Hey everyone!! So I found out that I am getting transferred. I have been serving in College Park for the last 9 months, and have loved it so much! I am sad to leave, but ready to see what else I need to do. I am sorry for how short this email will probably be, but I just want to share and experience with you that happened....
So all of you may remember last transfer I thought I was totally gone! Brother Marshburn received a calling and was active again, and so I thought my work was complete here in College Park.
Me and Brother Marshburn!
Well when I found out I was staying last transfer I was really surprised. I thought my work was done and didn't understand what else I still needed to do. Well I tried to just keep going and working hard, and I didn't feel like I found anyone else that I was sent to find. We met lots of different people through out last transfer, and had great opportunities for service. But I think I know why I was suppose to stay one more.
We have an investigator named Morgan, and I have mentioned him before but it has been quite a while. I met him back in October, and we started to teach him the discussions. We met with him time and time again over the last 7 months. After teaching the restoration with him in October, we just continued through the coming lessons. And we just felt he wasn't grasping the principle of priesthood authority. So since I have been here we have taught him the restoration like 3 times and many other lessons on the priesthood!
But over the last two transfers I didn't really get to work much with him. Every time I was on an exchange that is when he would be available to meet. So I didn't really know where he was at or how to help him next. A couple weeks back he came to church and during priest quorum he said something that told me he still wasn't understanding priesthood authority. So over the past couple weeks we have tried to get in with him to teach him again, and I didn't know if I would get in with him before the end of the transfer.
Well we got an appointment for last Saturday, and during the lesson the spirit was there so strong, and he came out with an answer. So I will be talking alot about the lesson from Saturday. But other stuff we also did this week was just meetings in preparation for zone meeting. I went on a couple different exchanges to help some elders move to a new apartment, and also to finish planning for the great meeting we had.
I started my study with a very sincere prayer to know what to teach Morgan and how to teach it. And I saw so many miracles that morning. I felt prompted to talk about Christ's life on earth, the Great Apostasy and The Restoration. And as I began to study these things I had questions begin to come to mind that needed to be asked to Morgan, I felt like I was given the knowledge to know how to teach him! I don't even really know how to explain it, but it was just so cool to see.
By the end of my study I felt that I had this framework in my mind of how the lesson needed to be taught. We didn't have time to role play the lesson, but I just told my companion that we need to teach him differently that we have in the past, and he asked how. I wasn't very sure at the time I just felt we needed to be more bold and teach more in detail on this subject.
We we got there and decided we wanted to go outside to teach the lesson. So he opened it perfectly a scripture from 1 kings 3 :10-14. It talks about praying to God for Understanding, and it will be given. And from there we just started right into going and teaching about what Christ did while on the Earth. I asked him what he believed Christs purpose in coming to the earth was?
Morgan: "Well he healed many of the people and he suffered for our sins and died for us."
Me: Morgan How was Christ able to heal those people?
Morgan: "Well to say the least, he had some kind of Power"
We then explained how that power he had was from God and was called the Priesthood. We then talked about how he preformed many miracles, and the greatest being the Atonement. I asked him what he understood about the Atonement.
Morgan: "Well as we accept Christ as our savior and redeemer, we can be saved and be happy while we are here. He also can be forgiven.
Me:" What does it mean to accept Christ? How do you do that?
Morgan:"Well first you pray and ask to be forgiven and do better. Also you accept him by following what he says, and following his teachings."
I then was prompted to go to Mathew 3, which talks about Christ getting baptized. And I asked him by did Jesus travel so far to get baptized by John? And when I mentioned he went about 100 km to be baptized he just looked at us and said, "I never thought of that before! He must have had that power and authority!"
We then took him from scripture to scripture as I was prompted! We went through these scriptures during the lesson...
back to John 15
2nd Thesolonians 1-4
And then we ended the lesson with Joseph Smith History, vs 1-20?
This was the way the lesson went! And we went through Christ's life, the apostasy and the restoration and it was incredible! And the spirit was there, and I truly feel that it was guiding me, and telling me what to say. Most of the questions that I asked I truly felt like were inspired, and I could have never come up with them on my own. And I was also using so many different scripture references. There were parts where it seemed like he was teaching himself the doctrine! The spirit was truly communicating with him!
We were there two hours with him teaching him, and finally at the very end, everything thing just clicked! He understood everything that we had taught! He started saying, I finally have received the answer I have been looking for! He look at us and said it is because of the Priesthood authority that we are able to to make it to the celestial kingdom, if we do everything that we can to follow the example that Jesus Christ set. At the very end the spirit hit us all so strong, and he said What should I do now? And Immediately a scripture came into my head! Acts 2: 37-38
¶Now when they heard they were in their , and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men brethren, shall we do?
Then Peter unto them, , and be every one of you in the of Jesus Christ for the of sins, and ye shall receive the of the .
He looked at us and said, "I need to be baptized this Sunday! ...Wait I need to get to church these next couple weeks so I can get baptized! I now know what Gods mission is for me! This is the answer I have been waiting for! "
The spirit was so strong and I just have such a solid testimony of the fact that as we include God in our lives, he is going to support us. He will help us to know what to say and who to help! I know this is true! This whole lesson brought me back to a scripture that I love. D&C 100 4-7, and I just invite you to go and read it.
I know that God has suffered me to come to Houston for the salvation of his Children. I know there are people prepared for me to meet! And I know that as I open my mouth, It will be filled! I will not be confounded, and Gods work will continue to move forth! I know this to be true, and this is my testimony and I bear witness of that!
I am sorry this email is shorter and doesn't go into very much detail about the lesson like I would want, but I will try to talk more about it next week. Please pray for missionary opportunities and You will see so many blessing! This work can only be hastened if the members and the missionaries both work together. Pray to know where you fit into it and I know the Lord will guide you and help you know what you need to do.
Elder Joshua V. Christensen
Elder Neville and I Taking random serious photos! This was during one of our exchanges this last week.