Yea, open your mouths and they shall be filled, saying: Repent, repent, and prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make hispaths straight; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; Yea, repent and be baptized, every one of you, for a remission of your sins; yea, be baptized even by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost. Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel…(D&C 33:10-12)
Open Your Mouth (Invite!) Part 1
This week we found a new investigator! We were trying to visit a part-member family but they weren’t home, so we went across the street and talked to a man who was outside his house cleaning his car. We introduced ourselves, talked a bit about the church and then invited him to the Gilbert Temple open house. He didn’t accept the invitation and said he is a Greek Orthodox so he wasn’t interested. However, we started talking with him more and he then started to open up to us about how his sister just passed away, his wife divorced him, he is bi-polar and suffers from anxiety and depression… We then bring up the temple again and talk about the peace we felt there being able to feel close to God and feel the truth that families are eternal. After he talks more about his situations he’s been dealing with, he says he thinks maybe he does need God more in his life, and then he pauses and says, “You know what, I think I will take one of those” and points to the temple invitation. We talk to him a bit more and then he asks us to come inside and share with his mom the things we had shared with him. Well we then walk inside and talk to his mom about the temple and a couple points of the plan of salvation. Literally, I have never on my mission felt the spirit testify to someone through me that what I was saying was true, as strongly as I did at that moment as I talked about eternal families and the peace and love that is found at the temple. It was probably the strongest I’ve ever felt the spirit and I thought I was gonna die! It was a huge testimony to me that the Lord truly works through us as we just open our mouths and talk to people, and that we are just vessels that are used so that the Spirit can pass through us to teach and testify to these people. Well the woman was really touched by the message of temples and eternal families, but was hesitant about coming to the temple because she isn’t feeling well and wants to stay home. But we are definitely going back to teach them!
Open Your Mouth With Less Actives (Invite!) Part 2
We had an awesome experience with a less active young man. Sam has been having a lot of issues recently and hasn’t come to church in years. We once took him out arrowhead hunting with us and bishop but couldn’t get him to church. That night after feeling really bummed about the news we decided to stop by his home and share a short message. After sharing a short scripture we asked him if he wanted to join us at church Sunday. He told us he didn’t go and his mother told us that because of his bad experiences there she didn’t really push him to go. So as we asked him why we found out that he had been bullied and made fun of quite a few times. He couldn’t feel the spirit at church and just the thought of having to see those people again was overwhelming for him and stressed him. After he told us what was going on we talked to him about it and Elder Dxxx and I related some personal stories and experiences. We told him how much Heavenly Father loves him and all the members who want to see him there. We even offered to sit with him and his mother and promised them they’d be welcomed. We told him that the people aren’t perfect but the gospel is and we can’t miss out on the blessings that come with the sacrament and ordinances. 45 minutes later we finally convinced him that he should come, and offered an invitation again. He accepted! His mother was shocked and throughout the week I’d see him on the streets. I’d always make sure to ask him if I’d seem him at church and it was always yes. We kept on him until Saturday night and sure enough he showed up to church. I sat with him and his mother and expected him to only stay for sacrament but to my surprise he stayed all three hours. At the end of church his mother came up to us thanking us for getting him to church. She’s been trying for a long time but said that she never knew how to get him there. I know it wasn’t us who got him there but it was the spirit and his own motivation that got him there and kept him all 3 hours. She asked us to keep on coming and offered to feed us 🙂 So we happily accepted. When we reported to the ward council that he committed to coming to church they couldn’t believe it. Now I know it sounds like I’m bragging about it but it is exactly what the ward needed to know that we do care. Everyone greeted him and told us how excited they were to see him. It was a blessing not only for us but for him as well. I think we were humbled enough to get through to his heart and help motivate him through the spirit. He was warmly welcomed by everyone.
Open Your Mouth + Service = Success (Invite!) Part 3
On Saturday morning we went to visit a referral, Cathy. Her friend lives in Mesa and felt inspired to call us up and send us over to meet her. Cathy is really sick right now and could use some help. So last Saturday we went over to meet her and she didn’t want us to teach her but she said we could come help clean up her house since she has been too weak to keep it up. So This Saturday we went back and her house really was a mess. We couldn’t spend all day there so we picked the most important things that she wanted done. Sister Lxxx did a good job cleaning up the kitchen and I cleaned her bedroom. It was bad so I am still surprised at how amazing we made those two rooms look in only an hour. After we finished we left her with a thought and a prayer. Then I told her that we would like to come back and help her out some more but we are also teachers and we would like to teach her about what we as Latter-day saints believe. She said she would like that. She then told me that she was wary of letting two young girls come and teach her because she has gone through so much and faced death at least 15 times in her life. She is dying and didn’t think that we could help her because we can’t relate to what she’s going through. As we read to her from the scriptures and prayed with her though she felt something and was really touched. She said that maybe a new perspective from the younger generation is what she needs right now. So next Saturday we are going back, we will clean for an hour and then teach for an hour and then pray together. She is so sweet; I can’t wait to teach her.
Open Your Mouth Ft. Apache Style (Invite!) Part 4
We are working with a non member family who have never wanted to talk with “The Mormons” for some reason. But the father decided to let us in. They have quickly become great friends of ours. A couple weeks ago, the father got thrown off a horse and shattered both his wrists. As we were meeting with him, we talked a lot about the priesthood power and its abilities. He agreed to let us give him a blessing. I told him that he would heal much quicker then the doctors anticipated. About a week after he went in to get his casts because they had to put some metal in his arms and waited for the swelling to go down for the casts. When he went in they took another Xray and the bones were completely fine. There wasn’t even traces of fractures or anything in the bones! What a miracle. He now just has ace bandages around his arms for the surgery wounds. I am so grateful for being able to use the priesthood that I hold! (Clark)
Open Your Mouth Even If It Seems Impossible (Invite!) Part 5
But here is the miracle of the week! Gary Bxxxx! He has been less active for years! We have invited him to the temple and church and taught him for a long time! His teaching record has pages stapled onto it. Well we had an appointment with him Thursday night at 8, like always and sister Hxxxx and I just felt stumped! Like what do we teach this guy! He has had all the lessons, and we have taught him so much. We just felt stumped. Well we remembered to look back to weekly planning and we planned to talk about the sacrament. Right as we pulled into the lesson I told sister Hxxx let’s get him to go to the chapel while we talk about the sacrament. We didn’t think he would like the idea because he told us he wouldn’t go inside the church. But we didn’t see the harm in asking. So we walked into his house and asked and just twinkled our eyes a bit and he finally decided after a little persuasion to let the Cxxx family (the members that were with us) drive him to the chapel and have the lesson there. When we walked in we said a prayer and the Spirit was so strong. As we talked about the sacrament and the atonement everyone teared up a little bit. We invited him to claim the blessings he has been missing and come to church and he agreed! We were so excited! the spirit was so strong! The next day we brought him some church clothes and it was Valentine’s Day so we sang “Love One Another” to him. He was so excited about the church clothes he went out and bought himself some more! Then he came to church on Sunday and loved it! I believe we have finally turned a corner with him after much persistence
Open Your Mouth with Service (Invite!) Because it Works – Part 6
We found this lady named Axxx Hxxx this last week or so and she’s AWESOME! She was a neighbor to a person that was just coming back to church that moved. When that lady was being moved Axxx was helping and noticed how much help the member was getting and commented on how great the church is at being helpful to its members. One of the women there, Sister Dxxx, got her phone # and she called in less than a week and came to church that Sunday. The day after that we taught her at the Dxxxxs for the first time and then took her to the Gilbert Open House the next day. We just had another lesson this last week with her and she’s on date for the 15th! The funny thing is, the lessons we gave her were actually very sub-par, but despite that she wants to keep going with everything! It just goes to show that when members do their missionary work it really WORKS!