Would You Be Willing?

President and Sister Durrant of the Texas Dallas Mission have done wonderful things with these 11 words: Would you be willing to listen to a brief presentation about [fill in the blank]. The fill in the blank will vary depending on the type of gospel conversation you are having. Examples include “why we are so happy”, “God’s plan for you”, and “eternal families”.

They’ve tested this brief invitation in the Texas Dallas Mission with real members asking real people and almost 50% will say yes to this invitation. It uses great words like “willing” and “brief” – both of which connote friendly conversation that respects people’s time.

We’ve taken this “Willing and Brief” to video to show how everyday members can do this and post it to their facebook wall. Give it a try!

Missionary Togetherness – Bike Style

The Ultimate Missionary Bike

Elder Sorensen and Elder Carraway are a most unified companionship! During a recent trip to the Mesa Maricopa Stake, I found these two intrepid Elders peddling a member-owned bicycle built for two and pondered the advantages….. no companions biking 100 yards apart, fewer tires and less maintenance, one Elder can drive while the other works and makes phone calls. Could it be the shape of things to come? Stay tuned!

Sister Archibald and Sister Heap – Take MLC Lessons With Them!

Sister Archibald (passenger) and Sister Heap (driver)

Sister Archibald & Heap

One of the nice “touches” Sister Sweeney and I experienced at the Mission President’s Training last June was name placards at every venue. It added a sense of “we’re expecting you” and “you’re important” to the various trainings we attended. When we had our recent visit by the Missionary Department trainers, we drew together 75 of our current and future mission leaders for a special Mission Leadership Council. We had Sister McConkie (our wonderful mission secretary) make up name placards for each of the attendees and they were waiting on the tables as they arrived. Little did we know how that simple gesture would have a similar effect until we saw this missionary car a couple of weeks later – with the name placards neatly placed on each side of the vehicle!

By small and simple things……

Missionary Miracles 4.17.2014

D&C 31:7 Yea, I will open the hearts of the people, and they will receive you. And I will establish a church by your hand

Taking a Name to the Temple!
Last week I was able to help one of our Recent Converts find 15 names to take to the temple from his own family. He was able to go do baptisms for the dead for the first time. He had such a wonderful spirit about him as he was able to be baptized for his ancestors. He was one of the happiest people I have ever seen and had a glow about him that was just amazing. That was one of the most peaceful experiences of my entire life. It was very humbling and very exciting seeing someone so young in the gospel get so excited to do temple work for those that have past on. (Elder Kennedy)

The Miracle Window Strikes!
We did another Miracle window this week and lo and behold, another miracle. We came across a guy named Jeff who was waxing his BMW in his garage. We offered him an Easter Pageant card and he accepted it. We were able to talk with him about the Gospel and it turns out this guy is super prepared. He’s just moving out of the area within the next month or so unless he can find a job. But after we taught him about our message, families, and community strength as members, he said, ”wow, that is very attractive,” and he said we can stop by again and share more. (Elder Miller) (Note: the miracle window is a faith-based finding tool that has the missionaries covenant with Heavenly Father to speak with everyone during the window (usually an hour) and asks Him to bring someone that is prepared to receive our message to that specific location.)

More Names Going to the Temple
This week was full of great miracles but one that stood out was our lesson with “C”, a recent convert. She was diagnosed with HIV many years ago and is the only person known by many doctors to fall into full blown AIDS 3 times then recover. So she was already having a hard life and then was diagnosed with lymphoma and was given like 6 months to live. She beat that too, she said, “God still wants me here for a reason.” So I then said, “the reason is that God wants you to go to the temple, and prepare NOW. Will you meet with Bishop on Sunday and prepare to go the temple?”
She replied, “I got a lot of work to do, but yes, I will.”
She then went on to explain how she has many names from her and her friends family history work. I then went on to invite her again, “Will you prepare to go to the temple, and do that work for those people?”
“Yes! I made a promise and I will keep it,” She explained.
Such an amazing day. The Lord knows us all and it is amazing how he finds times to run the universe and worlds without number, and still find time to help and save every individual. (Elder Packard)

The Miracle Window Strikes Again
This has been a good week and I have learned a lot. This week we had a really cool experience of finding by the spirit. We were at our house and we were prompted to knock on #48 in an apartment complex. We went and knocked and the lady was prepared and we are teaching her. That was a testimony that exact obedience brings exact revelation. It is amazing how many thing the lord will give us when we are doing his will and ask righteously. That is something that I am going to work harder on is more meaningful prayer and working on receiving more revelation for the area. (Elder Joshua Clark)

Be Not Weary in Well Doing
So, we started out the day going to a less active’s home to do service. No one was home. We then went out with a Young Woman who is thinking about serving a mission but isn’t quite sure. We knocked on a woman’s door who started yelling at us and told us that she never wants us to come back and never wants us to talk to her again…not fun. Then we made some phone calls we felt that we needed call an investigator that we haven’t been able to teach for a while and wanted to meet with…She hung up on us once when she found out it was us, and then when we tried calling back, she hung up before she even answered. Then we went out to contact people. No one would listen and just walked away from us. Then we had dinner with some members that have a less-active son, and when we started talking about God, he made it clear that he does not believe in God. We asked him if he ever prayed to find out if what he believes is true. He said no to which we invited him to do so. he said that he will not pray to even find out. Then he got up and walked away until we were done discussing the gospel. It definitely was a very emotionally and spiritually trying day. The entire day I was just praying that something good would come from the day and our efforts and everything was just going really, really bad. Then as we were driving back home, we had a little extra time and decided to stop by a former investigator’s house that was on the way. At first we were about to give up because we could not find it, but right when we were about to leave, we found the house. We knocked on the door a couple of times with no answer, and we were about to drive away when a girl opened the door. She was the daughter of the person that we were looking for and we (through the practice that we got from the entire day) were able to teach her about the gospel and give her a Book of Mormon. She said that she was so grateful that we stopped by because she said that she really needed someone to give direction in her life. We will be teaching her tonight. What a miracle, and a testament of faith. Faith is an action. I prayed and prayed and prayed to have at least one good thing come from the day, and even though nothing was going well, we still acted upon the fact that God will answer our prayers as long as we believe that He will. And He does. I am so grateful for this. (Sister Hurst)

I (the Lord) Will Open the Hearts of the People (D&C 31:7)
Another amazing thing that happened this week is that a non-member signed up to feed us on Wednesday. We went over there and we were completely blown away by her and how much she loves this church and wants to be a part of it! She just wants her husband to be a part of it as well. So we were eating with them, and the entire time, Sis. White and I were just sitting there letting her teach her husband. It was pretty funny. And then the best part is that she turned to her husband and asked him “will you let the sisters teach you and will you come to church with us?” Sis. White and I were stunned. I honestly didn’t even know what to say. But, he said “Yes!” And now we are going to be teaching a family of 4!! (Sister Hurst)

Arizona Scottsdale Mission – Latest Arrivals 4.1.2014

On Monday, March 31st, the ASM welcomed thirteen new missionaries. Of the 13, 7 are Spanish speakers and 6 of those came from the Mexico City MTC. Elder Barli came from Argentina directly to the Provo MTC where he stayed for 10 days. Two of the 13 were visa waiting missionaries (Elder Bussiere and Elder Erickson). Elder Bussiere got his visa on April 1 and will be off to Brazil on May 5th.

We are so very blessed to welcome these well-prepared missionaries! They were all much needed as several Spanish areas were closed for a transfer awaiting their arrival. The new arrivals were taken directly from the airport to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where they toured the center, had individual and group pictures taken and had a short testimony meeting. The testimony meetings HAVE to be short because missionaries who arise at 2 an 3 am are pretty tired and sleepy by noon. Sitting down for any length of time produces instant sleep!

After lunch, a nap and some orientation, the English speakers headed to Downtown Scottsdale and a Paradise Valley Community College; the Spanish speakers headed to an area in Paradise Valley rich in Spanish speakers called “the square” because it is about 1 square mile in size. They had much success getting referrals and first-time contacting. It also provided that much-needed breakthrough experience that enables them to say “I’m now a full time missionary and I can do this!” All new arrivals were in bed by 9:30. The Sisters slept in the mission home while the Elders slept at Elder an Sister McConkie’s condo nearby.

After such a long day, morning comes early even when the alarm doesn’t ring until 6:30 am. The next morning (April 1) President Sweeney met the new Sisters on the back patio area for exercising – where they did the mission version of 10-minute trainer while Sister Sweeney made breakfast of eggs, bacon, waffles with butter syrup and smoothies. After some training on what to accomplish during their first 12 weeks, companions were assigned (note the hugging pictures) and by 2 pm they were off to their first areas.

We love them all!