This week has been amazing!!! We had so many really cool things happen!
We’ll break it down into a couple categories of experiences:
-Interesting Spiritual Promptings-
This production is brought to you by Elder Smith. His great wording and wisdom is unmatched, so without further ado, here is our crazy week:
“So on Tuesday Elder Davis and I were driving (yes, this area has a car) to a dinner appointment, which the other elders join us at every week. About halfway there, Elder Davis said he felt as though we shouldn’t go, even though the family is really awesome and our weekly dinners with them are really fun. So we pulled over to think and pray about it.
We decided we shouldn’t go and, not really sure what to do instead, headed to visit a potential investigator. Elder Davis had also called a member, again following a prompting, but she didn’t answer. As we were driving to this person, the member’s husband (second councilor to the bishop) called us and said he accidentally bought way too much Chinese food, and he wanted us to come over to help his family eat it and discuss the ward mission plan. It was clear to us at that time that we should do that, so we did.
We had a great discussion with him about how to help the ward. Afterward, he asked if we would assist him in giving his wife, who had suddenly become quite ill, a blessing. Of course we were happy to do that.
Because we had an appointment when we normally have coordination with our ward mission leader, we wouldn’t have been able to talk about the ward mission plan at all last week (and it was announced this week) if we hadn’t followed that prompting to not do to our dinner appointment with the other elders. Also, we wouldn’t have been able to give that sister a blessing (and she told us she was feeling much better the next day). Also, all that Chinese food would have gone to waste!
“A similar thing happened only two days later. We thought to call another sister in the ward and ask is she was doing okay. Turns out she was not, and we were able to get her in contact with her home teachers who were able to help her.
“Two days later it happened again! (But I have shortened the story considerably.) This time we were told that someone needed help and so we contacted her home teachers, but we felt that we should go, too. We did, but arrived late, and were able to stay and help this sister who was in need with one of her home teachers when the other had to leave.
“I like Waterbury.”
-Face to Face-
The Youth invited us this past week to join them for a Mutual activity. They had us sit down in the front of the class, all four of us, and then we answered questions about missionary work for 90 minutes. They asked why we came out on a mission, what a day looks like, what our reaction was when we opened our call, and a couple more. One person asked what to say when others ask,”What do Mormons believe?”. Elder Smith gave the clearest and most concise answer I’ve ever heard, and then later replied,”I can’t even remember what I said..” The youth really liked it, and the leaders loved it! We had a fun time too, it’s cool to share the understanding that comes from a mission.
The next day during weekly planning, we got a text from Jay Halterman, who is a priest in our ward. He said that someone had asked him,”What do Mormons believe” and he had a 15 minute conversation with 4 guys and his teacher! That was definitely planned from up above!
We live in a condo that a member used to live in, so it’s pretty cool. The only thing is, the bigger the house, the more things in it. We have a washer and dryer, more than one bathroom, and garage door opener. They are all super nice and very helpful, but some of them weren’t working completely. Elder Smith, who is a genius and also a mechanical engineer, decided to fix them. Over two days, he tested all of the circuits in the dryer, finally found that one of the levers on the timer was corroded, and fixed it. Now our dryer works. Over the next two days, he took down the garage door opener, which also wasn’t working, took it apart, and then figured that the lasers needed to be rewired. He put it all back together, put it up, now we have a remote, and life is good. He has a couple other projects that he is working on, so we’ll be having a blast these next few weeks!
-Other Small Things-
Clif, our new investigator is doing pretty well. We taught him with a member, Br. Sam-Dadzie, on Tuesday and he should be coming to church this next week. We had an interesting prompting not to do a stop by but to proceed to our next appointment. We proceeded to the stop by, and afterwards realized that we didn’t have enough time to get to the appointment. Don’t do that!! We got to see Matt this week! He is doing well and is working on getting to the temple. He came to church with his cousin this week and they were both in Gospel Principles. Sister Newman also brought her friend, who used to live in Salt Lake City and is very familiar with the church! The Ward is getting excited about the new ward mission plan,”Visit all of the members of the ward in 2018 and Invite them to Come Unto Christ”. It is simple, large, but also manageable. We are the largest ward in the stake with about 600 members, but only 135 come to sacrament meeting. There is a lot of work to be done. We also got to see the Bernardi’s. JoAnne is still getting better from cancer and the cancer is shrinking! She is having a hard time, but we were able to have a good conversation with them for about an hour. It built a lot of trust and understanding on both sides and we are excited to share the Book of Mormon with them this week.
As always, Zone Conference was awesome! We got to travel to the Bloomfield Chapel which is where the Hartford Ward held their services. It was like a short field trip back home! Elder Goodman and a lot of other familiar faces were there, so we had a lot of fun! President, at the last few Zone Conferences, has teared up whenever we sing hymns together. I can definitely feel of the love that he has for this mission and the people here. President Miller is the best, we are so lucky to have a diligent, loving, and obedient mission president. President Miller taught us about Prayer. He said that over the past few weeks, as he has applied the principles he learned, that his prayers have changed. He taught about the humility that we must have to the Lord and the preparation that we should spend before we pray. He taught about focusing our pleas to the Lord on helping others and changing ourselves instead of focusing on ourselves and changing others (Outward v. Inward and Inward v. Outward). Hopefully that makes sense. President and Sister Miller also reviewed a lot of rules that have been around, but not remembered as much. It was an opportunity to see where we are and where we could be! The purpose of the review was to help us be more exactly obedient and focused on our purpose. The smallest things make the biggest difference and we are looking forward to seeing the changes that we can make and the miracles that come because of them. The Assistants talked about Spiritual Power and Promptings of the Spirit! Our focus as a Zone this transfer is Accessing Spiritual Power. Some amazing things are going to be happening because of the individual preparation in our Zone and we can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Spiritual Bit: I made a commitment with Elder Goodman to finish the last half of the Book of Mormon (what I have left) by this Friday. It was a while ago and I’m falling behind, but it’s been a small blessing in disguise. I’m right in the middle of the war chapters and it’s been insightful to see the examples of Moroni, Helaman, and the Nephites. Moroni was a master of Preparation. The weakest cities became the strongest, he built up defenses, and when the Lamanites came to fight, they were frightened because of the defenses of the cities, not even the Nephites! I have a strong testimony that as we arm ourselves with Spiritual Armor every morning, we are more prepared to meet the devil and his servants that uphold his work. That preparation comes from Diligent Scripture Study and Sincere Prayer. As we take the time we need to make these two the focus of our morning, the rest of the day goes better. Why? Because we prepared. The Book of Mormon is a treasure trove of spiritual power and contains the answers to our deepest questions and desires. It gives us principles and promises that affect the way we act, and it is the tool that the Lord has given us to survive the evil that surrounds us. I love you all! Please take the time to study the Book of Mormon each day and pray specifically for the things you need and want. From our righteous desires and actions will spring the gifts of Heaven. Please do so and you will find your life will increase in meaning, defense, and peace. Try this talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/my-heart-pondereth-them-continually?lang=eng#d
I know that Heavenly Father wants you to be happy, joyful, and full of peace, therefore he has placed people in your path to make it happen.