Monday, September 29, 2014

Divine Communication

Quick transfer update:
I am staying in Wrexham with Sister Klemm! I could not be more happy. I really feel we are on the verge of great things. It is time for both of us to get to work and help our investigators progress. With the Lord's help through much prayer and fasting, I know we can help these individuals and families progress to baptism. I feel now more than ever a great surge of energy and power in my day as I start with personal study that is dedicated to our investigators needs. With their needs always on my mind I have been able to receive revelation on what they all need to overcome their concerns and start gaining a personal testimony of the restored truths of the gospel. I am so grateful to be serving the Lord.

Garry is still with out a date for baptism. We have finally taught him all of the first 3 lessons. Garry worries that the gospel path may be too hard for him. It saddens me that he no longer has the fire to be baptized as he did just 2 weeks ago. We are slowly helping him resolve his concerns through the scriptures and by sharing our personal experiences.

A sudden realization I had this week was how most of our investigators already have a church they attend which keeps them from attend church with us on Sunday. This is a lot different from Chinese work since most Chinese do not have a religion at all when we meet them so it easier to teach them about the Sabbath and helping them attend church. These investigators we have now don't seem to quite get why it is that we invite them to church with us and expect them to come each Sunday. To a certain extent, they already live the Sabbath day by going to church. So what is it that they need from our church than the one they already attend? I studied this in my personal study the other day and received inspiration on what we could do to help them. It was clear that we need to focus the Sabbath Day lesson on the importance of the sacrament and how it is blessed by the priesthood that has been restored. The Bible and Book of Mormon both have records of Christ instituting the sacrament. The record in Book of Mormon where Christ is introducing the sacrament to the Nephites makes it clear that it needs to be done by the right authority. Not only do we partake of the sacrament, but it is also a chance for them to grow in faith and knowledge of the restored gospel. I can't believe I haven't asked this question to myself earlier! We will be putting this knowledge into action when we meet with our investigators this week.

As a Chester Zone we have been inviting the members to pray about and set a date by which they would invite their friends to come learn about the gospel in their homes. I have been surprised by the positive reaction from the ward. They are all willing to work on this commitment. We invited the members to fast this Sunday for a name to come to their minds. This is going to set off so many miracles. I know it!
We actually ran into this lady who knows one of the members of the ward and said she would be interested in learning about the restored gospel. We told the member in the ward and invited her to invite this friend of her to come to her home to meet with the missionaries. It is inspiring to see how the Lord is helping us transition into a work that is lead by the members.

We taught Stanley, Lukman, and Chinedu (our Nigerian investigators) all together about the Plan of Salvation. It was a review for 2 of them and I think it went really well. The member that came with us invited them to church and they all said they could not make it this week :(
Lukman is heading to Nigeria for his sister's wedding this week. He was only supposed to be gone for a week but now he is going to be gone for a month. Oh my lanta! I can't handle this! We have been trying to think of what we could do to help him while he is away and this morning I had the idea that we needed to invite Lukman to meet with the missionaries in Nigeria. This will be great for so many reasons 1) The missionaries there are probably used to dealing with his type of concerns since they are familiar with the Nigerian culture 2) Lukman , I am sure, will be invited to read the Book of Mormon and attend church there, 3) they can invite him to watch General Conference there since I am pretty sure he will be away still when it happens, etc, etc. Hopefully he will be willing for us to pass his info on to the missionaries in Nigeria. His month trip to Nigeria might actually be what he needs after all.

Some miracles that I am really excited about from this past week:
-We went to visit this man named Jason that we have been teaching his door step and haven't seen him for 2 or 3 weeks is considering meeting with us now!
-Annette, a less active, allowed us to come see her and her husband who isn't a member. Neil, the husband, is more on the atheist side and Annette doesn't know if the church is true or not and they were both so kind to us. We taught them the Restoration and it went really well. They both sincerely listened and at the end Annette asked how she could know that God was telling her that the Book of Mormon is true. They both seem really willing to give the Book of Mormon and prayer a try.
-Samilda, one of our Portuguese investigators, has been reading the Book of Mormon we gave her in Portuguese  and said it reads just like the Bible. It is always a miracle when investigators, especially new ones like her, take a leap of faith and read the Book of Mormon.

This past week we taught an Iranian man with no belief in God. We were blessed to have a couple from the ward join us in teaching him. We came into the lesson excited to answer his questions about the reason for existence but 30 minutes into our visit I realized we were not going to get that far. This man went on and on and on and on with little to no breaks in his speech. We were all trying to understand what he was saying and answer the many questions he had but he didn't give us time. That 30 minutes in I thought ''ok, maybe we should just explain the Book of Mormon.'' Another 5 minutes went by and I thought ''no no, obviously that is too much too'' and went to the basics and we taught him about prayer. We have already invited him to pray but he hasn't yet. That foundation of faith in God is crucial to understanding our questions in life.

So this experience got me thinking how much this relates to our relationship and experiences with Heavenly Father. How many times do we go to him with loads of questions in prayer only to end our prayer and go immediately to the next thing on our agenda and then we get upset when we don't seem to be getting an answer. Do we give Him time to answer us or are we like this Iranian man that would not let us teach him the things he was asking about. Heavenly Father has the answers to all of our questions just as we had the answers through the lesson we had planned for this man. He is as anxious to answer our questions as I was to teach this Iranian man about the Plan of Salvation. Just as we had to eventually go much simpler in the lesson than we intended, this is how Heavenly Father chooses to answer our questions-- line upon line, precept upon precept until the small answers set the foundation for a much grander answer. It reminds me of a recent Mormon Message:

I have been able to learn so much about my Heavenly Father through my experiences with missionary work. I realize now more than ever just how much we all need Him and His guidance through prayer every day. We may be out of His presence but prayer is divine communication that connects child to Father. Prayer needs to be apart of the foundation of our lives. Have hope that He will hear and answer every single prayer you utter.

Please pray for these wonderful families and individuals!
Anu, George, Bebe, Binol
Mario, Ruth, Thomas, Samida
Samilda, Leo, Salma, Leonado

Sister Jordan

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