This was a crazy good week! On Monday we taught a guy who is totally prepared for the gospel! His name is Tony, but we went and talked with him after a couple weeks of trying to get in contact with him. We had a great dinner with him and his girlfriend that is in the ward. They were so kind, and after dinner we had the great opportunity to teach the restoration.
The spirit was so strong, and when I recited the first vision, " I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun,which descended gradually until it fell upon me... When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other-- This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!" There wasn't a dry eye in the room. You could tell that Tony felt something.
He has been reading the Book of Mormon and see that the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other. And me and my companion both felt that we shouldn't give him a firm commitment for baptism. But we left him with a soft one. We committed him to baptism once he finds and answer to his prayer. And he accepted. After we asked if he would come to church and he said yes. He also wants to start inviting his friend to church. It is cool to see Tony already being a missionary and he isn't even a member!
Tuesday was so great! We had the chance to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with the youth. We couldn't do baptizing, but we got to help confirm. It was great! But the reason we were able to go is because it was Austins Carroll's first time going to do baptisms. So I had the great chance to see him there and be able to do temple work. It was so cool when I got to confirm him in proxy for someone else, and when I got to see him preform the ordinance of baptism in proxy for those who have past on. I have loved being able to see Austin progress. We also have been able to start into the new member discussions this last week with him, and they have gone really well. But it was such a great experience to see him there dressed in white in the temple. I loved seeing how happy he was.
Wednesday we did service at Panther Creek inspirational ranch. And it was raining and we were trying to move hay to a new building that they built. But we had to be careful cause there were some snakes hiding on the bottom level. Those who know me know that I don't do snakes very well, but it was a great experience to be able to serve.
But later that afternoon we went out and tried visiting with less actives in the ward. We went to meet with a LA Member in the hospital. He is 91 years old and he is still as sharp at a needle. He really opened up to us and allowed us to share a message with him. But he is a super friendly man.
Thursday, so this last week has rained quite a bit and there has been a little bit of flooding here in some parts of the Woodlands so we got a call from Panther Creek Ranch and they said they needed some help evacuating the horses from the ranch. So we got ready and went over there as fast as we could. It was absolutely pouring. When it rains here, it pours. And I don't have a jacket yet, so I got soaked! But it was good.
We volunteered for those hours of the morning and helped get the horses to safer ground. This same thing happened last year and they lost a horse last year because the flooding was so bad so they really needed some help. I just love being able to be out here and serve everyday. Whether it be for physical needs or spiritual needs. That is my favorite part of serving a mission is being able to help others out for this period of two years. But that day it got even better.
So we got to meet with a guy name Morgan. We set a time to meet with him, and we met him at Greg's mission farewell open house. And we went there to see how things were going, and his dad sat in with us and we got to just talk about god and beliefs for the first 30 min or so. But we just decided to go into the restoration. And the spirit was truly guiding the conversation. They were asking so many questions, and for almost every single one I had a scripture pop into my head.
We were talking about apostles and prophets, and Morgans dad ( Phil) Asked us this, " I think it is so interesting that there are apostles and prophet just like when Jesus Christ was here. But I wonder if there is a prophet and apostles why they don't make them selves known to others." We started talking about general conference and how he could go online and see and listen to them. He got so excited and he asked for the website immediately. But this went on for the entire 2.5 hours we were there. At the very end he asked if we could pray with them. And it was so cool, they both prayed and asked our Heavenly Father if this is the path that He would have them take. They said when they get an answer from God they will follow it.
Friday we had a wonderful zone meeting, it was focused on making members a priority in our everyday finding. The spirit was so strong and I loved being able to listen to the message that was taught that day. But members really are the best way to get things done. So after zone meeting we went on exchanges with another elder in my district, and it was a good chance to learn and teach. That is what is nice about exchanges. You have different opportunities to learn from other missionaries and other areas. And that kinda finishes out the week.
But again what I want to focus on is the member missionary work. We have been going around to about 20 different families in the ward going through the missionary lessons with them. And we can see that they are getting excited about the work there are more missionary chances that members can see. The 2nd counselor in the bishopric wants to be know as the Master Inviter. He wants to become the best at inviting everyone he talks to. He had a great experience this week where he prayed for a missionary opportunity and he found one that day and he acted on it. He bore testimony and said that his co worker should meet with the missionaries. And she said, "You tell me when and where, and I am there." Just a simple invite and they accepted.
A priest decided to just invite his friend to learn more, and we will be meeting him on weds and teaching his friend. Another family is going all out the daughters went trick or treating this week and talked with there friends about coming to church and other things as well. These are just a small amount of things that have been going on in the ward. But because of the member efforts we are seeing the fruits of teaching them in this last week alone we got 4 brand new investigators all based on members inviting or member activities. We have two more potential that I just talked about. We are almost up to 10 investigators, and only a couple have been found through us. Believe me when I say we try everything we can do to find on our owns, but when the members get involved miracles happen.
This is my testimony! I have seen this here in this amazing area that I am in. So pray for those opportunities and you will find them! Once we show our faith to the Lord by setting a goal and asking, we can be blessed and help someone to experience the happiness of the gospel. I know this is true, so please I invite you to keep doing your best. Just remember the the Lord answers the prayers of his children through others.
Have a wonderful week Y'all
Elder Joshua V. Christensen