Que Magnifico! (How Great!)
What a great week we've had! It started great and ended great! I am really grateful to be serving in this area right now, there is so much good to be done here and I am increasingly finding that I am doing the things I love every day.
First off, what a great conference! We watched the sessions with the great members of our stake, and we saw President Monson's announcement at our High Counselor’s house. That was amazing! We are a true and living church, and I have a feeling I will be getting an 18 year old companion sometime in the future :) I know I would've just JUMPED out of high school to go on a mission...we need more good missionaries! If we weren't in the last days before, we certainly are there now.
The miracles were flowing this week...thanks to a lot of things :) We had a first lesson with a new family on Monday and I was really thankful for the spirit and for preparation going in there. J, E, and their daughter C all became new investigators this week. J has had other Elders knock on his door before, but he has never opened up to them, he has always made excuses. But Elder Killian and I have developed many door entry methods :) Actually, the real credit goes to the Spirit for touching this man's heart on the doorstep.
So we went back for the second lesson a few days later and we were on splits (with my "brother", Taylor Squires! (The recent RM son of the Squires family that I lived with. We are basically the same person). And it was my turn to give the first vision! Because I have been training for 6 months, I have always let my companion do the first vision in the lessons, but this time it was my turn. We took it really slow and let the Spirit sink in deep, and J and E both said they were touched, and are really going to pray and read to know if it is true. They also recorded conference to watch it later, and they want to meet with us 3 times a week. I just know that the Spirit is the most important element in this work. I don't want to impart information to these people. Rather I want them each to have a personal experience with the Spirit and then act on it. He is the teacher. We will have to work hard to help C open up to us too- it is understandable that an 11 year old is shy around us, but even she has been reading her own Book of Mormon with her parents! I just can't tell you what a miracle find this family is...I know EVERY home in their trailer park, and this one had never answered the door before, but Heavenly Father definitely knew when it was their time.
We had another miracle lesson with O this week! We went out contacting with our English Teachers this week and we decided to go by her house. She had just barely gotten home from the store. What a tender mercy. So we started to teach this sister right there and we wanted to help her with her struggles to read and pray about the Book of Mormon that she has had. Suddenly the impression came to ask her English teachers to bear their testimonies of the Book of Mormon and we followed it. There was such a strong presence of love from God and love between these people and Elder and Sister Osborn bore testimony to O and we translated. I was thankful for the power of the Holy Ghost to touch hearts as O said "That Moroni 10:3-5 really caught my attention, I will definitely read more, and pray more about it" She offered a humble prayer at the end of that lesson, and she has read a lot since! Hopefully she will make her baptismal date!
Now conference...wow!!! I loved it!! We are certainly led by seers and revelators today. The main message to me from all of the apostles was about personal commitment: to our families, to true principles, to the Gospel, and to the Savior. Elder Holland's talk seemed to reach down inside of me and shake me. It is true that our thoughts, actions, desires, all reflect our deep love for the Lord, and we will all meet him and have to answer the question "Did you love me?" Every day in my prayers, I have been making the decision to give my all to the Lord THIS DAY. And as I have committed myself consistently like this, I have felt much closer to him.
All of conference was great! We watched both Sunday sessions with our landlords and funnily enough Tommy Crompton from the Burke ward was there too :) The LDS world is the size of a postage stamp.
Los quiero bastante! La iglesia es verdadera, y yo se que guarda el sacerdocio, la doctrina y las ordenanzas del evangelio de Jesucristo. Podemos recibir ayuda del Salvador en cada momento, aun cuando nos parezca imposible El estara alli para ayudarnos. Me ha ayudado a mi a saber las necesidades de mi companero, de los otros misioneros en mi distrito y tambien de mis investigadores. Amo y atesoro el evangelio mas que nunca.
(I love you very much. The gospel is true and gives us the priesthood, doctrine and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can receive help from the Savior any time; He will be there to help even when it seems to be impossible. He has helped me know the needs of my companion, the other missionaries in my district and my investigators. I love and cherish the gospel more than ever.)
Take care!! Share the Gospel with everyone! Invite your friends to church and activities!
Elder Michael George Stewart