Hey everyone! So it has been quite the week! Many of you may remember how last week I told you I was getting transferred! Well I found out this last Tuesday where I was going! Turns out I am back in College Park!! It is so crazy to think! I left college park about 1 year ago, and I was there for about 9 months. I was so excited to hear I was going back to this ward!
When I was hear last time we had so many great things going on, and the trust with the members was amazing. But I guess after I left over the next several month the missionaries and members didn't work as closely together and so the ward wasn't feeling that same missionary excitement, but things were still going really well! The companionship that was here before me and my companion( By the way we got white washed into the area, so we are trying to get everything figured out.) did a great job and bringing and bond back between the members and the missionaries. So things are really beginning to pick up in this ward! This week alone we have been able to see so many miracles!
It has been a crazy week, but so good! Because we are new to the area we went around to all of the different auxiliaries, We met with Bishop Dowdle. Him and his family were really excited to see me again, and I was excited to see them. We met with bishop 3 different times this week to discuss the needs of the members and places he needed us to stop and and visit. So already we have gained his full trust, and we are seeing amazing things happening!
We also met with the Elders Quorum president and the relief society President, and the High Priest group leader. and so on. So we have been able to get alot of information this week about the ward and the needs of the ward. We are so excited to be here in the ward and to just work as hard as we can!
In addition to that we had a baptism this last week, we got to the area and then found out there was a baptism. So this week we met with the investigator and finished up the lessons with her. Her name was Juany. We had an incredible lesson with her this last week at the Jensens home. The Jensens are the ones who found Juany. They saw here and her roommate trying to unload furniture out of a moving van up 3 stories of stairs. They offered to help, and brought members from the ward to help, and little by little over the last 3 weeks it lead her to investigate and decide that she needed to be baptized.
She has an incredible story. She comes from a rough background, and as she learned more and prayed to know, she said the spirit came to her so strongly and she knew that she needed to be baptized! So as I said we had a great lesson with her. We taught the laws and ordinances lesson with her and talked to her more about how she was feeling about her baptism. We also covered the restoration of the priesthood and family history and temple work! Her understanding of the gospel is incredible everything we taught she understood.
And one question I love to ask while teaching about family history is, " Have you had any ancestors on you mind lately?" Now this sounds like a weird question to ask, but so far on my mission every time I have asked this question they have said yes, and it has been a relative that has passed away. And we then explain the reason for why they are thinking of them. We will reference to the promise found right at the end of the book of Malachi, where he prophesies about how Elijah will be send and the hearts of the father will turn to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers.
We told Juany the reason why she was thinking of them was because her ancestors have accepted the gospel, and they are fully ready to take that next step, but on there own they can not. That is why baptisms for the dead are so important as well as any other temple ordinance. And after teaching about this the spirit was so strong and Juany knew it was true. And that only made her that much more exited to get to the temple and start doing family history work! So just a great week!
It took quite some time though to get everything ready for the baptism. There were so many details that we had to get figures out, but we were able to finish! It was a great baptismal service, and she even brought her room mate, and she felt the spirit so strong also! So hopefully we will begin to be able to teach her!
And to finish the week, I had a wonderful experience at church! I was able to greet all of the members and see how they were doing! So many of them were so excited and they want us over in there home to teach them and there families! It is so amazing. But Sunday evening we got a late phone call from the assistants, and they wanted me to come down to the temple that evening and give one of the tours of the temple grounds! I gladly accepted and we went down to the temple grounds that evening!
We had so many people again! Alot of the groups were bigger than last time! We can see the Lord hastening his work. The group I helped tour last time was about 35 people. This time around I did the full tour on my own, and then the group was around 64 people just in my group. These tours are amazing! So many people have there visions raised and are wanting to work towards getting to the temple so bad!
We brought a part member family from the college park ward. And the husband isn't a member, but you would never expect it! He is so awesome! But their whole family came to the tour and was in my group! And after they started asking more questions! So in two weeks we are going to start meeting with them! The spirit is so strong while we were walking around and talking about the temples! When they hear about all the parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ that were restored back to the earth, the spirit can easily testify to them that it is true! They can feel that peace on temple grounds! Such a great
And to finish the night we met with different members and we just talked about missionary work and so many members are beginning to be more open to looking fore missionary opportunities. This week alone we have seen so many miracles. And then this morning we got a call from our bishop. And he has asked us what we did this week! He was so excited because he got and email from the Part member family we were talking about and the wife wants to get a limited use recommend for the temple and start doing our family history. And the ward has been working with this family for a little while! So we just see how much the Lord is guiding his work right now! It really is amazing!
And one more miracle to add to that we are in our office emailing right now and like 15 min ago someone I met while I lived in this complex walked in and started talking to me! He said after I left he met with some missionaries and then for a while he stopped. But now he wants to start meeting. And he said I need to be baptized so we can start working towards that! What is going on! I just again know and testify that this is the Lords work. He stands at the helm and leads us each and every day! And as each of us as members and missionaries come together we can assist our Father in Heaven in His work! I know this to be true!
I hope all y'all have a great week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen