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)

Monday Miracles – 3.3.2014

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!

Monday Miracles 2.17.2014

Since becoming President of the Church I have felt an increased urgency for us to be engaged in this rescue effort. As faithful members of the Church have reached out with love and understanding, many have returned to full activity and are enjoying added blessings in their lives. There is yet much to do in this regard, and I encourage all to continue to reach out to rescue. Said the Lord, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).  (President Thomas S. Monson)

To The Rescue – Story # 1

To recount another miracle here in Vxxxx, there is a family here, the Jxxx family.  The Father has been inactive for years and the wife and child are not members at all. The missionaries and the ward council have been trying for years and years to be able to teach the family. So, just like every missionary has done in the past we go over to see them, visit them and see how they’re doing. To our astonishment, the father himself sets up an appointment for us to come by and teach the family. He later said that he is ready to come back. The wife and child now have baptismal dates for mid-February. I’m not sure why the Lord blessed us with such a magnificent miracle, but I rejoice at just the thought of it.  (Elder Russell)

To The Rescue – Story # 2 – The Spirit Prepares People, but We Must Invite Them to Change

Rescue Week 8 – Elder Bxxx and Elder Williams had an awesome visit with Bro. Hxxxx. Elder Williams talked to him a lot about their time in Viet Nam and what they had in common. Elder Williams thinks we should talk to the VFW about Jack and that there will probably need to be some kind of intervention to help him. Something more than we can give him.

Rescue Week 9 –  We had an awesome visit with Bro. Hxxxx. He had been reading the scriptures and presented a verse in Revelation to Sister Bxxx to clarify about not adding to “this book”.  He said he had a long conversation with his younger brother who lives in California and his brother told him that he needed to let his past go. He said that is what he has decided to do… let it go. He seemed more determined and focused.

He called us Saturday night and told us that he was going to church on Sunday, attending his brothers ward. We told him that we’d be there as well, and we would sit with him. He said that he’d like that. He also said that Elder Williams called him and the two of them will be doing some rock hunting in a couple of weeks. He was excited about that.

Sunday was hard on him though, spiritually. He had done some drinking before he came, supposedly to give him courage, but it had an opposite effect. He was overcome with guilt and self-consciousness because he was dressed in jeans, and a denim shirt, with a beard. He said he didn’t belong and felt out of place.  With tears running down his cheeks, he said he probably would not be back but the Spirit has confirmed that he will. He felt the Spirit, which was overwhelming to him. After sacrament, he seemed to be anxious to leave but we found out later that he spent some time in Bishop Sxxx’s office, with Bishop Sxxx. We talked to his brother about our buying him a white shirt and tie but his brother had already been working on this. We have an appointment to meet with Bro. Hxxxx again this week.

Rescue Week 10 –  We had another awesome visit with Bro Hxxx. He had several scriptures ready for us to interpret, as well as definitions in the dictionary.  We joked a bit and he laughed a lot. He told us that he didn’t think he’d go back to church after last week but we told him that is exactly what he needed to do. Sister Bxxx told him that the first time was the hardest and that each time he went now, it would be easier and he’d be more comfortable. He said he didn’t have the clothing to go so Elder Bxxx asked him if he’d please accept a gift from us of a new white shirt and tie. He said he wouldn’t wear a tie because he doesn’t like the buttons on his shirts to go up to his neck. He reluctantly agreed to our giving him this gift. He also told us that he’d gone by the rest home to see his mother, who he hasn’t seen in 6-7 years because she has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know who he is. He said it was a good visit and he planned on going every Sunday after church. He then clamped his hand over his mouth because he realized he’d just committed to going to church every Sunday. This was a fun moment. When we left, he said the prayer which he thanked Father in Heaven for all of his blessings and for the gospel.  We took his white shirt and string tie to him on Saturday, along with a large bowl of vegetable beef soup Sister Bxxx had made. He did go to church and he said he felt like to he could forward and bear his testimony. He didn’t but he did go with a brother who was his mother’s home teacher to visit with her again.

To The Rescue – Story # 3 – When Members and Missionaries work together, Miracles Happen!

There was an elderly couple who have been less-active for years because they were offended at a ward activity some 14 years ago. They have moved up here to North Scottsdale because he has to get Chemo treatments regularly at the Mayo Clinic. They had just got back from some rehab facility and we, as well as the ward members have been trying to contact them for some time. We were to go on splits that night with the High Priests group but we ended up just going out with one (Brother Hill, Elder Stockdale, and myself). We had some appointments with members to go practice teaching but Brother Hill called us and told us to cancel them and go visit this family with them. To make a long story short, the Spirit was very strong during our visit and we were able to help move their bed into their garage so that they had more room. Elder Sxxxxx shared a great scripture from the Book of Mormon which resolved their concerns. The spirit was so strong. So we finished up they were both in tears and we offered to serve them and we were able to carry out a bed for them. Elder Miller is a giant and he basically carried the bed on his own it felt like We found out later from the relief society president that they felt such compassion from our visit and they felt the Spirit so strong that they want to start coming back to church and she said that she would be re-baptized to come back into the church. We started teaching them this week with the Restoration. Turns out her records were removed while they were in Tuscon. So she wants to get baptized again. She came to church on Sunday as well.

Monday Miracles 1.27.2014

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

“Late” Monday Miracles – 1.20.2014

Thirty Years Away But Returning to the Temple and the Church!
The next experience was an experience I know I will remember for the rest of my life. Pretty much since I got up here (Ft. Apache), I have been working with Brother and Sister Cheney. They came back to church for the first time in over 30 years about a month ago, and they have been faithful ever since. They have their sights on the temple! The way we found them was a miracle too! Elder Vete, Elder Leslie and I went to visit a member for referrals one day. He wasn’t home but his less active grandson was, so we talked with him a little bit and ask him for a referral. He couldn’t think of anyone but we were determined to get one! We told him to name of the first name that comes to his head. He said “Jon Cheney, but I don’t think he would be interested at all.” We took it anyways and went to visit the Cheneys! We found them and he was so grateful. He told us that just a couple days before he was on his knees praying for help and answers, and all the sudden we showed up! What a miracle! Yesterday he bore his testimony to us and the feeling of the Spirit was overwhelming. He talked about how we were an answer to prayer and that he needed to come back and how he wished he never left. He talked about how he knows this is the true church and while he was talking I couldn’t help but see him as a great leader in the church one day. He is a very influential man in the reservation and I know he will bring many people back just through his example. I love being here in Ft. Apache. The feelings I had during Brother Cheney’s testimony were the same feelings I had during Kyras baptism. I know that the work of bringing people back is just as if not MORE important and the Holy Ghost testified that to me yesterday. I love this work, I love this mission, and I love this Gospel!

Inviting – Nothing Gets Done Until We Open Our Mouths!
Now for the miracle this week. it was the last day with elder rxxx and we were going to visit rosalinda, a long-term investigator that hasn’t given up coffee. Well she wasn’t home, and we were about to leave when her daughter came out and then invited us in. we sat down and then she started the conversation by telling us that she was less active but that she wants to come back. Also her husband is not a member and she wants us to teach him and help him become converted. She then adds that she has been talking to her group of about 20 friends from when she was active (who are all less active part member families now) and they all want to come back to raise their kids the right way. So basically this fell into our lap and there will be tons of people affected just because we had a plan, and had visited an investigator we had been prompted to visit at that time. The church is so true! It truly was a miracle and I am so excited to see what all comes of it and how this will impact the area.

Six Weeks A Missionary – And “Still Here”
Well, there have been stressful days, there have been happy days, there have been busy days, disappointing days, and just days that are long, but we’ve worked through them, and am still able to do the work; so I figure we haven’t died yet, so we must be doing alright.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ Changes Lives – Jesus – Continuing
Jesus is still our little gem of a hard-working, studiously searching, spiritually starving, physically fighting (his addictions not us ha ha) investigator. Thanks to Father, Jesus is progressing. I think he really is putting in the effort to stop drinking and thanks to Sister Hxxx, we know of addiction recovery classes we can have him go to. Since he is currently unemployed, he should be able to go. Faithfully (like “hopefully” but we’re putting effort into it so it falls more under the category of “faith”) he will be spiritually and physically prepared to soon enter the waters of baptism.

The Gospel Changes Lives – A Second Witness
The man who sells ice cream and used to live in a wood shack moved into a trailer that his Christian friend left him as inheritance. And we saw him at Church and I called him out during my talk saying how happy I was to see him and to see everyone like him who can make changes in their life. Because he was always so depressed in that little wood shack whenever we’d visit him. And now after having known of him for a year and visiting him for months he is happy. We see him smiling, sharing the Gospel. He read the whole Bible and Book of Mormon. We see him with his children and he’s learning English. And he wants to have a wife and do good things in his life.

Monday Miracles 1.13.2014

“We often consider ourselves more or less worthless and in some moods, even beyond help…. But worse still. We do not trust the good news. We do not trust the glad tidings. We do not trust the second opinion of the only Physician who will ever finally judge. This is the Christ. This is He who pleads with us to come boldly to the throne of Grace…… He, a Seer who transcends all seers, knows our past and our future, and whatever our present soul sicknesses, He knows who we were in the premortal spheres and he does envision our future—what we are to become in the resurrection. In contrast to that, we live in the blur of amnesia about our past and we’re subject to fits of doubt and disbelief about our real potential. But hear these words of Elder George Q. Cannon: ‘Now this is the truth. We humble people, we who feel ourselves sometimes so worthless—so good for nothing. We are not so worthless as we think. There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save and that he has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given his angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and even in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are children of God and He has actually given his angels charge concerning us and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.’”Gospel Truth, comp. Jerreld L. Newquist, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974, 1:2.) (The Savior, the Sacrament and Self Worth, Truman G. Madsen)
A Missionary Finds the Love of God 
So for personal study i have been praying and listening to talks by Elder Holland. But one day I was praying well it was more like a companionship inventory with Heavenly Father, and I just received so many answers to my prayers and just relief from everything that has been on my mind. I had a clear thought that where ever he asks me to go I should go. Along with whatever he asks me to do. So if I’m needed to teach here in English, or Spanish, or in Brazil in Portuguese I will do what he asks. I also told Heavenly Father how much I love being here. How much I love being a missionary, and how much I love the Savior. I just said everything in my heart and when I finished I just felt new. Like it doesn’t matter what’s in the past. I shouldn’t be scared to move forward because God is supporting me. It was one of the best moments I can remember.  Just feeling like I can relax.  God will continue to shape me into who he wants me to become I just need to… listen to the Spirit.
He Will Lead You to Them, or He Will Lead Them to You (p. 155 PMG)
One day, Sister xxxx and I were walking around a neighborhood. We had made a goal that day to talk to everyone we met. Well, we walk past this gentleman, but we did not say “hi.”  So I got an impression to turn around and go talk to him. I tell Sister xxxx, but then I was like “Let’s just keep walking.”  But then, I was like, “Let’s go talk to him.”  So we turned around, talked to him, shared a message with him, gave him a Book of Mormon, and now he’s getting baptized on January 4, 2014! It was an amazing day and my first baptismal date on my mission. I’m just so excited because I know this gospel will change his life. He wants a family which is just perfect! The gospel is centered on families. It was an amazing experience.
A cool experience that happened this week was we were walking down 16th avenue on Friday night and a car pulled over and this lady started to talk to us. It turns out that she is a former investigator that pretty much disappeared 2 weeks into last transfer. She said that she was thinking a lot about her Dad (who was a member) while she was driving and then she saw us walking and pulled over. It was really neat and she told us she wanted to start the lessons again. It was awesome because if we had been in any other place at that time we wouldn’t have found her. The Spirit is pretty much the greatest thing ever in this work.
And More!
It seems like each week more miracles keep happening. This Monday we received a referral from Elder xxxx and Elder xxxx for a lady named Chy. We had a phone number but only knew the complex that she lived in. We had a lesson that night in the complex and so we headed over there. After the lesson we decided to call Chy and as we were pulling out the phone to call her a car suddenly stopped in front of us. A lady stepped out and said, “Are you looking for Chy?” we said yes. “That’s me!” she said. She asked us to stop by in 20 minutes. We frantically called some members looking for a third male to come with us, and miraculously got one very last minute. We had an amazing lesson with her Monday night. She told us that her friend just got back from his mission, and his return has really sparked her interest. She had a lot of questions because her entire life, her family had told her false information about the church. She had wanted to meet missionaries for a few days, and finally on Monday she said to herself while walking in Walmart, I need to find the missionaries. As she looked up Elders xxxx and xxxx were standing there. We set a baptismal date with her the next night for Jan 18. We got some fellowshippers for her and they are doing great! The next night we came back and had invited her to pray about the Book of Mormon. She said that night she had prayed, but only felt a little bit of warmth in her heart, but the next morning she decided to pray out loud for the first time ever. She said that she was overcome with the Spirit. She has now finished 1st Nephi, and came to church. We also took her to a baptismal service on Saturday and the members are doing so great to fellowship her.
Need I Say, “More”?
We have seen miracle after miracle! we over reached our Less-active, Recent Convert lessons goal (20) for the week which we thought would be a major stretch in and of itself, we are now seeing 4 families/people who had previously shown no interest in meeting with us or coming back to church. We’re seeing hearts softening right and left and we love it!

Monday Miracles 12.30.2013

Jacob 5:72 And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things.
Here was last weeks Story….
Yesterday we found a new investigator! I have never met anyone in my life that wants to change his life more than this man. When I first met him he was extremely drunk and said “PREACH To me!” ……  In the middle of the complex, we kneeled on the grass and asked him to pray. He told us that he couldn’t. We waited and asked again, still he wouldn’t. We told him that we would help him and my companion began and asked him to follow and then he would continue.  He did, and then just began crying. My companion also finished the prayer and the man’s young son came running out of the house, He looked at his son and expressed again how much he wanted to change. But this time, His eyes looked different. I can’t tell you what it was, I just saw something clearer, and I don’t know.. Different!! He promised us that the next time we come (which will be today) He will not be drunk and thanked us and we left.
Here is this week’s update….
The man that I told you about last week, Jesus, who was so drunk but wanted to change his life is really pulling through! He came to church on Sunday and we went to the lights last night! It was really great! I love so see him and watch the change that comes every time. He knows that he has a baptismal date and says he is going to work really hard to achieve it. It will take a lot of faith and work. But we know that He can do it!
The Dawning of Consecration from a new Missionary….  
There have been hard times, but the good/great times make up for all the hard times. I love going outside and sharing the gospel with everyone that I see at the park. It was weird at first, but I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve also read and have become more familiar with the Book of Mormon. I’m really happy about that. I can now use stories in my lessons and passages to help my investigator.Everything is going great so far and I can’t wait for the months to come. Only 17 more. It’s hard to not think/sing my favorite songs from home, but I’m doing my best to only sing hymns. It’s fun to shout and sing them while riding on my bike. Nothing better than singing “Nearer My God to Thee” in the freezing cold of the night. It’s the best!
The Lord labors with us….
We have been teaching a Catholic woman about some of the gospel, and since we have been teaching her I have been getting frustrated because its basically a comparing of religions and the last time we visited with her we got into a heated conversation about the trinity and I did not like that. Afterwards I brought this up with my companion about how I didn’t think we should teach her anymore because we are only just comparing religions with her and she is not going to be converted because she is too far set in her own religion that she can’t feel the truth of ours. This was also a pretty heated conversation to which my companion’s response was very calm and clear. She knows that sometimes it gets hard, and that there have been times when she has wanted to drop her as well. But then she just gets that feeling that she just needs to keep going because if we don’t teach her, nobody will. We decided to pray about this and I took this question to the temple. The answer to this question was also very clear. I heard a voice in my head saying; “You have no idea what powers I hold and what I can do”
again…and again….
Then one day this week during companionship study Sister xxxx mentioned how she just wants to be teaching more lessons because she feels that we’re not accomplishing as much as we should be as missionaries. So we read the section “No Effort is Wasted” in in chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel. I pointed out that we’ve both been put into a new area with an area book that didn’t have a lot of people to teach, but we’ve been doing all we can to add people to our teaching pool. We’ve been trying to contact as many potential and former investigators, we’ve been asking for referrals from everyone, and we’ve been talking to everyone and taking every opportunity we get to share the gospel. Despite all that, we haven’t been having much success and that’s something that was bringing me down for a day or two as well. But I mentioned that God put us in this area for a reason. He wouldn’t put us here to waste time and run in circles and not accomplish anything or see any miracles. He knows there are people here we’re meant to find, to teach, and to bring unto Christ. We just need to keep doing all we can on our part, and keep praying and having the faith that we’ll find people to teach. Literally one minute after we discussed all this, the phone beeps and we have a text referral for a couple who had visited the Mesa temple to see the lights and sent a request to be taught about temples and family history by the missionaries!  A Christmas miracle we’ve been waiting for!
and again.
Last night a couple in Show Low invited us to go caroling and delivering treats to some people in the ward with them. This was very successful. We went to go visit a part-member family named the Lxxxs. As they opened the door we started to sing “Silent Night” and their down-syndrome daughter says to her Mom (non-member) “I know her” and then runs a gives my companion a big hug saying again “
I know you, I know you.” There is no possible way that she knows Sister xxx. We believe that she must have recognized Sister xxxx from the spirit world. The family invited us all in to visit. The mother explained how she had been going through chemo-therapy lately and how the ‘missionaries always seem to show up at the right time in her life.’ She explained how she had met with missionaries before and I asked if she would like to meet with missionaries again, she said sure. Her very less-active husband said that we were welcome in his home anytime and that he still believed in the church. We are going their for dinner and a lesson on Thursday night! We are very excited to teach this family! This was quite the unexpected miracle!