Monday, April 20, 2015

The Lord Provides!

Hey everyone! It was another great week to be back in the Woodlands! We were able to see some great miracles happen this week! We ares till trying to get some more traction in the area with how new we are still, but little by little we are getting there. We were able to meet with alot of Less active members. And it has been so great to see how involved the members are getting! There really is just this renewed excitement in the ward for missionary work! It is amazing! 

Tuesday we also had interviews with our Mission President, and this time around we did them just a little bit different. In the past we would have big groups of  missionaries come in and they would receive training as the mission president would pull people out to interview them. But this time we had them on a schedule where a new companionship would come in every 30 min. So we had them come in shifts. And while one was being interviewed we were with the other looking through their area books as well as help train them about how we can get wards more involved with new member discussion of recent converts. 

So that took up almost our whole Tuesday. So even though it was sad that we weren't out working in our area that day we still saw miracles. We were able to help missionaries have a raised vision of what they can accomplish in there wards, as well as during interview we kept getting texts from some of our ward members. 

So one text came from a member of another ward asking if we could come help them move an investigator into our ward boundaries that following Sunday and that she has been very receptive to the gospel and wants to come to church. And then we also got another message that  Sister Chappel was in contact with one of our former investigators that was really close to baptism while I was here. And that she was setting up a time for us to meet with her! So even though we were out of the area miracles were happening! 

And then also Sister Hoyer went over to get a limited use recommend to go do baptisms for the dead at the temple. She came with her family two weeks ago to the temple grounds tour. And after she decided that she wanted to renew her recommend and learn more about family history. So it is really cool because we will actually have the opportunity tonight go over and teach them more about family history! So we are so excited for that! 

This week we also realized that we needed to spend more time out finding because we didn't have  a big teaching pool at the moment! We have a lot of great potential coming, but at the moment it is smaller. So we talked with each other and said that we needed to put a great effort in to find those who were being prepared by the Lord. And then for the next few days we set new goal and plans for finding. 

Thursday we saw a great miracle with finding! So this week has been pretty rainy here in Houston. We have had some intense thunder and lighting storms. And we promised from 6-8 that we would go knock doors. And so we started right at 6. And the first 15 min were great. But then it began to start raining. So we went back to our car to grab our Jackets, and we put them on and then we started walking back and the rain turned into a crazy storm! We were soaked in like 10 min easy! And it rained like that the rest of the night! 

We went door to door and people just started laughing at us because there are to Mormon missionaries who are soaked still trying to go out and find people to teach. And it was fun being out in the rain, but for the first hour and a half that was the response we would get from people. But we did meet a lot of really nice people through out that time. But we just kept going knowing that we had committed to the Lord to do better, and we knew that we would provide someone for us to teach! 

And then at 7:30 a guy named David opened the door! He saw how wet we were and asked us how we were doing. And then after he asked us which denomination we were from. And so we told him that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was nice but immediately said "no no I am quite fine, have a nice night" And so I asked him if he had heard any thing about the church or had any questions that we could answer. And he just replied back saying, " No it's the fact y'all have another Bible that I don't like." I then asked him if he would allow us to explain our belief on The Book of Mormon, and that he didn't need to accept it, but just let us explain it. He sat quietly thinking for about 5 seconds, and then opened the door and told us to come inside.  

 He left the room for a second and he was going to grab us some towels, and then I asked if he had his Bible that we could use because it was so wet we left our full set of scriptures in the Car. As he left to get it I turned to Elder Graves and told him to pray for me. I wanted to use a different approach to explaining The Book of Mormon than I have used a few other times. I think I have shared this way with y'all a few times, but I would explain with talking about the 12 tribes of Israel. 

 So when he came back we had and opening prayer, and I asked him about what he understood the Bible to be. And he explained that it was the word of God. And I asked him how the word was revealed to God's children. And he then said how it was revealed through the prophets and the apostles. And then I asked him, who was the primary record keepers of the Bible, and he didn't know that one, so I just explained that it was primarily the tribe of Judah, and that is why the Bible is reference in the scriptures to the stick of Judah. And he then understood that part. 

I then began to talk about the 12 tribes of Israel and how they were God's covenant and chosen people. And he agreed with that. I asked him if God were to reveal his word to the other tribes also if it would hold equal weight with the Bible in terms of being the Word of God. He said absolutely. I continued to talk about how we know that the Bible is the record form the tribe of Judah, but I asked him what happened to the other tribes of Israel. He said that they were carried away into Babylon. And I asked him how many tribes were carried away. And he wasn't quite sure. So I told him how 10 were carried away. 

So I said, " ok so 10 were carried away into Babylon, and then we know about Judah, what happened to the other tribe?"    He replied, "oh my goodness, the lost tribe!" And by this point he is like on the edge of his seat. He was asking me to tell him about it. So I opened up in his bible to Ezekiel 37: 15-18, and he read about the stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph coming together and being one in our hand. So he said the stick of Joseph is the missing tribe. 

This whole time you could tell that the spirit was testifying to him. And then told him he was correct and then pulled a copy of The Book of Mormon out of my back pack and put it on the table and he just went silent. He understood, but he was still a little bit hesitant. 

And so my companion started testifying immediately about the Book of Mormon, and then committed him to read the Book of Mormon. And he said he wouldn't read the whole thing but he would commit to read for two hours out of it and then pray and ask God if the things we had taught were true! The spirit was so strong and you know that he felt it. And he asked us to come back in about two weeks. So we left with a prayer and he offered it and he was so open and sincere in wanting to find out if it was true!  

So we again see how merciful the Lord is to us. And that as we do our part that the Lord will place people in our path. I was so nervous to explain the Book of Mormon that way but that is what I felt I should do, and the Lord helped fill my mouth with the words needed. I am so grateful for the spirit and for my Father in Heaven! This is such a great work to be involved in. And like I said in the beginning we planned from 6-8 to find, and we walked out of his house right at 8:00. The Lord provides according to our faith and desires if it is His will. 

Well to finish off this week, we helped move the investigator into our ward, and it was a great experience, and she was very interested in coming to church and starting to learn. So she will be at church next week, and hopefully we will start teaching her soon after that. 

And Sunday we had a wonderful stake conference! It was such an inspired meeting, and then we were able to go meet with some different members in the ward. We had two other families that wanted us to come over to meet there neighbors and try to start teaching them! So we just see the Lord continuing to bless the area!  So it was just a great week! 

Well I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

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