Thursday, August 1, 2013

[07/29/2013] Week 20: Member Rescue

Conrad and Kaylin with me and Elder Benedict

This was a good week. It was filled with lots of  service and a good amount of small miracles.

I have been striving daily to be a better missionary for the Lord and leader for my district. I receive a lot of support from the zone leaders, Elders Stack and Parke, in helping me develop and grow. I feel their love for me and I try to reciprocate that same love to the other missionaries in my district. I really do feel a connection to the Thomas Lake elders and the Eastmont sisters; I want them to see success in their areas and recognize the Lord's hand in all things. This is certainly a result of serving them and helping them learn. Though, I must admit, I learn just as much from each of them.

We had two investigators at church yesterday - Tami and Jeff. Our lesson with Tami on Tuesday went really, really well. She expressed to us that she has been talking with a lot of friends - some who are pastors -  about her decision to investigate the Church. They have responded with interesting ideas about the Church and its members, but she put her foot down and stood up for the Church, saying she knows Mormons now and that they're really good Christian people. Yesterday, a return missionary gave a fantastic talk on baptism, and it was something that Tami and Jeff really needed to hear. We honestly think it's just a matter of time before Tami has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and decides to be baptized.

We spend a lot of time on the rescue effort in this area. I love that. For the most part, it is very rewarding to be able to invite the Spirit back into people's lives that they might return to the fold. The Robinson's are a heavy focus for us right now. They're an older couple baptized many years ago, and then inactive for forty years, until recently. We've have determined that their conversion was a social one, and have decided to re-teach them all the lessons, as though investigators, with the Melchizedek priesthood and an eternal temple marriage as our goal. That said, we had a fantastic lesson on the Restoration with the Robinson's on Wednesday, and we even had Brother Paskett, their active member fellowshipper, present! One of Brother Robinson's hang-ups is that "you can't ask God for big things" like whether the Book of Mormon is true or whether Joseph Smith was the prophet who restored the true Church of Jesus Christ. But we taught him all kinds of example from the scriptures where people asked God for big things and were blessed immensely. Such examples included the story of the Brother of Jared and the stones (Ether 2-3) and, of course, the story of the First Vision (Joseph Smith--History 1:5-20). In response to the latter, he said, "Gee, I've never heard that story before..." We committed him to pray about Joseph Smith and will follow up shortly. He had sort of a hard time saying yes, so we'll see how it goes.
Conrad and daughter, Ashlyn

The absolute highlight of my week was being able to attend Conrad's baptism. You may already know that he moved from Seattle Hill to Shoultes while I was serving in Shoultes. So it was great to be able to drive up with the bishop of the Seattle Hill ward, the man who married Conrad to his wife, Kaylin, and witness this great guy's baptism. We also had the opportunity to see Kaylin's step-mom, who is investigating in the Seattle Hill ward, this past week and invite her to the baptism. She attended as well. I can't wait for this time next year when Conrad and Kaylin are able to be sealed eternally to each other and to their baby, Ashlyn!

I think it's awesome that the trucks are coming together. I'm so excited!

Brandon comes home next month. That's insane! I can't wait to hear all his crazy stories!

In the past week, I've had the opportunity to show people pictures of Christian and they all scream and yell and howl because of his "striking resemblance to Matt Damon/Jason Bourne". So funny.

How is everythnig going in the ward back home? Well, I hope. Keep me updated!


Elder Martin

My brother, Christian and me

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