Tuesday, March 4, 2014

9 Months!!

This last week was great! The weather was sunny and nice. Things are starting to bloom. We were able to come in contact with a few Less-Active members that we hadn't met before, and grew even more in our knowledge and testimonies of the gospel!

My half-way day would have been February 29th. But since there is no such thing I celebrated it the 28th and March 1st! Both days were quite amazing. I have been blessed to see many little miracles this week, I know that the Lord loves me :)
We have started teaching this cute little nine year old boy. He has wanted to be baptized for awhile but family circumstances prolonged the opportunity. Now that things have settled down he is ready to continue learning about the gospel! The date he picked out is March 22nd. We are so happy for him and his family! We are so blessed to have the privilege of helping him be baptized :D.
So these days there's lots of talk about members doing more to help share the gospel with others. To be honest, whenever I heard "missionary work" at home I would almost tune out. The thought made me a little uncomfortable. Sharing the gospel was way out of my comfort zone, sometimes it is still hard for me. So I totally sympathize with people who are scared to reach out! But since being out here I have learned a few things that might help others over come their fear, and have more faith.

First off, WHY do we need to share our knowledge of the gospel?
-It makes us happy.
-When we were baptized we promised that we would.
-And because we know that living the teachings found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only way that we will be able to fully access the blessings of Christ's Atonement, perfect ourselves, and be worthy enough to return to our Heavenly Father and live with Him.

I once heard a quote that went something like this:
"If you really understood the Atonement, then you would not hesitate to share it with others."

~Missionaries are trained to teach, not  to find.~
When people think of missionary work, they think of a couple Elders on bikes going door to door. While the method of knocking on doors may be the most common method of finding people. It is one of the most least effective ways to share the gospel! 
What is the most effective way? For a member to introduce their friend. 
Why is this more effective?
A person learning about the gospel will respond better to it when they have someone that they can trust. Who they know would not encourage them to do learn more unless it could benefit them. They will have someone they can turn to if they have questions, because missionaries can't be there all the time. They have an immediate support system.

Keeping this in mind, here are a few simple ways that you can find opportunities to share the gospel with others:
- Just be a good example! It will attract questions about why you live a certain way.
- Love others. They will feel more comfortable asking questions if they know you love them.
- Dont be afraid to tell people you are LDS. You can also go further and ask them what they know about the church. This is great for correcting misconceptions they might have. 
- Keep a picture of the temple or Christ on your phone/computer/tablet wallpaper, or keep a Book of Mormon or Church Magazine on your desk/in your locker. Having items like this will draw others to ask questions.
- Always invite. People will not likely perform an action unless they are invited to do so. Invite them to church. Invite them to mutual, to ward activities, to dinner. Elder Holland said that an invitation extended in love, will never be seen as offensive. They worst they can say is "no thank you."

To wrap it up, doing some of these suggestions may be a little uncomfortable, but I can promise that that's the hardest part! The only thing we have to do is be a friend to others, and provide them with the opportunity to learn more. As they desire to become more involved, then you can let the missionaries do the teaching. You don't even have to worry about it! The member's job is to find. and the missionaries job is to TEACH. They are the ones set apart and given authority to do so!
If you feel a little apprehensive about the missionaries, think of it this way: A missionary is set apart and given the same authority as an Apostle. But their authority is not for life, only for their missions. They are "little a's". You would probably love to have an apostle teach your friend, right? 
All in all, don't worry. As we strive to live Christ's teachings and have His Spirit with us, we will be guided to know what to say and do!
"And whoso receiveth you, therwill be also, for will go before your face. will be on your right hand and on your left,and my Spirit shall be iyour hearts, and mine angels roundabout you, to bear you up."
 I love you all! <3

Monday, March 3, 2014

Just Another Day in Paradise :)

The weather this week has been pretty great. 60s and 70s the whole time. I'm loving it. This is what spring looks like apparently :) We have been trying to take advantage of the awesome weather and contact as many people as we can. 

On Thursday we were lucky to do lots of service! We came and volunteered at the library. We helped cut out papers, organize, and shelf books in the children's section. The lady who is over the kids place is named Miss Penny. She is sweet. We look forward to getting to know her better and sharing Jesus with her. The same day we also helped a family clean their kitchen and pack their dishes to move. The Coleman family. They are a family that the sisters met a while ago, we went to go see if they would be interested in taking the lessons again and ended up helping them clean. The good news is that they do! The bad news is that they are moving to another house in the 2nd ward. My district leader gave us unlimited permission to travel anywhere in the district! So we can probably still teach her. But if it ends up being too far away we may just have the 2nd ward elders teach them. We are still pondering about it.

I learned a lot about revelation in my studies this week. I know that obedience is the key to receiving guidance and assistance from God. When we are obedient, we can be trusted with more knowledge and responsibility. We bring ourselves closer to the Spirit by standing in holy places, just as we are commanded. I love the scripture:

 "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." D&C 88:63

My goal is to be an AP-status missionary. Everyone knows that the ones who are the most obedient are the ones who get to be AP!
I love y'all lots! Have a good week :)

Michelle's baptism cake