Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Lord is guiding His work in The Woodlands!

Email from April 27th. Behind on posting again....

Miracles are happening here in College Park! I love The Woodlands so much! So when we got here a few weeks ago our teaching pool was not very big. And we didn't know any of the people the missionaries had been teaching. We were trying to get a hold of them with very little success in doing so. Elder Graves and I talked and I told him how we are going to work our tails off in this area, and we are going to see success. He was all in and we started going hard! 

The first two weeks we had great things happening in terms of building the trust of the members! But this last week we have seen miracle after miracle! It has just been so amazing! The Lords is truly directing his work here, and we are just so blessed to be apart of it. So Monday we were able to go over and meet with a part member family. And we were able to do family history with them. The Husband is not a member, but he is an amazing guy! We were able to have a great conversation with him. 

 We were able to meet with some of the recent converts in the ward and to meet with Robert. I think I mentioned to y'all last week about Robert. We have been working with him to work towards going through the temple to receive his endowment. This past few weeks I have been really pondering about what things we can do to be able to help the zone rise to a higher sense of commitment. And out of our zone, our area, the assistants area, and the singles ward have our best chance of baptisms right now for the month of may and June. So we talked and decided that we would call the assistants to ask them about there plans for people they are working with in their wards. And after talking to them for about 5 minutes we got a call from our bishop. And he told us that there was a family of 5 that live up in Jacobs reserve that were taught by missionaries the previous week, and they want to keep learning more form the missionaries. Our mouths just dropped. 

It was only a few days earlier we discussed trying our best to find a family that we could teach. And a family that could experience the blessings of the restored gospel together. The bishop told us that they would be at the ward activity that following Saturday and they would be attending church and the mission presidents fireside. The spirit was so strong when we found out, and we were so grateful that the Lord had been hearing our prayers and seeing the efforts that we have been putting forth. 

We called the assistants back to let them know of the miracles that are happening. So often through out my mission I have heard, "no one baptizes in the Woodlands." But the entire time I have been here I knew that it was possible. And especially where I have served the majority of my mission in the Woodlands being able to see the growth take places has been amazing. And each week at church we have more and more families who are moving into the ward! The Lord is preparing for some incredible growth in the church to take place here in the Woodlands! 

This week we also went over with some other elder to help them with their weekly planning. We spent probably 4 hours at least planning with them for their upcoming week. It was a great teaching opportunity, and you could tell that as they did they were able to feel the spirit confirm to to them about going into the details of planning. Because this is a eternal principal. And it relates very well with families. But planning is so important, because as we have problems or questions in our life. As we study them out and we make plans and take them to the Lord. We can know and gain the assurance of the things that he would have us do. As we plan effectively and put the Lord first, we will have the time to accomplish all the things we need to do, and we be able to see the blessings of the Lord more fully in our lives. 

We also met with another one of our investigators who will be moving at the end of the month. He is agnostic, and he has been taught a bunch of the lessons. But we really made the lesson focused on prayer. The reason why it is hard for him to progress from where he is at right now is because he doesn't have a testimony that there is a God. But we are continuing to work with him, and we are excited for the change that will take place in him as he comes to that knowledge. He is a really cool guy though!

We met with our Bishop Friday night and talked with him about all the great things happening in the ward! We talked alot about the relationship between missionaries and members. So often we think that as long as the missionaries are obedient as they can be and are prepared then the Lord will bless them success. Now this is true, but to really hasten the Lords work, He needs to be able to trust the missionaries, and the wards. If the Lord can't trust the ward to make sure the recent converts are going to be cared for and nourished by the good word of God, and will be remembered, then they won't be put in the missionaries path. And that is why it is so important the the members and the missionaries come together with His work. Because that is how he will hasten it. There are so many people that are prepared, and many of them will be found as the members continually exercise their faith in inviting people to learn from this missionaries. This is why we are seeing so many miracles in the ward right now! The Lord is trusting us and the members, and just with in one week our teaching pool has gone up by 7. The Lords is blessing the ward! 

We also had that ward activity I mentioned just a little bit earlier in my email. Our ward did a family history ward reunion. The family history specialists put the activity together. It was an opportunity for people to come learn more about there family history, and the Miatello family came and they were welcomed so warmly by the ward. We also got to talk to many of the members about their missionary work, and so many members are saying how they have friends that they are working with, and they want to meet with missionaries. So great things are happening. 

Sunday was a busy but wonderful day. My companion and I had the opportunity to speak in sacrament meeting. We spoke on the 8th article of faith.  It was a great meeting and we had 4 non members at church. The members also greeted them so warmly. We also started back with the singles ward. We will now be helping out with both wards. And right as they started sacrament meeting in the singles ward we got a text from the sisters saying their investigator broke down on Woodlands Parkway, and that she had run out of gas. So they wanted us to go help her get to church. So we drove over and made some phone calls to some members in the family ward, and were able to get some help for her, and then we were able to help get her to church. So it was an adventure yesterday, but we finished off the day with a powerful mission president fireside. The Miatellos also came to that, and they set up and appointment for us to come teach them on Wednesday! 

 I have such a strong testimony that as we continue to do the little things the Lord has asked us to do that we will be able to bring others unto Christ. This is a divine and eternal work and we are blessed to be apart of it. Please be praying for missionary opportunities and the missionaries in the area. And see the miracles that take place. I promise that to you! 

I hope y'all have a great week! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen

Family history activity. 

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