Thursday, October 16, 2014

Holy General Conference Batman!!

13 October 2014
Dear Family,
Holy General Conference Batman!!  Every talk was just so good, I didn't know what to do.  I wanted to just write down everything they all said so I'd remember it forever, but then I remembered that there's this thing called the Gospel Library app, so it was already taken care of for me.  Yay!  Things I remember specifically were:  "Teach the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer."  "Lord, is it I?"  and "A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder."  I was especially struck by the talks of Elder Jorg Klebingat and Richard G. Scott.  I'm definitely going to read and study those two again.  I'll probably listen to them as I eat breakfast in the morning.  Do you all have a plan for when you'll read/review the prophets' words?
A miracle happened this week:  we found five new investigators!!  These new investigators all seem super solid (knock on wood), but I believe it's because of a pattern we followed: in each lesson, just before we concluded, we asked them what they were feeling.  They all described the feelings that the Holy Ghost brings, although they didn't recognize it as the influence of the Spirit.  We testified to them that they were feeling the Holy Ghost, and that they could feel it again and again if they would read the Book of Mormon, pray to know of its truthfulness, and come to church.  We helped them identify the influence of the Spirit on them, and promised them the blessing that they would come closer to God and know with a surety that these things were true if they accepted our invitations.
They all accepted our invitations, and 3 even accepted the invitation to conference.  However, no one actually showed up.  We did have a couple branch members come watch conference, but no investigators, new or otherwise.  ;(  This morning, I was feeling very hopeless, and I had no faith in any of our investigators, because I thought too much about all the new investigators I've seen in Sibu, and how none of them have progressed to baptism.  I believe that there are prepared people here, and I'm trying to find them.  However, I'm also feeling pretty bad for not being able to contribute as much as I want to this year's baptism goal.  [The mission is falling behind on our baptism goal for this year, by quite a bit, and now more than ever they need the diligence and concentration and hard work of every missionary if we're going to pull together and meet our goals.  I want to help so badly, and I want to show President Mains and the Lord that I'm willing to follow their direction, but I feel it just doesn't show in the results we've achieved here.  I'm surrounded by missionaries who are seeing so much success - in fact, our zone, here in Sibu, is actually on track to exceed the baptism goal - so it makes me think I must be doing something wrong.  I'm anxious to figure out what it is, and make the changes necessary in my life.
I'm not just drowning in pity, though.  I'm actually having a great time and I'm learning a lot from my leaders, the prophets, scriptures, my companion, my own experiences, and from the Lord through my prayers.  I trust in the Lord's unfailing promises, and I'm just going to need a little more patience.  (Ha!  I just thought to myself, "I learned patience last transfer.  I want miracles now!"  Obviously I still have a lot to learn.)  I'm enjoying my time with Elder South, and I'm growing in love for the people here.  Oh, there's just so much more than I can tell you with words!  Thank you for all your prayers on my behalf, and I want you to know that I pray for you, too!
P.S.  Funny moment this week:  I had an "... and I do not squeal like a girl!" moment when, as we contacted at night, I stepped on an especially spongy bit of asphalt that croaked loudly and hopped away as I picked up my foot.

Exchanges with our fearless district leader, Elder Christensen.  He's one of the greatest examples of a Preach My Gospel missionary and just a Priesthood man!

Jungle-tracting again.  I look a little disgusted in this picture, but it's just bright outside.  I have to use the flashlight off of the front of my bike in order to knock gates loudly enough  to attract the attention of whoever's inside.

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