Monday, January 20, 2014

January 13th & 20th 2014 photos too!

January 13, 2014
Sorry, I was writing and the computer crashed.  we had a zone activity in M today so we were short on time as it is, but now I really don't have time.  

Preparation Day Fun 
Everything's going well, we had ten investigators in church this week and the branch is super excited.  I'm so very sorry this happened, but thanks for all your love and support. Your letters inspire me and help me feel loved.  I know this is the Lord's work and he is blessing me so much for participating in it.  

Thanks for the muffin, Granny! (She accidentally shipped her partially eaten muffin to Taran!)

I'm going to sign out now before the computer crashes.  I'll tell you about everything next week!

Love, Elder Pew

January 20, 2014
I owe you one after what happened last week.  Here we go!

Two awesome experiences from last week:

In our district class, I taught about teaching with the Spirit.  We did practices where we invited the investigator to get baptized, they had to say no, and we had to listen to the Spirit to discern what to say to them to help them accept the invitation.  Every time we do practices like this, we take the role of a real investigator that we have or have had.  In one of the practices, I was teaching Elder G.  He told me he did not want to get baptized yet because there was something he needed to fix in his life.  I felt very strongly that I should read him Alma 34:33 and explain that he needed to repent now.  When I told him to read the scripture, he literally started shaking.  He asked me, "So if I don't repent, I'll be condemned?"  I told him "that's right.  If you don't repent in this life, you will have lost your chance."  After the practice he told me that the investigator he was imitating was someone from one of his other areas, and that in a lesson with him, Elder G had used the exact same scripture, the investigator had asked the exact same question, and he had given him the EXACT same response that I did, and that from that day on, that investigator had progressed.  It was a powerful testimony to us all that the Holy Ghost knows all things and knows what God's children need to hear to accept and understand his Gospel.  But it doesn't stop there.  On Sunday, the Youth's Sunday school teacher had an emergency and had to leave after sacrament meeting, so I was left to teach the class.  I didn't even have the manual, so I just had to make up a topic on the spot.  I felt like I should teach "How can the Scriptures help me learn about Heavenly Father" and I did, using activities that I had used with the youth in S.  The teacher made it back for the last 5 minutes of the class, and handed me over the manual.  To my great surprise, the topic of the class that day was the exact same one I had just taught!  It was really quite an amazing experience.  

This week we had the activity on Monday, zone class on Tuesday, and interviews on Wednesday, so three days in a row of going to M.  I love interviews with President Wagner.  Everything he suggests works.  Wednesday night we went to visit C and V to teach about Eternal Marriage.  When we got there, they had just had an argument and C told us she didn't want to get married to V anymore.  We just pulled out the Family, a Proclamation to the World and read it through with them, stopping to explain every little important detail.  I feel like one of the main topics I have learned in this area is how the Gospel blesses families, the importance of different family roles and the importance of the family in the Plan of Salvation.  I was able to use a lot of the things I have learned in that lesson, and the next day they told us that everything was fine.  In fact, they got together all their papers that day and sent us to find out what else they need to get married on Friday morning.  Miracle!  This week they have to go to a little marriage prep training on Thursday that the government does here, then wait until C can get a new ID (she lost it) and next week they should get married and baptized.  The members have helped out there a lot--especially the Branch President and his wife.  Amazing.  

We've still been teaching V's parents, they went to church last Sunday and this Sunday his mom went alone (his dad was busy).  They also introduced us to their daughter, E, who told us yesterday that she has got an answer that the Book of Mormon is true.  She has a 10 year old son named J, and she really wants him to also grow up in the church.  We also met another one of their sons, J, who just got out of a rehabilitation center and  he's excited to learn and come closer to God.  
Elder Pew and his companion and wonderful families they know

M has another daughter, named I, who lives in another town but is here often enough to have listened to us a few times.  She talked to her sister in law about the church and she got interested, and we've visited her a few times.  Her name is B and she is a single mom with 5 kids, L (12), B (10), A (8), J (6), and a 2 year old girl whose name escapes me.  While teaching her, we also met her sister, C, and her two kids, J (12) and G (11).  Lots of work!  This Sunday we had an all time high of 12 investigators in church:  V, M, C, V, L, J, J, B, L, C, G, and J.  They all stayed all three hours and loved it!  The members are all super pumped and are helping a ton, and everyone is asking us when C and V are getting married.  The Assistants called to congratulate us and to ask us to share our secrets with them so that they could put them in the Mission newsletter and share our ideas with the whole mission.  We've been so blessed lately, I feel like Ammon:

35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apowerball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmercifulBeing, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
 36 Now if this is aboasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a bbranch of the tree of Israel, and has been clost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, dwanderers in a strange land. (Alma 26:35-36)
This is the Lord's work.  The Atonement is real.  Jesus is the Christ.  
I love you all and could not ever express how grateful I am for all you do for me.  I know it goes beyond the letters and packages--your prayers, fasting, thoughts, and temple attendance are also well appreciated.  The influence you had in me before coming out here has also made an unbelievable difference.  Your faith and goodness inspired and still inspire me to keep going on.  Have a great week everyone!
Elder Pew