Blood Drive Shenanigans -Most of the time, we aren’t able to give blood as missionaries, and that was what crossed our mind at the blood drive. Elder Benson really wanted to give blood, so we tried contacting everyone who could give us information whether we could or couldn’t, and no one answered. We left to go figure something out at the bank, and lo and behold, a text was received. FROM: President Miller TO: Elder Benson “Go for it”. Elder Benson was about to burst the roof off of our RAV4. He was pretty excited. We went back to the church, and I didn’t have the nerves to do it, so there ended up being a lot of extra time. We have recently created a cool form that allows us to record information about the members of the ward (Like Active, Less Active, Deceased, Not Interested, yada yada yada) to make it easier to find people who ARE interested in coming back. We currently had almost no information and who ended up working at the blood drive? The Primary President, who by the way has been in the Southington Ward since Jeffery R. Holland was in the New Haven Stake Presidency; Sister Wardwell, who has also been in the ward for forever; and Sister Wardwell’s mother, who has been in the ward longer than Sister Wardwell. God is gracious. Long story short, we filled up about a third of the list with Active, Less Active statuses and they gave us a lot of other useful information. It was a great day, and Elder Benson was pretty happy, too.
Josh comes in Clutch – Do you remember the Potential Investigator turned Less Active that I mentioned last week? Well, her son is awesome! He has been so attentive every time that we have met and is very pensive. After our lesson this week, we asked him if he wanted to come to church, and he was very okay with it. He even wanted to bring his friend. Eventually, we found a ride, who just happened to be a super awesome member, Brother Shean, who hasn’t been able to come in a while. They both had a great time. Josh looked like he was taking everything in very well, and Brother Shean was SO comfortable at church, it was almost funny. He just needed something to get him out to church. Brother Shean is the best!
A Ponderite- I’ve talked a little about our friend Ron. When he was meeting with the missionaries a long time ago, not in a galaxy far far away though (It was in the same house), he didn’t like the term ‘investigator’ so he determined to use the word ‘Ponderite’ instead, pulling from two roots: Ponder (which he does a lot) and the Nephites, Lamanites, and any other -ite, which suffix relates the -ite to be “one who follows or engages in” the prefix. He is one who ponders, hence, he is a Ponder-ite.
Bible Bashing – We went to deliver a Bible to a man this week who sounded quite interested to receive one. Turns out, as we explained that the Book of Mormon was another book of scripture, he wasn’t very happy with that. Over the next 15 minutes, we had a very difficult time trying to explain that it wasn’t crazy, that we weren’t changing His Gospel, and that Jesus really did call another prophet today, but after exhausting all of our ideas and ending up exasperated, we left him with two pamphlets, his Bible, and a Book of Mormon. Through some difficulty, we found out that people are really hard to convince, especially when settled in their own beliefs. Sharing the Gospel has never been about coercing or forcing, it has been about sharing and inviting. He wasn’t too happy with us, but that is okay, maybe someone else will be. Don’t ever get discouraged if someone doesn’t listen, because someone will.
Reliving Childhood-We had dinner with a family this week and through a few minutes of close inspection, it felt like I was back home in Kettering, Ohio. Their wonderful home accented many of the same traits that were contained in my childhood home in the midwest. An attic fan, linoleum floors, molded soap and toothbrush holders on the bathroom walls, concrete basement, a brick fireplace, and foam blocks. I felt 8 again.
Wait, the Book of Mormon and Bible help each other?- Our District Meeting
The Dream Team- We had a dinner scheduled with Sergio, but Brother Moon, another legend in the mission, hoped to come down to visit us with former Elder Carter, another legend from the mission. Basically, we had dinner with the Dream Team on Friday. Elder Carter-The Meek; Brother Moon-The Renaissance Man; Sergio-The Professional, Slow Roasting, Bible Expert. (Sergio picks apart arguments in a helpful way, with no mal intent). It was a great time, and we got to talk to Sergio for a while. Heavenly Father puts us where we are needed, I have a testimony of that. Your specific library of talents and abilities is FAAAAAHR (as Dumbledore would say) different than anyone else’s. Sergio and I were put together for a specific reason and you are in the place where you are for a specific reason. Sister Bassett from one of my previous areas posted this today,”How cool is it that the same God, who created mountains, and oceans, and galaxies, looked at you and thought the world needed one of You too?” Don’t ever think that you don’t have a part to play, because you do.
We stand in jeopardy every hour-This quoted message was brought to our attention in Fast and Testimony Meeting by our Relief Society President:
“Time and time again when I have read certain passages in the Bible pertaining to this work. I have been struck by the forceful questions Paul posed when he asked the Corinthian saints:
“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
“And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?” (1 Cor. 15:29–30; italics added.)
Paul’s last question has caused me much reflection in recent months. Why do the peoples of the world stand in jeopardy? Because they cannot be saved without their families and their associates. They will continue to stand in jeopardy until the gospel is taken to them in such a way that they are willing either to receive it or reject it. This responsibility also places us in jeopardy so far as missionary work is concerned if we don’t share the gospel with them.
At the same time, we as members of the Church also stand in jeopardy if we do not do our temple work. Much of our time is taken up with the mundane details of everyday living, which must be done, of course; but those who are members of His kingdom at this critical time should endeavor to give much time and effort to this important work.”
-Spencer W. Kimball Jan 1977
I know that this work is the work of our Heavenly Father and that a sacrifice that we make to serve our fellow man will turn for our good. You are here for a reason, and never forget that. I’ve come to know personally that the two lifelines that we have every day that make ALL of the difference are personal scripture study of the Book of Mormon and meaningful personal prayer. I hope you will take time to engage in these spiritual life giving habits. I love you all and know that your Heavenly Father loves you even more!
(And our friend Cliff was baptized and confirmed this weekend….we got some pictures even though we weren’t able to attend!)