Monday, August 18, 2014

Relying on the Lord brings Spiritual Strength.

Hey everyone!
Things have been going very well this week. It has been such a blessing to be able to just be out more this week and proselyte! It was still a busy week with trying to prepare for zone conferences, but we have seen more miracles this week!  

This week some really great things happened. Tuesday we were able to go out contacting on the waterway. And we were able to teach a couple of different lessons while were were there, and we were able to find some new potential investigators. I love just being able to be out and talking with different people! It really is the best part of missionary work! 

Later on that night we went over to the bishops house. Kyle met us there, and we were able to ordain him to the office of a priest in the aaronic priesthood. The spirit was so strong as we laid our hands upon his head. After this great experience we drove over to the temple and had a great lesson with Kyle. We were helping prepare him for the next day when he would be able to go into the temple and perform baptisms for the dead. 

Wednesday we got back with Kyle again and went to the family history center. We spent about 2 hours with Kyle finding some of his ancestors or do baptisms for. At first it was very slow, but once we started to find 1 or 2, we found more of his ancestors that were in need of these sacred ordinances. The spirit was also very strong as we did this! 

There were different points where the family history consultants were working with Kyle, so it gave me a chance to look for some ancestors. I was able to find one to take to the temple. Well as I mentioned earlier that we had the chance to go to the temple with Kyle and see him do baptisms for the dead. I feel so blessed to have been able to work with Kyle over these past few months. He is continuing to progress, and you can tell how much happier he is! 

Kyle's first night doing baptisms for the dead!

He was also very kind and took that family name that I had and did the work for him. And as he was baptized in behalf of my ancestor I felt an out pouring of the spirit upon me! I knew that my ancestor I found that for had accepted the work! It was such a great night! 

We had all day to be out and teaching! We met with Kyle again, as well as a couple other recent converts to the ward. We have been going through the new member discussions with them. It has been cool to see how much more they understand as we teach them, and they have the gift of the Holy Ghost. We begin to talk about some principles, and they begin to just teach themselves. 

We went to a district meeting down in the Melbourne area. It was a great meeting! We talked more about how we can effectively work with the members to get the work moving forward at an even faster rate. Following the meeting we came back to our mission office and met with President Mortensen to make the agenda for zone conferences that will be taking place this next coming week. We will be trying to train effectively on helping the missionaries to become better teachers. 

That night we had our weekly ultimate Frisbee. This really has been a great finding idea for us. For the first month or two it was more of just have those who are not of our faith come out and join us as we play. But now we are getting to have more teaching opportunities. On Friday I spent a good part of the time teaching. I was on the sideline talking with different people who had come. Some of them were very interested. There was this guy named Justin I talked with. He is also very interested, and has mentioned he wants to start meeting with us. So towards the end of the week we are hoping that we will be able to start meeting him. 

I was on exchanges with the Cypress Creek Elders. We saw so many miracles during these exchanges. During the morning hours we were out doing some service for some different members and less actives in the ward. We had a great lesson with one of the members and committed him to talk with his neighbors across the street and invite them to learn more! It was so cool because as we talked with him he shared with us a very cool experience. 

He told us about his conversion story. And he began to testify about how the gospel had blessed his life and what it meant to him. And so once we pointed out how great and sincere his testimony was, he wanted to go and start sharing the gospel with all of his friends! 

Later that afternoon we went out checking up on some referrals. Now in Preach My Gospel it teaches that after we check on a referral that we should stay in the neighborhood and talk with the people in it. Some times we get referrals because someone else in the neighborhood is being prepared. So after a few referrals I mentioned to the Elders that we could try tracting in the area we were in. And we tracted for about 1 and a half hours with everyone turning us down. 

But towards the end, we went up to this house. The garage was open, and there were 4 people in there talking. After some hesitation they invited us to come and talk to them about Jesus Christ. Once we started explaining principles out of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ they became more interested. We gave them copies of The Book of Mormon, and taught them about what it was and how it could bless their life. We talked to them about setting up a return appt for the next day. We saw so many miracles as we just went out and allowed the Lord to work through us. 

We had a couple of things to try and finalize in the morning for zone conferences, but after we headed up to church for a couple of different meetings we had in the morning. We then  had the chance to go to church and partake of the sacrament and just have a spiritual day as we attended our other classes. 

To end the night we went over to the mission presidents home to talk with them about if there were any changes or any last minute things we wanted to discuss at zone conferences. And then he asked us to help model some teaching during the zone conferences. He put us right on the spot and asked us to practice teaching the restoration. He wanted us to use the new master teaching method I think I have mentioned in the past. It is just teaching more with using questions and listening to know how to help them come to know the truth for themselves. 

I really have been trying to do better at working on this kind of teaching. And it wasn't necessarily bad, but there was a lot of refining that needed to be done. And so we kept stopping and evaluating how things were going. Well it took us about 1 hour to get through the lesson and to talk about the different aspects that we wanted to teach on. So I came out of there very humbled. I knew I wasn't the best teacher, but this gave me an opportunity to rely on the Lord and try to master this new teaching method that we have been using. 

We went back to the apartment after, and I just prayed for the Lords guidance and strength to help me become better. And I know that as I continue to rely on him that he will indeed help me. I know that to be true! I have seen it ring true through out the different aspects of my mission. I know that that principle is true in all of our lives as well. I know and testify that as we all humble ourselves and as we see what things we struggle with and then we rely on the Lord; he will make weak things become strong! I ​know that to be true and that is the prompting that I received. 

Well I hope Y'all have a great rest of the week. 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Preparing for Zone Conferences

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