Sunday, January 9, 2011

9 Jan 2011

Things are going so good! I've had more fun this week than I've ever had ever, and we've been blessed so much that we don't have room enough to receive it. (This week were the highest weekly numbers I've ever had, with a total of 45 sit down lessons, 11 of them with members present. We also added 42 investigators and contacted a bunch of Less Actives). Me and Elder Mitchell seem to get along extremely well. Somehow it seems that all of our experiences with previous companions have prepared us both for this time together, and we just work real good as a team. He's so diligent. I guess he did work on his ranch out there in Vernon, Utah. Haha. The good old stories he tells me of the ranch out in Vernon, utah. (My favorite is he told me he has a big neighbor who is really nice named Chuck. Chuck has a dog, and the dog's name is dammit. "C'mere _____!" ).
we've been trying our best, doing all we can to help people come unto christ, and the Lord just sends us a bunch of investigators that I love a whole bunch. They all have problems they need to overcome, the biggest is work on sunday. Some of my favorite investigators are busy with work on sunday. I'm just a kid, I feel a little bad to pressure them to change work or something like that. But luckily I have the experience with our new convert Pan dixiong, who because of his faith, was able to have a miracle happen, and keep the sabbath day holy and get baptized.
OH, speaking of miracles, I had a really funny experience yesterday. Me and Elder Mitchell were contacting down the road, and I spied a guy in a car on the side of the road, so I rode up to contact him. I noticed that he was a little bit frustrated, because his car wouldn't start. I stood outside his window and watched him try to start it about three times, then give up. So I knocked on the window and he rolled it down. I said
"You know, whenever I run into this kind of problem I just say a prayer."
The man had met missionaries before, and knew what our church was. Exasperated, he decided to give it a try. I taught him how to pray, and then invited him to offer a prayer. He said a great prayer asking heavenly father to help his car start. I was praying my guts out as well, because that would be really lame if it didn't work. I have perfect faith that prayers like that do work though, I've done it before.
After the prayer, he turned the key and the car started right up, the look on that guy's face was priceless. He was so excited, and he yelled out in English "It works!" So then I got his information. He was a referral. I wish I could say i added him, because that would make the story cooler. oh well. It was a great experience and a testimony builder for myself that the power of prayer is real, and that God hears and answers prayers.
One of my favorite investigators is a really old man that won't give us his address or phone number, and refuses to set up any time to meet, but lives nearby the church somewhere. Every night at exactly 7:10 he walks past the church on his nightly stroll with his walking sticks. Old mr. Lin had seemed really hard hearted before. I must have contacted him a dozen times. Then one time, I persuaded him to take a book of Mormon and read it. He has read the bible before. He's also been all over the world, visited Italy, and Israel and speaks a bit of English. The next day we persuaded him to come into the church and look around. The next day we persuaded him to come into the church and sit down and say a prayer with us. He has a lot of weird ideas that we might need to help him understand correct doctrine, but I think he'll make a solid member someday. :) As of now he's read to the book of Alma and marked at least one thing on every page. He's helped me understand just how "Bu hao yi si" some people can really be. He refuses to set up a time to meet, so at first it seems like he has no interest at all and it's really frustrating. But after getting to know him a little more, I realize that it's because he didn't want to bother us. But he blatantly hints that he'll be walking by the chapel at about 7:10 on his walk. He says he doesn't like to do prayers because he doesn't want to bother Heavenly Father. The other night. I was contacting a person, When suddenly a picture came into my head, really clearly, of Old Mr. Lin walking home on the road from the church with his walking sticks, and he was really sad that we hadn't been there waiting for him. I told my companion, and we rode our bikes really fast over to the church, and there he was, walking in about the same spot I had pictured. Oh he was glad to see us, but he wouldn't let it show, he had to pretend like he was just going for his walk. So funny. I realized how much more effectively we can help people come to the gospel if we just get to know them a little bit. Especially if we just know the culture and respect it. Sometimes maybe even have to do things their way. But if we love the people and know a bit about them, we can find some point in their life where the message of the restored gospel will touch their hearts, and if the spirit touches their hearts, it's all downhill from there.
Well, sorry to write such a long letter. I love doing missionary work. I hope I'm able to do a good job. I feel like Heavenly Father, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and all the angels around us do 99 percent of the work. And then just let us go do that last one percent. Like putting a strawberry on top of a big cake that's already made. Okay, that's a really lame example. Like,,,putting a star on a christmas tree? oh well, you get what I'm saying. Have a good week.
Elder Vernon

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