Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Getting the Ball Rolling

Dear Mom and Dad,

It’s super beautiful and sunny in southern Utah right now. This is the perfect time of year. Average temperatures are in the 80s-90s with nice breezes and clear skies all day every day. We all know that it will only get hotter though. Elder Campbell and I went up to Richfield and back a few times this week for exchanges. I do love that town. It was funny, driving down back into St. George feels like coming home now. We get really excited. I am sure that Google has some great pictures of the highway through St. George that can give you an idea of why we love it so much. 

But the real reason we get excited to come back down here is the work. This week, we found so many new people. Every door we knocked had someone waiting for us behind it and new investigators rained down from the sky. One day we were studying in the morning and we had already gotten two referrals to our phone before leaving the apartment at 10 a.m. There are so many YSAs all over this place.

A few highlights from this week. We held leadership meetings with all of the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders across the mission. They are a really responsive group and it was a thrill to talk with them about how to really get the ball rolling in this mission. Good things are happening in every zone now...the Lord is really blessing us.

K had his interview with President Leonard. He passed with flying colors. When they walked out of the interview President Leonard put his arm around K and said "this is a fine young man". Life out there is pretty tough though. K started working when he was 10 years old. All I know is that I am going to be friends with this young man forever. He has such a strong testimony of this church. Baptism is only the first step for him. He is going to the temple and on a mission after this. 

We are teaching about 8 people multiple times a week now. And we are finding more and more. I feel like one of the gifts that God has given me is the ability to love all of the people that I meet, and I definitely love these investigators so much.

Besides K, we are still teaching B. He went up home this week to tell his parents that he is getting baptized on the 7th. They kind of "flipped" he said, but he is unshaken. They aren't active in their church, and so they will definitely see the power of B's example to them.

We also have a solid investigator from China again :-) His name is P. He is amazing. He is reading the Book of Mormon like a champ. He really studies everything out in his mind and marks it all up. He said this week "I wish that I could say like you that I know the Book of Mormon is true." We are working hard with him to trust the spiritual answers he gets and not look for so much evidence. Thankfully he has already come to know that Christ is his Savior by the Spirit so now we just need to apply that experience to the Restoration. He will get his answer soon.

Then there is K K we kept seeing this week. She has moved her baptism up to the 16th of June. She still has a ton of questions living prophets, tithing, but we had a really good lesson with her last night. She has gotten strong answers to her prayers and she knows that this church is true. What impresses me most about K K is her dedication in seeking for truth from God. She is reading the Book of Mormon for 10 minutes every day and is praying about all of her doubts and questions. Whenever she gets other answers to her prayers, we are always just astounded. She knows that she wants to get married in the temple too.  It’s just a tender mercy to be able to teach her the Gospel.

We are also teaching a Navajo (yayyyyy!!!!) named B. She is from Albuquerque and lives with a very active family. She has just about the strongest connection to the Spirit that I have ever seen...she said she wants to be baptized to "be pure". There have been moments in lessons where we ask a question and just sit and watch Brittany get taught by the Spirit. It’s good to teach some Lamanites again.

Then there is J. She has been taught by a lot of missionaries and doesn't want to be pushed. Now, we aren't pushy, we invite with love. I'd say we are lovingly persistent. We practice friendly boldness. This week, we invited J to be baptized by the end of June, and she felt way stressed about it. "Guys that’s way too soon!! I'm feeling anxious just thinking about it." Well, we invited her to pray, and ask God when He wants her to be baptized, and she got her answer! That was just a testimony to me that we MUST INVITE!! Not inviting someone to have faith, repent, or be baptized is holding back from them blessings that they need. Even though J was uncomfortable thinking about being baptized, we still invited her, and God answered her prayers. Be bold and fearless!!

There are a couple others we just picked up this week, a girl who is from California and a Samoan girl too but there are tons of people just waiting to be taught here. We are always in finding mode :-)

I just want to bear my testimony this week that our faith makes a difference. It is so easy to doubt that in this wide world one man can make a difference or be an effective voice for truth. One man with faith in the almighty God can change the world. That change will happen one life at a time, but the effect of the faith we exercise is huge.

This week, I saw that the faith that Elder Campbell and I exercised blessed the mission and it blessed our investigators. One day we prayed to be able to see B at 3 p.m. even though she hadn't set an appointment for that day, and she called us at 2:55 and asked to meet with us. God hears prayers. I know that he answers every single one. This month we are trying to take the mission to heights it’s never been to, and we are seeing that our faith really can move mountains. God willing, we will succeed.

I love you so much!! Keep praying for us to find and be able to teach!! This Church is true. I know it’s true and I just want to spend my life to spread that truth to all.

Love ya!!
Elder Michael George Stewart

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