was not a piano. She then said, "but it says piano...are you sure it does not work?" She compared it to us as leaders and as missionaries. Are we really missionaries (leaders, members, etc)? Do we play the role or simply carry the title? It really hit me hard, and helped me realize that I can have a great influence on others for good, as long as I magnify the responsibility I have been given.
This last week was full of miracles. Our recent convert, has become the hardest working member ever! He gave us some referrals last week that we have been working with, and because of his help, 5 of them attended church this last Sunday, and 4 of them currently are progressing towards baptism for the 20th of October! He has been going out with us every other day, and not only has his testimony been strengthened, but also those investigators. We are seeing miracle after miracle because of the dedication of these great recent converts. We have also put the goal to literally talk with everyone! I was studying this last week about the principle of finding when we teach, and teaching when we find, which basically means that as missionaries we are 24/7 for 2 years in the process of finding as many people as we can to bring unto the true fold of the Lord. After that study, last Wednesday, I rededicated myself to talk to everyone, and we are finding many more people to teach. And as I did so, I felt a lot more positive, happy, etc. When we share the gospel with others, our lives our blessed.
A funny story from this week would have to come from church on Sunday. While I was teaching the Gospel Principles class, we were talking about the problems of our days, and the many temptations around us. A pretty Evangelic guy decided to attend our church and he commented on that subject. He started to raise and raise his voice, until he was practically yelling, which of course made the Spirit go flying out of the room. Our investigator sitting right next to him politely told him to speak a little softer. His response was, "No, that's the Holy Ghost!" I find it interesting how mistaken people can be about how the Holy Ghost really feels. For those who read the Bible and understand it, it clearly states that they are feelings of peace, happiness, joy, love, long suffering, patience, gentleness, kindness, etc. For that reason it is also called the Comforter. And screaming, yelling, fighting, debating are all exactly what the Lord has said is NOT His doctrine (see 3 Nephi 11:29-30). The Spirit and its comforting feelings are what have guided me through my life and mission, to know what to do, what to say, where to go. They have never given me desires to do anything along the lines of raising my voice. I know that if the Spirit is with us, we will be able to feel comfort and peace in hard times.
My spiritual thought comes from a scripture I read the other day in Doctrine and Covenants 84:106. We learn here that those that are strong in the gospel have the responsibility to help those who are weak, and to lift them up so that they are also strong. We have been sharing that with our active members, and are inviting them to do the same. We leave them, and all of you out there, to think of someone who, for whatever reason, has fallen down, who needs your help. This week, find that person, and give them the support they need to be strong like you. I know that we all can make great differences in the lives of others, if we follow the example of the Savior, scripture heroes, and modern day examples and simply serve others. Love you all from home, keep us in your prayers.
Until next week,