Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Letter Dated: 30 Jul 2011

This week has been so packed. I didn't think it was possible to have this much to do. Even though they gave us a set schedule, I (and everyone else new) was so lost. The first day, Wednesday evening, they started us teaching investigators. All the new missionaries were in a room together with an actor/investigator. For the first two investigators missionaries who had been there a while came in and started off the lesson. It was then opened up to the new missionaries to teach what they thought the investigator needed. I tried a couple of times with the first two people, but it was hard and I messed up. The third investigator/actor was someone named Chicho from Italy. This time there were no missionaries so they asked my companion, Elder Blackhurst, and I if we would start off. We “knocked on the door” and introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS and asked him a little about himself. Then it opened up to everyone. Some gave relevant answers, but others were completely off topic. Through questions that we asked, and background information that was given to us, we learned that he was Catholic. He said he felt like he had lost his soul because he didn't think his child needed to be baptized as an infant, but his baby died a few months later. He felt like it was his fault that his baby was in limbo, as the Catholic belief goes. I had the last turn to talk with him. I said, “Chicho, do you remember that book that your friend Tony gave you?”
“There is a scripture in there that answers your question.”
“What page is it on?”
“Page 525” (He flips there.) “Do you see chapter 8?”
“Will you read verse 8 for me?”
“Yes.” He then read the scripture.

I talked about the verse with him and told him that Jesus came down to heal the sick. He said he remembered that in the bible. I told him that little children are whole and need no physician. We talked a little more about it, but that's the gist of what I said. I then bore testimony of the truth of that principle and reassured him that he has not lost his soul, but that he has hope in Christ's atonement. I bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I challenged him to read it and pray to know if it was true. I felt the Spirit, and I promised him that he would receive an answer if he prayed with a sincere heart with real intent and having faith that he will receive an answer. The teacher stopped us there and said we were out of time. He pulled me aside as we were leaving and said it was interesting that I opened and closed with that investigator. The Spirit was there to testify of the truth that was being taught. 
We were organized into districts. My district didn't really know what to do and we were splitting off into championships to do things. I felt that something was off. Thankfully I have a companion with enthusiasm about the work and a firm testimony. We are becoming good friends. Thursday night we met with our branch presidency. That is exactly what we needed, Priesthood leadership. We found out that we were supposed to be sticking together as a district. They met with us individually to get to know us and where we are at spiritually. From there on we have grown so much in unity as a district. I was chosen to be the district leader; AKA, the mailman. Even though I mostly get the mail, I am to preside over my district, lead in discussions, conduct meetings, and interview the senior companions to find out how the companionships are doing and check up on their goals. I also get extra training :). 
Things are really picking up and coming together. I feel the joy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know this church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that he is mighty to save. I was a little discouraged the first couple days, but the Spirit directed me to Ether 12:27 in the Book of Mormon. If I humble myself, he will comfort me, stand by me, and teach me, and he will make my weaknesses become strengths. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I challenge everyone to read it. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I testify that our Father in Heaven is mindful of us, loves us, and wants to talk with us through prayer. I also challenge everyone who has not, to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. If it is, Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and this is Christ's church on earth today. I testify that these things are true, I have received my own witness. I also know that baptism is essential to entering God's Kingdom and coming to Christ (see John 3:5). I challenge all who haven't, to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God which authority is had in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

-Elder Record