46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father. (D&C 84:46, 47)
My Sheep Hear My Voice….and Follow Me
This was a wonderful week! We saw lots of miracles. On Sunday we were overwhelmed with Joy as we had 5 of our Rescue Families came to church. We were most thrilled with the Sxxxx family. We have been working with them since I first got to the area. When we first met them they acted active but when it came down to going to church they used every excuse in the book for why they couldn’t make it each week. Last Sunday when they didn’t show up again we went to their house after church. They didn’t want a lesson like we usually give them but we found out that they are converts. So after hearing about their conversion story we asked if they have been through the temple yet. Neither had. So we talked to them about the importance of that covenant and how if they truly want it and make it a priority then it will happen. But if they keep pushing it off saying “someday…” then it never will. We bore our testimonies and left while they were still making excuses for why they couldn’t go. Well, yesterday they were at church for the first time in a looong time! We were overjoyed to see them. Last night we had dinner with the Bishop and he told us that Sister Sxxxx came up to him and said, “Bishop I am going to go to the temple, whether my husband chooses to or not! It’s good to be back at church, and I’m back for good!” I was so thrilled to hear how determined she was to come back so she could go to the temple. I just love her so much!
A Recently Transferred Missionary’s Weekly Letter – Learning to SMILE!
A Missionary Letter:
We went to ward council yesterday, and it went well. Bishop Nelson is very engaged in missionary work. I feel that we should implement the Perry plan because I don’t even think they know about it. After the ward council the Bishop shook my hand and told me to smile and I didn’t, I pretty much kept a straight face the whole day so I need to repent. It was bad enough to where the bishop called me into his office during sunday school by myself and asked me if he had offended me, which he did not. I just explained that that was my personality, but we had a nice little chat. I hope and pray that I will earn his trust. Sorry for writing an epistle. Thank you so much for your loving counsel.
Mission President’s Response:
Now, to the PR work via smiles topic. Yes, you SHOULD smile more especially when you don’t necessarily FEEL like smiling. You wear your heart on your face – and if you’re not happy, you feel it would be untrue to act like you’re doing well. But, you are in a position of influence as a missionary. Just as the Bishop felt like he’d offended you, many others will feel that and not have the courage to ask you. Please go to the Bishop and tell them that your mission president has given you a special assignment to smile and you’re repenting because it would be unbearable to you to injure their feelings just because you didn’t smile more. Smiling come from a joyous heart – which I know you have. Smile because the atonement is real. Smile because you have another day to repent and improve. Smile because you’re a beloved Son of God and He loves you. Smile because…..the Savior, your role model, smiles:
3 Nephi 19:30
30 And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus. Our love to you!
Next Week’s Same Missionary Letter
We went to the Bishop’s last night to help move some furniture and I told him this, ” My mission President wanted me to tell you that he has given me a special assignment to smile more and that I am repenting.” And he wanted me to tell you thank you, ha ha! I read the email the other day so I will repent and smile more. I got dove chocolate rapper that Elder Bxxxx ate that reads, ”Smiling is Free.” So that’s in my wallet now, however, I do still think that Stoicism is an important quality to have.
The Lord Labors With Us in His Vineyard X 2
One of the first miracles came as we were on splits. i went with our assistant ward mission leader to go see a less active young woman we have been working with named Meghan. On the way there, I received an odd impression to go see another less active young man (Adam) with whom we have been working. I asked Brenden, our assistant ward mission leader, to turn around so that we could go see Adam. We knocked on his door several times but he didn’t answer. Somewhat puzzled, we walked down the stairs and started back towards the car. A young couple emerged from a laundry room we were walking by, so we paused to talk to them. We ended up teaching the Restoration to the couple and leaving a Book of Mormon with them. More striking, though, was Dan’s admission that he had prayed a couple days before for a sign from God and that he believes meeting us was it. And all because of a still small voice…
The second miracle was of even greater magnitude.
Weverton is a Brazilian exchange student who has gone up and down and in and out with missionaries over the course of the last four months. He recently returned from a trip around the United States. On the trip he met a Brazilian woman who spoke out against the Church and essentially convinced him not to be baptized. We went in prepared and spent the better part of 30 minutes bearing testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, me in the best Portuguese I could muster, feeble and halting as it was. Afterwards we invited him to kneel with us and pray to know right then if Joseph smith was a prophet of God. He did so. we waited. And waited. And he finally looked up and said, “I feel nothing.” We invited him to be baptized. He said, “no.” We walked away from the lesson heartbroken. What more was there to do? That all occurred on Tuesday. Finally, on Saturday, we texted to ask if he needed a ride to church. His response set us all cheering and high fiving: “I want to prepare for baptism on the 25th of January. I have had really bad dreams of protestant churches. Something has been trying to take me away from this church and I know that it is true.” The gospel is true. Miracles happen. The spirit converts. Weverton, the Brazilian followed through on his commitment and was baptized on Saturday 1/25.
The Spirit giveth light to Everyone
We had dinner at a less actives family’s home and after that we asked if the uncle was around because he went to church and is not a member. He came over and we had a lesson. He smelled like an ashtray/homeless man, had a prickly beard and was covered in tattoos, and was sort of confused. We greeted him and at first I was kind of in a ‘whatever’ attitude about talking to him. Anyway, as we started getting know him and saying how the gospel can improve the quality of his life and how, through the gospel he can overcome anything, he started to really listen, he said he loved learning about God and that he knows that he is probably one of his worst children and how he needs to change a lot. He even said that “I’ve done some things that I want to tell you, just so you can know what type of person you are dealing with, I have so many problems.” Something came over me and my companion. I didn’t see a dirty sinner, who I saw was an innocent child, a child of God, all he needs is a little direction and His love. I felt compassion towards him. I testified that through the Savior’s sacrifice, none of that past matters, it can all be wiped away and he can truly feel forgiven and he will learn the meaning of love and express it to his family better. My companion touched his heart as she said, “do you love your son? What would you be willing to give for the life of your son? You’ll give anything right?” His facial expression showed how much love he had for him and that he would give anything for him, he even said “Hermana..” as he touched his heart. That is only a portion of what our Heavenly Father feels for you and me, he wants you to be happy