Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Tuesday morning I woke up with a massive headache, was congested, coughing up big chunks of...yeah, and felt like my body hurt everywhere. I called Sister Sorensen who told me to take the day off and call the mission doctor so he could order me some medicine to pick up. That was not a fun day. When you're working at full speed and suddenly have to stop and stay in bed all day, it sucks! There is a flu bug going around all of Findlay, Ohio and it seems like everyone is catching it. I think I got it from one of the families we visit and teach. Some people have it a lot worse and are throwing up, so I'm very blessed to just have a head cold version of the flu. Luckily I woke up January 1st and the felt 90% better and am now fully functional. TIME TO WORK!!!

This week I have seen so many miracles; seen how the Lord's hand plays a part in our everyday lives. A few little stories:

- We were at the library a week or two ago and a lady started talking with us, asked us to stop by her house so we could share with her the message we have. We got the the street that her house was supposed to be on and drove up and down the street looking for house number 941. There was no such number. The last house on the street (as far as we knew) was 931, so we thought that maybe we had written down the wrong number. We went and knocked on the door and nobody answered. As we headed back to the car, we got in and saw a lady walking her dog so I got out to say hello and introduce myself (maybe SHE was the reason we were supposed to visit "941"). I walked over to her and her dog FREAKED out and made it very clear to not come any closer. The lady (and her dog) didn't want to talk so I headed back to the truck. My companion was on the phone with some other missionaries as I got back into the truck and I looked at the 931 house and RIGHT as I did the door opened and a man poked his head out, wondering how had knocked a minute or so ago. My companion ended his phone call and we decided to try the house one more time. We had a movie called Finding Faith in Christ (good for any religion, about Jesus Christ and his earthly ministry - His birth, the miracles he performed, His Atonement, His resurrection, etc.) so we walked back across the street to the house (we were parked down the road a little bit) and knocked again. A young couple answered and we explained who we were and who we were looking for. They said that they get her mail sometimes so maybe she used to live there, but not anymore. We asked if they would like the free movie and told them what our purpose as missionaries is. We asked if we could come back in the next week and share with them the message we have and they excitedly accepted. We will be going back this Saturday. There are no such things as coincidences.

- A young man who is a recent convert to the church has been struggling with going to church because work does not allow him to. We have been teaching him since I arrived in Findlay that if he was faith that Heavenly Father will help him get Sundays off and he exercises this faith by doing all that he can to get Sunday's off that he will find a way. As he was relatively new he didn't want to ask for time off. It's a commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy - God will not punish us for trying to keep His commandments. We kept trying to help our friend understand this concept. We stopped by his house and he popped his head out saying that he couldn't talk because he had to go to work, then his face lit up and he said "Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you guys! I got all Sundays off of work!!" We were all SO excited! He told his boss that he needed all Sundays off or that he would have to look for another job. The boss said 'Okay' and gave him Sundays off. Faith is beliving in that which cannot be seen. Faith is Jesus Christ is trusting in Jesus Christ. Through Him, anything is possible.

- We stopped by a former investigator's house, only to find out that he was sleeping. We were bummed out and started to drive away when we saw a lady walking down a side alley/street. My companion handed me a dvd we had sitting between us (I think it was called Families are Forever or something) and said, Give this to that girl. He turned into the alley, I rolled down my window and said "Excuse me..." She looked over and walked over and looked very familiar. We started talking and turns out she had been to church last Sunday, as her aunt/cousins are members of our church. We asked what she was doing right now and she said nothing, just heading home from her walk. She invited us over to her house so we headed there and waited for her to finish her walk. We'll call her Susan. Susan is 24. We were visiting with her as she explained to us how she was looking for a church to join, as her and her boyfriend are talking about settling down and getting married. Before they tie the knot, Susan wants to have a church and be baptized. She said, "It seems like everyone around me is getting baptized, I feel left out, I want to be baptized!" We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism by Immersion, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) and extended an invitation to the baptized which she joyfully accepted. There was such a sweet Spirit that entered the home as we spoke with her, and she even noted how good she felt about everything we were teaching her. And that's what the Spirit does, bear witness of truth. Susan's mother was on the computer while we taught her and we invited her to come to church. She didn't have church clothes was her excuse. So we fixed that and went out and bought her some church clothes! (I have never shopped for a woman before, people gave us weird looks, although I guess people always give us weird looks...so oh well)

- Susan and her mother both came to church last Sunday. (In fact, we had 9 investigators to church, plus 5 or 6 little kids - it was awesome). Susan and her mom both only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but both said they enjoyed it. We stopped by there house yesterday to teach another lesson and this time the mother sat in on the discussion. We asked how they liked church and the mother LOVED it. She said how it was so different from other churches, that the people are all so friendly and down-to-earth, that the people made her feel like she was a part of their church family even though she had never been before. I think that's how Jesus Christ would want his church to be. As we were teaching Susan and her mom (remember, this Susan was the one who we originally went over to teach) Susan felt sick and excused herself - she needed to lay down. We continued to teach the mother about the Restoration who loved it. In and out of our lesson was another daughter, a little older than Susan and who has a few little kids. We started to talk to her and told her she was always welcome to church. She told us that she used to go to a Catholic church but stopped because she would ask questions that the Priest couldn't answer and once was told (by a Priest) to "shut up and stop doubting your faith." She hasn't been to a church since, but has read the Bible front to cover. She started asking us some of the questions and we explained them simply and clearly. She said, "See, if they could have just told me that, I would have been happy!" We talked with her about the Book of Mormon, and it's importance. That it's not meant to replace the Bible, but to expound upon it and help answer those questions. We all know that the Bible has been translated and changed many many times. Around 400 AD they had things taken out and changed in the Bible, so we don't know how much is the original writings (this isn't what Mormons believe, this is a fact). We believe the Bible to be true as long as it is translated correctly and we read from the King James Version. We had a great discussion with the second daughter (we'll call her Pam) and Pam said that she would try to come to church and really wants to read the Book of Mormon. As we were leaving, the mother thanked us for coming over. She told us that she always feels so good and uplifted whenever we come over and asked if we would please come back and teach her more. Mind you, this mother used to fear us missionaries. Whenever she would see the missionaries she would close her blinds, lock her door, and hide. (I guess she had a bad experience with Johovah's Witness' once). It was so neat of her to recognize that sweet, filling Spirit that enters into the home as we teach them these principles of truth.

Well, I have a lot to do today. I love you all and miss you. I suck at writing letters, so sorry. Transfers are tomorrow - I'm staying in Findlay my companion is leaving. Happy new year! God Speed!

Love, David

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