Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 24th, 2013

I would like to start off by announcing that I met someone who knows Timo yesterday.  There is a family here who sent their son to the United States for High school.  We ate with them a few weeks ago and they asked me where I was from.  When I said "Utah" I was surprised when they asked me what part.  It's usually a miracle that they've even heard of Utah.  But when I said "Cedar Hills" I was more surprised to find out that they'd been there!  They told me their son was living in Alpine and attending Lone Peak but that he was coming home soon for the summer.  They told me his name, but I didn't recognize it.  I asked them if they had seen the wal-mart in front of the school and they said yes.  I asked if they saw the chapel behind the wal-mart--also yes.  I told them I lived on that block.  Everyone freaked out.  Their son came home this week but I still hadn't met him when a young man walks up to me after sacrament meeting and asks me if I miss Lone Peak.  What?  He asked me what classes I had taken, what teachers I had, etc.  When I told him I had Señorita Taylor, he told me that he had taken Spanish 4.  I asked him if he knew Timo and he said yes, that he was the TA for his Spanish class!!!  His name is R A, I think.  Not sure about the first name, but the last name is right.  What a crazy, small, Mormon world we live in, right?

More craziness.  We went to visit a less active couple last week, and had a similar conversation.  The husband, E, asked me where I was from.  "Utah."  "What part?" "Cedar Hills." "That was my first area on my mission!!!"  Crazy.  He served in the Provo mission and his first area included Cedar Hills, Lehi, Alpine, AF, and Highland.  The only baptism he had there was a family from Ecuador that lived in Cedar Hills.  He's been to the Timpanogos temple and wants to get sealed to his recently-baptized wife there this December. Maybe he'll invite you so you can meet him...

Answering a question from last week:  The zone I'm in is called U.  There's three zones in G that belong to our mission.  I started out in I--which is more on the north side of the city, and right now I'm on the west side.  I took pictures of the shoes, but this blessed computer doesn't have a port for my memory card.  Someday...

Happy Birthday Mom!!!  Thanks for being the best Mom ever!!!  Enjoy your bike!

Tuesday in District Meeting the Zone Leaders had asked us to come up with a focus as a district and set goals to achieve it.  We really should be able to have a lot of success in this district--it's the most tight-knit district I've had in my whole mission and we are all 6 part of the same ward.  So we did.  One thing that had been worrying me is that we are not recieving referrals.  The week before we had recieved a total of 6 as a whole district.  In the biggest ward in the mission, that's just not acceptable.  So we talked about how we could improve.  The Zone Leaders and Elder A were there, making it a grand total of 9 missionaries, the biggest district meeting I've ever taught by far, but it was a big help having them there.  The Zone Leaders, because they're zone leaders and they're awesome, and Elder A, because we were in a similar situation in S and ended our time there together receiving 30 referrals in one week.  So we set some goals to improve.  We decided to set the goal to receive 15 as a district every week for the rest of the transfer, and talked about a few things we could do to acheive it.  The Spirit was definitely guiding the meeting.  It went well.  This week we recieved 28 as a district, and it's only going to go up from there.  

You may ask what happened with all those referrals.  Most of them are not interested.  But we'll keep looking I guess.  We had a cool experience with one of them in particular.  Her name is A, and she's not Catholic.  She's from the Apostolic church. 

Needless to say, we got there expecting a challenge.  She started out the lesson saying that there are no other scriptures and no living prophets, that everything we need is in the Bible, and that she has more years in her church than we have alive, in other words, what are these two little children going to be able to teach me?  But as we explained to her the restoration and as she started to see that we do know the scriptures just about as well as she does, she was a little more open.  When we were sharing her the First vision, the impression came to my mind that the salvation of this daughter of God was in that moment dependant on my personal conviction that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  When we had finished relating the First vision in Joseph Smith's own words, the Spirit flooded the room, and I was really grateful for the testimony I had.  Later, she asked me how I could say that the Book of Mormon had changed my life if I had been a member since birth, and in that moment I was really grateful to also have an answer to that question that she could not contend with.  At the end, she said that if she came to know the Book of Mormon is true, she'll be baptized July 20th.  She didn't accept another visit, but we've done our part and we'll be hoping she reads that book.  It's so good to know that Heavenly Father trusts in me enough to let me share my testimony to people like that, who's salvation is in jeopardy and need to hear what he has revealed to me to get back to him.  Remember that, Timo, when your out there in a few weeks.  Every lesson you teach needs to come from the heart.  There doesn't need to be a difference between sharing your testimony and teaching a principle, if the conviction is strong, you'll do both and the same time and the people will feel the power of the Spirit and will know what you are teaching them is true.  If you follow the Spirit, the promise "ye shall not be confounded before men" will be fulfilled.    

The good news is that L went to church again, has accepted everything we teach, is keeping all her commitments, and is getting baptized this Saturday!  The sisters are also baptizing on Saturday, so it should be a really special day for the ward.  Pray specially for them so that everything goes through and they can be baptized that day.  It's been exciting.  

We did get to see the training broadcast and it was SWEET!!!  I was sitting next to Elder M
during the meeting, and during one of the music videos he leaned over and told me "I guarantee my mom is crying right now if she's watching this."  I thought to myself "I guarantee my Mom is crying right now if she's watching this!"  But really, it was so good. 
Leadership training, they had an activity with a stick relay.

I feel like I was going to say something else, but I can't really remember.  Sounds like you all had a fun, busy, scouty week.  Have a great experience tomorrow, Timo (going through the temple).  Take it all in, and think about why they want all missionaries to make those covenants before leaving on the mission.  Love you, bro!
Elder Pew and a fellow Elder friend at the leadership training

Have a great week, everybody.  BYE!!!

Elder Pew