February 20, 2018
Hey everyone! This may be my last week in Watebury, but we’ll find out on Friday. We had some cool things happen this week!
On Tuesday, we worked really hard, but more importantly, really smart. Elder Smith and I planned out a day where we started with one person, and then worked around in the area based on Less Actives and Potential Investigators. We started with a Potential named Rene. It has been hard to get in contact with her recently, but she was home! That was a cool start to the day. We felt like we should keep going and visit more people. We stopped by the home of a less active member. She wasn’t home, but another lady was. Rosemary opened the door, and at first, she was not interested. She said that she had been to every church, and they were all the same and she wasn’t interested in looking into another. We explained that through reading and living the principles in the Book of Mormon, we can live happy lives with our families. She started to open up a little more. We were able to give her a copy of the Book of Mormon, a Restoration pamphlet, and she said that she is a woman of her word and was actually interested. That experience was enough to knock us over! We felt like we should keep moving again, so we did. Elder Goodman mentioned a lady named Laura, who is a less active we could visit, but we never made it to her house. She was nearby, so we went to stop by. She was home, answered the door, and said that she had slowly just fallen out of the habit of coming and had one or two concerns. That’s easy to help with!! We told her that we would come back and help them to get back to church. The Lord really prepares people 🙂 We felt like there might be one more person. While driving to another Less Active’s house, we saw that it was nearby a potential that we knew and determined to come back RIGHT after lunch. That felt good, and the Spirit said that it was good too. Off to lunch we went, and back we came. We went to visit the Hawley, and we had no idea who they were…Sister Hawley answered the door and invited us in. We got to talk to her for a while and broke the ice sooner than later. Her grand daughter came in to pick up the her great granddaughter, and Sister Hawley told us that not only her daughter and two sons were baptized, but also her granddaughters! Most of this family was baptized previously, but aren’t active now. Sister Hawley had a few questions for us, but before we could answer them, her daughter popped in to the room. Her daughter was friendly, but a little standoffish. She was about to leave, but thanks to the quickening power of the Spirit and Elder Smith, we asked her a few questions that dug a little deeper into her background of the church. She told us at first that she knew a couple people and hadn’t gone for a while, but we eventually found out that she knew almost everyone in the ward and had been really active with a calling and everything! We talked to her for almost an hour, resolving or finding many concerns that she had. It was a roller coaster of the Spirit, inspired questions that just came, and teamwork. It was amazing, and neither of us really expected it to turn out that way. It was such a tender mercy from the Lord to find their family. I really know that a lot of the growth in some wards may not happen from finding new people to teach, but from reactivating people who already have been baptized, and then baptizing and helping their family and friends.
On Thursday night, we came back near Holy Land, an old amusement park on top of a hill in central Waterbury, to visit a potential investigator. They weren’t available, so we were about to leave, when an interesting prompting came to turn right on a street instead of left (which would lead us to home). We came near Holy Land, which isn’t always the best place to be at night, and started knocking houses. Nobody answered the first couple of doors, we kept going and no answers…We uttered the always inspiring line,”Let’s knock just one more house” and lo and behold, Benny answered. We offered and explained the Book of Mormon to him, and he said we could come by the next day. The next day, he almost didn’t show up, but we caught him at just the right time. He has had a lot of turmoil in his life recently and was looking for a way to get more faith into his life. Ta da! The Book of Mormon! Have you ever read Ether 12? Well, we just happened to be flipping through it before we walked up to his house…you cannot plan these kinds of things…We shared 2 or 3 scriptures from that chapter to answer his specific questions about faith and to help him realize that the Book of Mormon is a blessing that could help him. It took us 45 minutes to help him realize that, but we finally helped him to receive a copy of it. As we were leaving, he was ready to smoke, but we told him,”Hey, if you feel like smoking, just start reading the Book of Mormon until the urge goes away!” It also took some convincing, but he really doesn’t want to look back on his old life, so we are hoping to be able to help him more soon.
I gave the District Meeting training this week and there was some really cool revelation that put this one together, thanks to the book, “Jesus the Christ”. The analogy that came together was: One of the first things that happened in Jesus’ ministry was his cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem at the Passover. There were many merchants and money changers in the outer courts of the temple, which was the area surrounding the temple doors. Jesus, knowing that this was His Father’s house, drove all of them who were selling out of the outer courts, because they were desecrating the temple…In order for Him to start his ministry, His Father’s needed to be cleansed so that it was holy. Before we can start our work, we need to be ready and to have a pure temple. In order to have access to spiritual power and our Heavenly Father’s direction, our lives need to be clean and pure in the same way that the temple courts were clean and pure. We talked about repentance and finding one thing that could be taken out of our symbolic “outer courts” or minds and lives. Self reflecting is important and is crucial to growth. I’m grateful for our Heavenly Father who gives us the scriptures for our benefit and learning, even for today.
I also finally finished the Book of Mormon this week for the second time ever! I really have come to love and cherish the teaching of all of the prophets. Nephi and his faith, Alma and repentance, Ether and Mormon and Moroni and denouncing pride. I love their teachings and seeing them over such a small period of time has helped me realize the power in the Book of Mormon. If you haven’t, read the Book of Mormon every day for a long period of time, at least a week or so. You will start to see a change as you take their precepts and apply them in your life. I know that your life will change for the better as you do so.
I love you all!! We’ll hear about transfers this week, so stay tuned. Keep it real and read the Book of Mormon!!