I can’t believe it’s already halfway through August, and also transfers! Time FLIES like crazy as a missionary! So much happened this week. We had Zone Conference on Wednesday, which was pretty sweet – we focused on member missionary work. So we’re trying a LOT harder to include the members in missionary work and get them super excited for it. It’s always disappointing when we’re excited for the miracles we see every day, and we tell a member about it and they’re just like “Oh, that’s cool.” Yeah. PLEASE try to have more enthusiasm and appreciation for the work. Saving people’s souls is the important thing we (meaning EVERYONE) can be doing, because everyone needs the Gospel in their lives and it really is something to celebrate. 🙂
So this week, we got FOUR new investigators! The last one that we got is named Craig. He’s seriously a miracle. So we had a member with us, Brother Shepard, and we were on our way to visit Ron (still not doing so hot with giving up alcohol). As we walked past this yellow house (there are so many yellow houses here, but it’s awesome), a man who was painting it called out “Hey! How’s it going?” He recognized us as missionaries. Once we started talking to him and asked him about what he believes, he was like “Well, let me tell you. We have a very different belief in theology.” “Oh? What do you believe in then?” “Jesus Christ. He is God. Not a god, or multiple gods, but God with a capital G.” We were all really confused. “So what is it that you think we believe?” I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it wasn’t that (which is what we believe, in case you were wondering). We were still confused and then corrected him on it and made sure he knew we do believe in Jesus Christ and that He is indeed the Creator of the world, and that He is God, with a capital G. Now it was his turn to be confused. Well, we come to find out that he thought we were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I don’t even know what they believe, but the more I hear about them, the more I wonder how we get mixed up with them, besides the fact that we are the only two churches (that I know of) that send out missionaries like us. Actually, that’s the reason we do get mixed up. For some reason, people automatically assume that’s what we are, and it’s hilarious to have them tell us what we believe. ANYWAY. So Craig. We got that cleared up and gave him our number and asked him to call us. He said he probably wouldn’t, but we made sure he knew we’d love to talk with him, even if he thought we wouldn’t get anywhere with it. So then we went to Ron’s appointment, which he didn’t keep. We stood in his driveway talking to Brother Shepard for a good half hour and then walked back. Craig calls us over again. He’s decided he DOES want to talk to us after all! Boy were we excited! So we went back the next day and had lunch with him while we talked about our beliefs. It wasn’t really a lesson, just a question and answer session. He kept saying how different we were in our beliefs, but the more we talked with him, the more me and my companions saw how similar we actually are. The reason, though, that he thinks we’re so different is because he doesn’t believe that there is anything more than the Bible. This made me really sad. We asked him if he thought God could put all of His words into one book. He said yes, because it’s God. I disagree. Maybe God could put it all in one book, but I really don’t think He did. There’s a reason, too. Ever heard the phrase “line upon line, precept upon precept”? Well, we use it frequently in the LDS church and basically it means that we don’t learn everything at once. We can’t because we can’t understand it all and it’s like math. There’s no way you’re going to understand how to write a difficult equation if you don’t know the basics first. Math isn’t stuffed all into one book, right? Right. It’s pretty much the same with God’s word. You can’t have one (the Bible) without the other (Book of Mormon). There is so much more to God’s word than just the basics in the Bible. Even though the Bible has the basics, the Book of Mormon adds to it and helps us to better understand the Bible. It’s pretty great. I have to share this with you all. It’s something that my best friend serving in Arizona, Elder George, sent out in his weekly email and I thought it was GENIUS. “the Old Testament is really the book that is there to “prove” the existence of God and his works on the Earth. The New Testament is there to “prove” that Jesus was the Christ. The Book of Mormon is there to “prove” the existence of the Holy Ghost. While all three books prove each member of the Godhead, it really is the Book of Mormon that REQUIRES the testament of the Spirit in order to believe in it.” Elder George, you have an AWESOME convert on your hands. I know that as we read these books TOGETHER, they solidify each other, and most importantly, they ALL testify of Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer – there is no doubt in my mind about that. The coolest thing? The Book of Mormon isn’t the end of it. There’s still more to come. Which I’m CRAZY excited for. It’ll be the best day(s) when we receive the rest of the books from the ten tribes of Israel.
Alright. So that’s about it for Craig. We learned a ton from him and are meeting with him again this Saturday. We’re bringing Brother Shepard with us and we think it’s going to be fantastic to have a member there to help us teach and testify of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel (members are PRICELESS in lessons. Please volunteer yourself to the missionaries so they have more members to use. They will love you forever. Especially if you’re enthusiastic about missionary work). Oh yeah! One more thing. At the end of our lesson, Craig basically told us that he thinks we’ve been brainwashed – he read us a scripture in Jeremiah and then asked us to pray about what we believe and see if we don’t get an answer from Heavenly Father. That kind of made me a little upset, but in a good way (oxymoronic, I know) because it made my testimony grow stronger. I KNOW this church is true because it is Christ’s church. Sister Herrick then bore a SOLID testimony about how she’s done that and will continue to do it. She told him she knows it’s true and so she will be a member of the church for the rest of her life because there’s no way she can deny it. It was the best testimony I’ve heard in a while. SUPER powerful and the Spirit is really strong. It was amazing. And I completely agree. It’s the exact same way that I feel and there is NOTHING that will EVER change that. I’ve had it confirmed by the Holy Ghost WAY too many times for me to be able to change my mind on it and I’ve gone through difficult things in my life and the Gospel – Jesus Christ, really, has ALWAYS been here to help me through it. Experiences like this are what help me to keep up my excitement and happiness to teach the Gospel to people who don’t know it, or won’t accept it. Nothing else matters besides our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and His Gospel. The principles we are taught are the way we can receive eternal life (living with God again). I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t want that, but I’m happy to have this knowledge and it is my solemn DUTY to share it with every soul I come in contact with. I’m doing my best to do this and I’ll continue it even after I get home. With everything I know, there’s not a chance for me to keep it to myself. No one would benefit from that.
Alright well… that took up all my time. I hope you all are having wonderful weeks and enjoying life (and school starting up!). Life is awesome! 🙂
Challenge this week: Read Alma 7. It’s a FANTASTIC chapter. 🙂
Love and miss you all! You’re beautiful, and each of you is a Child of God. Remember that.