Friday, July 25, 2014

Heart, Might, Mind and Strength

Discover Your Gifts

Ladies and Gentlemen: Buckle your seat belts!
Great things are on the verge of coming to pass here in the EMM:
Our mission will be getting iPads between September and October! Yay for technology! Once we have iPads we will be allowed an hour each day  to use them for proselyting (i.e, skyping people from around the world to share the gospel with them).

At our Zone Conference on Friday, President Ulrich also shared with us revelation he received about the hastening of the work in our mission-- The work here in the EMM is going to, I quote, ''EXPLODE!'' and ''the work is going to move forward in a very fast pace.'' Woah. I feel so blessed to be in this mission at this time. Its about time we all buckle our seat belts in anticipation for this work that is about to take off.

So great news on one of our investigators, Garry. Garry was found back in April/May. He is originally from Hong Kong but has lived in the UK for more than 20 years. His English speaking and listening ability is superb which is helpful when he attends church. He works at a Chippy and works everyday of the week except for Sunday and in the past he was only available to meet with him once a week during one of his lunch breaks. As a result, he has been coming to church on Sunday but we really haven't been able to meet with him. He has been leaving after the first hour until recently when he has stayed for one hour more. Because of his diligence in coming to church, we decided it was the right time to set up a time to teach him. It is not very often you get such great church attendance from an investigator! We met with him this past week and taught him very simply about the Holy Ghost. It was an inspired lesson because when we asked Garry why he has been coming to church he told us it is because he feels peace and comfortable at church. We linked this into the lesson on the Holy Ghost and explained how these are the feelings from the Spirit. Both Sister Chu and I felt prompted during the lesson to invite him to be baptized. He told us he wants to be able to have more experiences with feeling the Holy Ghost. We have been praying that he can learn to recognize the Holy Ghost and during Gospel Principles he asked the teacher, who happens to be our ward mission leader, more about the Holy Ghost. I was so grateful our ward mission leader left the lesson plan to focus on the needs of Garry. Garry is willing to meet with us more often now. It is funny how a slowly progressing investigator can all of the sudden shoot to the top of your most progressing so quickly.

Our next progressing investigator would have to be Lukman. He recently got a job and is super busy. Fortunately, he still sets aside time to meet with us. This past week we taught him the laws and ordinance lesson on Missionary Work. He loved it a lot and even mentioned that he agrees with so much with what we teach him. He desires to have the same conviction we have about this gospel. He still attends church at a nearby Methodist church and is always assigned to give a sermon on Sundays which conflicts with him coming to church with us on Sunday. He told us, however, that he will turn down the next time they ask him to ''preach'' so he can come to church with us. We took the time to establish the fact that he should be making these promises to keep commitments with God and not us, the missionaries.

We have found great success on the streets the members have prayed for. While tracting one of the streets, the first lady we met knows the 2nd counsellor in the bishopric! There is no such thing as coincidences.. Even better, she told us we can come back and share more! We also talked to this elderly couple that was walking their dog on the same street and turns out they know Bishop and his family. This street is too good to be true! We went back Sunday night to finish tracting the street. It was soon time to head back to our flat and we had just a few more doors left to knock. I felt we needed to knock the rest of the doors so we did. Behind the very last door was a man named Nick. We taught him the restoration on his doorstep. He feels like there is too much doubt in his heart to learn more but he is still a miracle because he accepted a Restoration pamphlet. I have faith his heart will be softened and the Lord will continue to prepare him. We plan on following up with him in a week or so.

I love our new mission president and his wife so much already. Quick funny moment: I love how Utah they are and how ''guys'' and ''awesome'' are a common feature in their vocabulary. These happen to be words we are taught to avoid saying in our mission since we try to be dignified in our language. Sister Chu is still working on not saying guys and awesome anymore and one night she innocently asked ''does that mean we can say those words now?'' I shook my head saying ''Nope! I still expect you now to say them'' :) She was like ''Oh man!'' I thought it was pretty funny.

President Ulrich is what I would like to call a DEEP doctrinalist-- he knows this gospel inside and out and his vision is for us to become gospel scholars by the end of our missions. In preparation for our multi zone conference last week he had us all commit to memory all of the 13 Articles of Faith. There is so much power in knowing these by heart! If you don't have these already memorized, get to work! President Ulrich also emphasized being bold missionaries. As it says in Proverbs 28:1 we are to be ''bold as a lion.'' I know he is just what the mission and I need.

I have recently discovered that I have a spiritual gift of being able to bring peace to others around me. Since being on my mission, I can recall countless instances of people that I have been around telling me that I have a calm energy around me to that I have helped them feel less stressed and greater peace. I wonder what other gifts I have that I don't know about..

Do you all realize the spiritual gifts Heavenly Father has given you? These gifts are given to everyone and the scriptures tell us that, with the Lord's help, we can all work and develop more. He really is a giver of the best gifts :) Don't be selfish though-- These gifts are meant to be shared and bless the lives of those around us!

Love you all!
Sister Jordan

Friday, July 11, 2014

Have Confidence in His Love

First things first. Happy belated 4th of July! 'Murica! :)

This week I was able to go one exchange with Sister Lau, one of the Chinese speaking Sisters. We came into the field at the same time and we haven't had the chance to serve together yet. We had too much fun here in Wrexham :) -- that is probably the reason why President Preston never put us together.. haha.  It was a blessing to have her come to our area because she has served here before. It really helped for her being able to see the Chinese families and recent converts that she has built such a great relationship with and encourage the ones who are struggling to come to church.

Sister Chu and I have been sharing the lost sheep parable in our member lessons. We are involving the members in our finding by committing them to seek inspiration through prayer for what streets we should find on or who we can go visit to find these ''lost sheep'', whether they be less actives or those wandering unaware of the gospel. We have seen great success. The members are having names of people they know and streets come to their minds. More to report on this in the future!

The Lord has been placing very prepared people in our path lately:
One of them is a lady named Rose. We street contacted Rose when we had 30 minutes to find before coming home to the flat one night. Rose told us that her father passed away not too long ago and that she has been very curious about what different religions believe about the after life. We asked her if we could share more about our beliefs and she said yes!
Then there is this other lady named Karen whom I talked to while traveling back from exchange on the train. The funny thing is I was looking for someone I could sit next to and Karen had a bag in the seat next to her but I boldly asked if I could sit next to her and she moved her purse so I could. I got talking to her and she opened up about how she has been learning about different religions lately. I knew instantly in my mind she was going to accept the truth if she knew where to find it. I wanted so badly to act on the natural tendency to tell her this was the restored gospel she was looking for but instead I asked her what it was she was looking for by going to so many churches. She explained she was trying to learn more about God; who He was, what He is like. I got even more anxious to tell her everything! But I didn't. I listened to her and to the guidance of the Spirit in what to say next. Long story short, I was able to get her information down (sadly, she doesn't live in my area) and give her a copy of the Book of Mormon. She graciously accepted the Book of Mormon. I will refer her to the mission office and I hope to hear of her progress. I know without a doubt she is prepared to be baptized.

This is was not the first nor the last time that I have had to refer someone I think is so golden to the office. It is hard not to get bummed when you find prepared people like Karen that you cannot teach yourself because they live in  a different area. It is in times like that I have to remind myself that we as missionaries, in our mission or even as missionaries around the world, are all on the same team. We should all be happy to ''pass the ball'' to our team members on the court. I working on waiting patiently for the Lord to bless my companionship with success in our own area.

I had a loaded study session on faith this past week. I love reading the definition entries in the Bible Dictionary. Included in the ''faith'' definition are the lines that to have faith is to ''have confidence in someone or something.'' I am going to have to paraphrase some other lines-- God has revealed His true character and attributes to us, one being love, to enable our minds to be able to put full confidence in Him without reservation. I love that. We can have confidence in Heavenly Father's love without reservation. This sentence in the Bible Dictionary reminded me of a recent experience I had teaching these young men on the street the other day about the purpose of prayer. We taught them that they could pray to give up their bad habits. One of them asked us ''so if I stop drinking, will God love me more?'' I rephrased his question to give him my answer: ''You will be able to feel God's love more if you stop drinking.'' I know our Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally and that His love is real and is always there. I know we can have confidence in His love for us. ''For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life'' (John 3:16). Have confidence that He is a loving Father who will give us His mercy when we repent.

Love you all!
Sister Jordan


                                                                             Sister Chu and I 

                                                               Sister Lau in our 4th of July wear

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Enjoy it Well!

Its official. President Preston is no longer the EMM President. We got to say our goodbyes at the mission farewell this past Thursday. I have grown to love and appreciate President and Sister Preston so much and I know their impact on my life will extend into the eternities. Among the many things the Prestons have taught me is that our success in life and on a mission depends on our attitude. In the midst of chaos and things not going as we planned, our attitude is the one thing we are in control of. President Preston changes the statement ''endure it well'' into ''ENJOY it well.'' Some times we endure our trails waiting for them to pass but we can enjoy every second of life, even the hard moments. I am striving to always follow their counsel and stay positive and grateful in all circumstances.It was hard saying goodbye but I know our next mission president, President Ulrich, will be what this mission needs. I have already spoken to him and his wife of the phone and they have so much love for us already.

HUGE miracle! (The following investigator names have been changed)
On Sister Chu's first day in Wrexham we meet this Muslim man, Oscar, who seemed like he actually wanted to learn more about the restored gospel and not just argue his religion to us like most Muslims... We got his number and rang him last week to see if there would be a time we could share more. He asked if we could meet him that very afternoon and that he had a friend that wanted to come too. It is always a big risk teaching Muslims because they will either drown you in contention or if they are sincere interested in learning their very lives could be at risk if they are to convert to Christianity. I was hoping Oscar was actually interested. We met with him and his friend that afternoon I was surprised to discover I had meet his friend with Sister Lee 2 or 3 weeks ago! Alex is also Muslim and when I met him earlier on the street he seemed sincere but wasn't willing to give us his number because he would ''contact us''. In our mission we have to ask Muslims that want to meet with us a few questions to see in they are truly interested and not just curious about our beliefs and then get permission from the Mission President to teach them. Both Oscar and Alex said they would make the necessary changes in their life if this was really the right path. President gave us permission to teach them but feels more comfortable with Elders being there when we teach. The Elders whitewashed in and do not have a big teaching pool so we are just going to hand Oscar and Alex over to them to be taught.

Lukman was gone in London for most of last week.  The biggest hurdle for him right now is that he has ''already been baptized''. We have taught and testified about the loss and restoration of the priesthood authority. I some times let impatience thoughts creep into my mind telling me to just drop him since he still hasn't committed to work towards a baptismal date but the charity and love I have for him always wins and I refuse to give up on him. We had another break through in our lesson with him this past week. After asking a few inspired questions, Lukman admitted that he thinks he already knows the answer to his prayers about the truth of what we have been sharing but he is afraid of the answer because he knows he will be disappointing a lot of people if he changes churches and is baptized. I understand where he is coming from and the best thing we can do for him is to get him completely enveloped by the love and support of the ward. Please pray that he can have the courage and support from the Lord.

We saw great miracles this weekend for four hour consecrating finding:
Shuetyee, a recent convert, came out with us. She is in her 60s and copes with arthritis but she is so willing to always come finding with us. I am so grateful for her sacrifice and selflessness. She sat down on a bench to rest for a bit while Sister Chu and I contacted people in the town centre. I looked over and saw her talking to this lady and then hand her a pass along card. Amazing member missionary, right? Turns out  that lady was a co-worker from a previous job she had  who had attended our church when she was younger. There is no such thing as coincidences!

We took the bus to an area we don't really go to and did some tracting. Just about every door we knocked on this one street said we could come back and share more! The greatest miracle on this street was Sophie, a 15 year old girl who's mom is familiar with our church. Sophie told us she wasn't too sure what she believed in. We taught Sophie a little about the Book of Mormon and how she can come to know with a surety what she believes in. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! We have a return appointment with her this week. We will make sure her mom is ok with her taking the lessons.

I am learning so much from Sister Chu. She is great at reminding me to keep things simple as we teach, something easy to lose once you get further into your mission. She is also teaching me to have enduring patience for our investigators that are not progressing as fast as I want them. She is helping me to understand that even though an investigator is not progressing but still has sincere interest in learning, it is our duty not to stop teaching them but help our investigators develop greater commitment so that they can progress. It won't be easy but with the Lord (and the ward's) help, it is possible.

As the Prestons have taught me, I hope I can encourage you all to do the same. Don't just endure to the end, enjoy to the end. I am sure this will take on different meanings for all of us.

 Remember that this life is meant to be one of joy:
''Adam fell‍ that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.'' ( 2 Nephi 2:25)

Love you all!
Sister Jordan

                                      Goodbye President and Sister Preston :')

                                            The lovely British landscape