Tuesday, May 19, 2015

week 46

We had a really good week this week, particularly around the end of the week. It's funny how usually a week will start out really slow, and just when you start to think that it's going to end up crummy, everything turns around.

Monday we went thrift shopping! I scored a pair of slacks and a decent tie as well! We had dinner with a member of the Bishopric's family, which was great. They're such an awesome family. Their son actually just left about a month ago to serve in one of the El Salvador missions.

Tuesday morning we helped a new family move into the ward. We always get excited when new families move into the ward. They always have great opportunities to share the gospel because they are meeting so many new people. That evening we met with Andre, who is progressing slowly, as well as Dorris, the older Baptist lady we've been working with. In Dorris' lesson, it was really neat. We were able to help her recognize the Holy Ghost working in her life. She felt it multiple times in the lesson, and she understands that when she feels the Spirit, it means that whatever message is being presented is from God.

Wednesday morning we had apartment inspections and then service at the food pantry. That evening we had dinner with a member family and then Bible Study at the Paynes'. In the Bible Study, there is a hodge-podge group of people that don't really seem to be connected in any way. There are so many different up-bringings, backgrounds, ages, and personalities, but one thing that has struck me as amazing is that the gospel in some way has touched each of their lives, and that is what brings us together. It reminds me of the verse in Doctrine and Covenants 50:22 "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together."
I think that in and of itself is one of the biggest miracles in the Church: that everyone needs the gospel, and the gospel needs everyone. And no matter who you are, you can come and be edified and rejoice with the rest of the saints.

Thursday morning we had Zone Leader Training, which went really well. Our mission is going back to the training program that the new missionaries go through called "12 Week." As a mission, we are all studying it in an effort to get back to the basics and prepare for the flood of new missionaries coming in this summer (summer is the time when most missionaries come into the field). That afternoon we were able to give a blessing to a less active who is returning to Church. That evening we visited another less active we've been working with who has a desire to come back as well.

Friday morning we had correlation meeting, which went well. After that we finished up our weekly planning session and then later taught another lesson to Andre. Also, funny story about that day, we got home from correlation and found out that our water was off! We talked to the office about it, and they ended up calling the water company. They found out that apparently our water was supposed to have been shut off over a year ago! For some reason it was never turned off. I didn't think about this until now, but it reminds me of the scripture in John 4:14 "But whosoever drinketh of the water that shall give him shall never thirstbut the water that shall give him shall be in him well of water springing up into everlasting life."
That scripture is truer than I thought! But we got our water turned on later that day, and hopefully there won't be any more issues with that.

Saturday morning we took a tour of the Church Building with Dorris. As we entered the Chapel, Brother Payne suggested that I play a hymn. I felt that "Be Still My Soul" was what I should play. I began playing, and by the end all 4 of us were singing those beautiful words. We then had a wonderful discussion about the power the Holy Ghost has to bring peace to our lives, despite the challenges and changes that lie in our path. She understands that she felt the Spirit, but she, at least for the moment, is lacking in the courage to be able to follow those promptings. After that we ended up meeting with Torion, a young soon-to-be father, who is working on getting married, baptized, and ultimately sealed in the temple. That evening we were headed to visit some people, when Elder Vergara and I both felt that we should visit an investigator who hasn't been progressing. We did, but he was busy, so we left, and then felt to visit another former investigator a couple houses down. We did, and he wasn't home, but as we were leaving we ran into a nice Hispanic lady with a couple of her kids with her. We asked if we could share our message, and she agreed, so we sat down with her and felt that we should share the Plan of Salvation. As we were teaching her, you could see that many of her doubts and questions about life and death were being addressed and answered. She was particularly touched by the beautiful truth that her son, who is mentally handicapped, will be blessed to receive a perfect and immortal body after this life. As we were finishing the lesson, her teenage daughter arrived home, and we invited to her to join us. She agreed, although a little reluctantly, and sat down at the table. We began teaching her the Plan of Salvation as well, and part way through the lesson, we explained the role of the Holy Ghost in testifying of and confirming truth. At that point she was able to recognize that she not only felt that feeling before, but was feeling it now. Her whole image changed from one of reluctance to one of excitement, enthusiasm, and eagerness to learn. At the end of the lesson she told us that earlier that day she had been praying to hear a message like the one we shared with her then. We left her with a Book of Mormon and she was ecstatic about reading it! We are going back tonight to teach them again. I know that God really does prepare people and guide us to them as we listen to the promptings of the Spirit.

Sunday we had Church, which was great, as usual. One of the talks given was about the power of fasting and prayer. The young man and his wife are only here for 6 months, but they obediently followed the counsel of their Stake President and Bishop to set a date by which they could have someone in their home to be taught by the missionaries. They really didn't know many people, because they had only been here about 2 months, but they set a date in faith and fasted and prayed that they would be able to accomplish that goal. It turned out that they were blessed to be able to talk to one of their neighbors and invite her to listen to the missionaries. She accepted! There was a lot more to the story, but in short, God answers us when we show Him that we have a true desire to reach out and share the gospel with others around us.

One thing that has been on my mind recently is the profound peace that I have experienced by living the gospel. As Jesus said to His Apostles in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as thworld giveth, give unto you. Let not your heart be troubledneither let it be afraid."
The peace given to us through the Holy Ghost as we live the gospel is something that the world in no way can give us. It is pure and perfect, and the only source from which it comes is God Himself. I know I truly have felt that peace, despite hardships, trials, and tests. Life will not be easy, but our Father in Heaven desires that each one of us experience the profound and eternal peace that He is willing to offer us.

I love this work, and I love all of you!

The Church is True!


Elder Fullmer

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