Saturday, October 4, 2014

September 2014

     Mission Leadership Council--Front: Sisters Clark, Syphus, Muir, Hehl, Sis. & Pres. Eaton, Sisters Wolfe, Alder, and Judd; Middle: Elders Erekson, Meyer, Grandstaff, Garner, Tibbits, Rodgers, Davis, Russell, and Ludlow; Back: Elders Kim, Grant, Maxwell, Young, Jenkins, Cannon, Cook, Thomson, and Freeman

     Departing missionaries--Front: Sisters Cox and Wright, Pres. & Sis. Eaton, Sisters Nicholes, Hutchendorf, and Dudek; Back: Elders Gunnell, Fruehan, Young, Bonner, Chandler, and Solomon

     Incoming Missionaries--Front: Sisters Dodson & Jin, with Sis. & Pres. Eaton, Sisters Webb, Soliz, and Goodman; 2nd Row: Elders Ha, Downs, John, Rodarte, Orr, Watterson, and Jeppeson; 3rd Row: Elders John, Chappell, Anderson, Herbert, and McDowell; Back: Elders Moon, Gonzalez, Brown, and Snyder

     This month we held a specialized training on how to really dig in and get the most out of personal scripture study. We focused on identifying principles we can apply to our lives, but we also talked about everything from the value of the Bible Dictionary to footnotes to patterns and symbolism.  Missionaries also got to preview the new film "Meet the Mormons."

     Each week missionaries share miracles and blessings from applying things they have been learning to their work.  I've included a few below:

Elder Ludlow:
        On Saturday when we stopped by he had a question about Jesus Christ visiting the Americas. So we turned to the scriptures and started explaining some of the background to the story and read some verses. As the lesson went on I felt like I needed to share verse 3 with him (3 Nephi 11:3). As he read it, he had a surprised look on his face. We asked him what he thought of it and he told us, "this explains exactly what I have been feeling. When I receive answers to prayers it is never something big, it's always a small feeling that pierces my heart and is undeniable." He was so impressed that the Book of Mormon could relate so much to how he has been feeling. He told us that the book has to be true! We were so happy that he was able to open up like that and discover important principles himself. I am super excited to start using the Book of Mormon more in depth during lessons to help investigators solve answers to concerns and questions themselves.

Elder Johnson:
        I LOVE having investigators prepare before lessons. When we taught Becky about the 1st Vision she reported that she had begun following the example of Joseph Smith and praying to know if this was the true Church! Before we even asked her to! And then she pulled us aside on Sunday to tell us that the Holy Ghost answered her prayers, and the she knew this was all true "to the core of her being!"

Sister Carlin:
        This past week I have been really learning how much power comes from me asking questions when I have my personal studies. I have come to find that when I ask questions before and during I study that I am more willing to learn by faith through out the whole day. It takes great humility but I know that by learning be faith is when we really stretch and grow.

Elder Russell:
       I've been doing principle extraction from the Book of Mormon the past couple of days and weeks and it is really changing the way I see the Book of Mormon! It's really helpful with teaching investigators! I find a principle and write it down in and study about it and I swear it always comes in a lesson that we have in the next couple of days. It's been amazing to see how many questions we can actually answer with the Book of Mormon!

Elder Cook:
        We got to witness the Book of Mormon training completely change someone's heart. Bro S came to church this week for the first time in 23 years. We have only had three lessons with him, but those lessons were focused and powerful and designed to help him read the Book of Mormon by giving inspired questions to ponder along with the reading assignment. On Friday we had a church tour and we were sitting in the Chapel and I asked him what has been pushing him to do this. He held up the Book of Mormon and said, "When you read this book..." then tears filled his eyes and he couldn't finish his sentence.

Hermana Hill:
        Our investigator Marisa hadn't really been progressing and was kind of waiting around for her husband to want to do this with her. We had her start the Book of Mormon from the beginning again. We assigned the first two chapters, with the question of how Lehi was the example and the rock of his family, even though his sons were rebelling and they had to face some really hard afflictions. We asked her to think about how she could also be the example and rock for her family. When we came back two days later she had read three chapters instead of just the first two. We had a good discussion about the assignment we left her and really emphasized that with the Lord's help we can do hard things. She said she was going to try to read with her husband at night before bed, because he doesn't really like to read and she doesn't think he would start reading on his own. I don't know if they were actually able to do that together, but something good happened between Friday and Sunday because their whole family came to church. All five of them came for all three hours.

Sister Ballard:
        I am finding that asking questions is more of a frame of mind. It's changing our mindset into always searching, seeking, being hungry for knowledge. Knowledge whether it is about the gospel, the area, people's concerns, etc. is good to obtain. Asking questions help keep everyone involved and when we ask questions, we invest ourselves in people. Questions equal investment, and I am finding that our members, less actives, and especially investigators that ask questions are so much more involved in learning the gospel. I pray I can continue to figure out how to help people and myself gain and maintain this mindset.

Elder Bennett:
        We also had a great experience with a member friend! Our investigator Victoria has been interested for awhile now, and just has not found the motivation to fully embrace the gospel. We brought Sis R with us, and she took Victoria under her wing! She told her that she would love to come up and study from the book of Mormon with her, get her meals after Victoria's surgery, and just be there for her. She went up Sunday to study, and she actually resolved a lot of Victoria’s concerns right on the spot! That is what member work should be like!

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