Monday, January 20, 2014

Teach Simply, with love, and by the Spirit

  So when we met with the mission president a little while ago for MLC, he talked a little bit about this statement that I put in the subject of the email. During the training for that day he asked us to go and take the training we received to zone meeting which was a couple weeks ago. Well along with this he asked us to do follow up on this training with all the companionship in the zone. 

So the training that was received for this was, to teach the message of the restoration simply with love and by the spirit. The goal was to teach it simply enough that you could do it in ten minutes, and that the spirit could really testify to the investigator of the truthfulness of the message. So we presented this in the zone meeting we had a couple weeks ago and this week was doing the follow ups. 

Monday was just a day where we did a lot of traveling. I had to drive an Elder out to Cyprus so he could do some stuff for his visa that he is waiting for. So then with that we just got the rest of the stuff we needed to do for that day. That night we just went around to different members and taught them lessons found in Preach My Gospel. And then did normal street contacting until we needed to return to the apartment. 

We just went to different members also that day, and then following this we went tracting. Now I really don't like tracting, and especially here in the Woodlands it is very ineffective. But we were really trying to show our faith to the Lord by inviting others to learn. Also, as part of our new mission standards for the year, we are asked to try and invite 25 people a day to learn about the message of the restored gospel. So just this month as a zone we decided to keep track of how many Invitations to learn(ITL) we make. So we went tracting to try and get up to this 25 ITL Goal we had set. Well we went to a little over 25 houses and out of that only had 7 ITL's. So we just from there went and met with some more members to teach them the missionary discussions. But that was our day. 

We went over to a less actives home named Randy Davidson. He has been inactive more many years, and we went and knocked on his door about 2 months ago and he expressed to us that he wanted to start coming back to church. So the past few weeks he has been coming to church. So we decided it would be good if we went back and started to teach him the missionary lessons as well. He seemed to really enjoy the message of the restoration. And so we are really trying to help him truly understand the doctrine of Christ, as well as help his testimony grow of the restored gospel. 

What will be good is it will also give my new companion opportunities to see how the lessons are taught, and to better understand the doctrines and principles found in them. But Randy has this sincere desire to come back. He talks about how each week he just looks forward to Sunday because he enjoys it so much! I love just seeing the change that takes place when God is involved in our lives and when we live the commandments and really make the gospel central in our lives! 

Today was follow ups for the training, so we went around to the Conroe 1st and 2nd ward Elders. And we just did the role plays over again in zone meeting. We sat down and went over the training again and then straight in to the role play. It turned out really well, and we had some great experiences. But after we met with the Conroe 2 Elders, we drove to the apartment and we were going to do the same thing with the other Elders. But we showed up and we were getting ready to start, and I did the same thing. We talked about what it meant to teach simply, with love, by the spirit. 

So after that we began the role play and they taught first. They did well, it was a bit broken up, but for the most part the spirit could really be felt. I love being able to role play and then still be able to feel the spirit just as strong as a real lesson. And so then we began to teach after and I thought it went ok but I had a feeling to stop and take a little longer on of of the principles of of apostasy. I asked 3 different questions while I taught. I asked,
1 Does God love us as much as he did his children in the New/Old testament times?
2. Does God have the same power he did in the New/Old testament times?
3 Do we need God as much as the people did in the New/Old testament times?

I felt prompted to say these and at the end of the role play the Elder commented on how that was something that they were were looking for. And it just made me feel good to have recognized that prompting and to teach it. So God really can help us and us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. 

After this we started to head back to our area, and we needed gas. Well I had a silly little thought just to get a car wash while we were there, but we were running a bit late for a meeting with our bishop we needed to get to. But I just had that thought again so we got the car washed, but it didn't dry the car very well. So we pulled back up to the pump and dried it off with paper towels, and this lady asked us what we were doing, and where we worked. So we started to talk to her and told her we were missionaries, and we taught her about some of our beliefs. She said that she was interested in learning more, so we got her information and actually got a referral for some of the other missionaries. 

But again we see listening to the Spirit gives us opportunities to help others out. If we didn't get that car wash we never would have met this person. So I just know that as we do our best to follow the spirit in our lives we will be blessed. We will be helped and we can bless the lives of others. I know this and I testify of this to you! 

Friday, we had district meeting, and then just went out for the day to find people to teach. We got a call from Adriann and she told us she was getting ready to go in for a surgery. So we went to visit her in the hospital and then we we able to teach another lesson to her to help comfort her. 

Saturday was kinda a slower day as well. We were able to teach some of the members in our ward and then for a little while we walked around this big park and were able to talk with some different people. But for the most part that was pretty much our week. It was a good busy week. I am so glad for the opportunity I have to be serving in this area and for the chance I have to go declare this gospel to those around me! What a blessing it is! I know this gospel is true. I know that because I have read in the Book of Mormon and pondered its writings in my heart, and then I have prayed to my Heavenly Father, and through the Holy Ghost I was able to come to this knowledge and experience this happiness in my life! 

This is my invitation to y'all, read the Book of Mormon and even if it is just a small portion, ponder it and and pray about it, and I know that you will be able to find an answer. I know that this is true and I can promise that to you as a representative of Christ! 

Well I hope everything is well for y'all, have a wonderful week!

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

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