Sunday, June 28, 2015

Q & A

22 June 2015

Dear Family,

Perfect!  Thanks for the questions!  It's just easier for me to write what you want to hear if I have questions to answer.

1.  Did you travel out of your city for any reason this week?  
Well, I'm in Melaka today.  Elder Hanks and I took a bus for 3 hours this morning and arrived just in time to email you all.  I just realized that my camera batteries are low and I didn't bring extra, so I may just have to borrow Elder Hanks pictures of this P-Day and send them to you later.  (We're actually here for baptism interviews - my two favorite Elders, the only companionship in Melaka, are baptizing more people than the rest of the zone combined - but it just so happens that we were also able to come for some P-Day time, too.)

2.  Tell about a good experience placing a Book of Mormon.
Last Monday, Elder Hanks and I met and taught a boy, code named Vincent, who told us he believed there was more scripture than just the Bible.  We told him about the Book of Mormon, and he immediately said, "I already believe this is true!"  I was ecstatic!  That never happens!  We gave him a copy and he committed to read it and ask God to help him know it really is true.  On Thursday, we went back to Vincent's house for a follow-up visit.  To my disappointment, he hadn't read the Book at all because the English was too hard to understand, and he had apparently heard some untrue things about the church, which left him with some doubts.  By the end of the lesson, however, we seemed to have cleared these things up and he was once again excited to read the Book of Mormon on his own this week.  He even stopped by the church on his way home from work one day when weren't there to let him in, so I hope that's a good sign.

3.  Tell about a sweet [finding] experience this week.
A big miracle we had this week was that we were blessed with six new investigators!  Since we were conducting exchanges almost every day this week, we attribute this blessing to the unfailing "exchanges miracles."  We found a fabulous young family that has obviously been prepared to receive the gospel at this time; three of them became new investigators this week.  In addition, we found 3 other individuals who became new investigators right away!  One of them, Leon, a young Chinese man, was sitting at a bus stop, looking away from us.  When Elder Allen and I opened our mouth, he immediately asked, "Hey, are you from a church?  Do you hold any activities that I could join in?"  We talked with him for the duration of the bus ride, learning a bit more about him and his family.  Leon got off at the same bus stop as we did, and asked for information about the Church and its regular programs.  We went with him the short distance to the chapel to show him the place, gave him a name card and  some information, and went over to his house the next evening for a first lesson!  I have high hopes that the gospel will touch his heart and he will have a desire to join the Church!

4.  What are you reading in your personal study?  
    Have you had any insights recently?

I use all my personal study time reading only Preach My Gospel and the scriptures, because that's what helps me be most prepared for investigators lessons during the day.  We taught a record number of lessons this week, and on top of that had almost a record number of lessons fall through at the last minute.  This means that I've been studying Preach My Gospel Chapter 3 extra hard.  I actually don't feel like I've had any amazing breakthroughs into new realms of gospel knowledge, but I have been reminded of just how pointless the plan of salvation would be without a Savior and Redeemer.  Take Jesus Christ out of the picture, and the plan goes something like this:    We lived with God, as spirits, before we came to earth.  God, our loving Father, sent us to earth to learn and gain experience, as well as a physical body.  While in this mortal state, we all make mistakes and we're not perfect, so we're disqualified from our Father's perfect, glorious presence.  Furthermore, we will all die, which will result in an eternal separation of our bodies and spirits.  This will be the end of our progression and the beginning of a long, miserable existence elsewhere.
I'm sooo  thankful that Heavenly Father sent His Son, and that Jesus Christ made a perfect atonement for us, so that the plan really is one of happiness and salvation!  I know that as long as we follow Jesus Christ and live His gospel with full purpose of heart, then His merciful atonement can take effect in our lives and we will be able to overcome anything and everything with His help!

5.  Tell about an experience you've had where you've felt the Spirit this week.

6.  What have you done for P-day recently?

7.  What is one thing you imagined the mission would be like (before you left) that has been really different than you imagined.

8.  If you could sum up what you've learned from your mission experience in one word, what would it be?  (A short phrase or two would also be okay)
There are definitely hundreds of one-liners that could describe my mission experience, but because I have no idea how to succinctly sum it all up right now, and because I only have 2 minutes left, I'll say  "Heart-opening."  I'll have to explain in more depth (and with the aid of your questions) when next I see you.  It won't be that long.  AAaagh!  I love you all so much, but I think I'm just beginning to love the mission even more!!  I wish I could do this for longer than just 3 more weeks!!


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