Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Faith to be faith

the happenings of this week!

We've started running on the boardwalk by the waterfront by our house! It's so beautiful and breezy in the mornings!

This week we instructed at District meeting about helping our investigators set their own baptismal date! It was fun. At the end, our district leader shared a beautiful quote about faith:

“There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen. …
“There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves people. It is the kind of faith that sometimes moves things. … It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect. 
“In a world filled with skepticism and doubt, the expression ‘seeing is believing’ promotes the attitude, ‘You show me, and I will believe.’ We want all of the proof and all of the evidence first. It seems hard to take things on faith.
“When will we learn that in spiritual things it works the other way about—that believing is seeing? Spiritual belief precedes spiritual knowledge. When we believe in things that are not seen but are nevertheless true, then we have faith.”
-Boyd K. Packer
We also taught Rick again! We taught him about the Plan of Salvation-- just what he's been wanting to hear! But because he had sooooo many questions and got hung up on some things, we weren't able to teach it all to him... so he was left hanging at "so what happens after I die??" But we taught him after church on Sunday, so he was quite enlightened. He left pretty speechless and full of even more questions, actually. He's coming around.

John also got confirmed yesterday!! How exciting. Earlier this week, we taught him about the importance of member missionary work. I LOVE this video more than anything right now-- it's about forgiveness, but it powerfully exmplieifes the importance of member missionary work! PLEASE WATCH!!! :)

We also taught a young guy named Anthony who considers himself a pretty negative, closed-off person, but he is excited to have a faith again.
So cool story, we were volunteering at Salvation Army this past Friday and we were talking with this man we hadn't seen before (Brian) and he was asking a bunch of questions and was really nice. His friend tried to pick a fight by asking questions he didn't really want to know the answer to, but that he just wanted to debate. So I guess another man across the room sensed my frustration (dang it!) and he came over, put his arm around me and told the man that he had a right to believe in whatever he wanted just like I did. Humanity lives on, I guess.

Then we got Brian's number and he was going to come to church on Sunday but he had to go to the hospital Saturday night! So we went to visit him in the hospital that evening. It was one of those visits that just made me so happy to be a missionary. (I've been having a lot of those lately). He is this big tough guy, tatoos, drinks, etc. and as we shared the Restoration with him, his countenance changed and he told us about his past and how he just doesn't feel like he is worthy of God's love and he started to cry. We were able to share with him a few verses from Alma 36 and as we did, the spirit filled the room. 

16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.

 17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.

 18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

 19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

 20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!

 21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.

We testified of the power of the Atonement and he wants to be baptized at the end of June. We set his date and then I asked him why he wanted to be baptized on that date. And he said it was because we invited him on that day and that he trusts us (about inviting him on that day) and because we are unwavering in what we believe and that he can just see it in us. Then he said the prayer at the end and I just kept my eyes opened and watched him. He said a very simple prayer telling God that this was the first time He has ever really felt His love and he asked if the Book of Mormon was true. And that was it. Prefect prayer. 

I love my calling. I love these people. I love the Lord and am so grateful for His unconditional love.

Miracles left and right!

Miracles are just happening left and right!

So last Sunday night we set goals, we made plans, and then we hit it! We found two solid children of God that are interested in the gospel that evening! How cool, we found 'em!

So contacting downtown is pretty much the most exciting thing ever. I love talking to our brothers and sisters every single day! Downtown is a sketchy but interesting place; we always leave with great stories and real phone numbers!

The other day we actually had an appointment and we brought our future missionary member along with us. Our investigator didn't show up, so we went contacting with our member. We ended up meeting Alex. He was hung over and smoking, but we got talking and all he wants to do is make music and start doing what he loves, because he is tired of the life he is living right now. Our member was able to testify to him of the plan God has for us and the happiness it brings. He ended up saying that he thought it was really interesting we talked because he said he usually would have ignored us, but he didn't. He gave us his number and is excited to meet this week! And if we had met with the investigator we were supposed to meet with we wouldn't have found Alex! But then later, we were able to reschedule with our investigator, so everything worked out anyway! #thisiswhatdreamsaremadeof

This week we had an awesome district meeting on recognizing the spirit in lessons and being able to help our investigators feel and recognize it as well. It was powerful! 

So one day we went and visited a less-active member. The sisters had been teaching her daughter, but it wasn't going anywhere because the parents' testimony wasn't really in place. So we taught the mom. And we were bold and honest with her, which is EXACTLY what she needed. She has had some bad experiences in and out of the church, and she has a very strong personality, but she has been trying to do things on her own. So we were able to teach her about the simplicity and beauty of letting Christ walk with her and help he, because that's the only way any of us will be successful and happy in this life. 

Something that was said, completely by the spirit: "Your spirit teaches you the things your natural man doesn't want you to know." 


One night we had dinner at a members home with the "Empty Nester's Club"-- it was with a bunch of old women from the ward! Haha, how fun! Good food, good company, good message! We talked about faith in Jesus Christ how we can continually increase our faith in Him. We are also hoping to be able to go out visiting teaching with these sweet members!

Oh, so we met this cute Scottish lady on the street last week that tried to give us money for coffee, and then we ran into her again! So she decided to give us her number so she could take us out for lunch and she did! We had Thai and we talked to her about he beliefs and her life and then shared the message of the Restoration. She isn't interested really, but she loves us and wants to continue looking out for us, so we're not really opposed to that! We'll keep working on her.

So we taught the sisters' former investigator and our member's friend, Shiela. She is wonderful! Has a strong connection with the Bible and loves God, quite much so! We taught her about the Book of Mormon (this wasn't the first time) and everything ended with her wanting to start including the Book of Mormon in her personal study and really seeing if it truly does contain the fullness of the everlasting gospel. She liked that. 

We also taught John this week about the Priesthood and preparing for a calling. He is quite the prepared man! His main concerns with the church are... how the chorister in the front of sacrament meeting should be more of a lead singer for the congregation and how the baptismal suits need to be thicker. So.... yeah, he is solid! And he was BAPTIZED on Sunday! So that was exciting! It was a short and simply service, just as he requested. At the end he bore his testimony and was crying and gave Sister Rasmussen and myself a hug....
NOT WHAT WE WERE EXPECTING BUT IT HAPPENED AND THE SPIRIT CONFIRMED IT WAS OKAY SO..... Yeah, we got some grief about it from the other missionaries and the ward (jokingly of course), but it was so frightening and funny. 

So Sunday night, all we needed to be able to achieve the Standards of Excellence, was to find one more person that was ready to set their own baptismal date. So we were thinking of all our investigators that could use a visit that might be ready and none of them were at the time; but as we were driving at the EXACT same time we thought of the same person. So we went to visit her and she and her friend were both home. At first I thought she wouldn't be able to open up about the gospel right now with her friend there, but we just talked to them about how they were and brought up baptism and all of a sudden her friend was like, "Baptism? I want to do that. Let's do it together!!" NO WAY. And by the end of the night, they committed to be baptized together! HOW COOL IS THAT? Talk about #sundaynightmiracles!!!

Yesterday we went and taught this part member family! The dad came to church on Sunday and he and his brother are getting back into the church and he wants his kids to prepare to be baptized. We're even working with his wife by gaining her trust first and going over later this week to help her out and do some service for her! This family is oh so good.

A line from my favourite hymn this week: 

"As he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free"

I love this. Christ loves us. And we need to love others. No matter what they look like or act like. We're all spiritual siblings are have are called to lift each other up. Let us bring others to Him!