Monday, September 23, 2013

[9/23/2013] Week 28: I've Heard That Somewhere Before...

Dear y'all,

I must say that this week was much improved from last. We got to teach quite a bit, and even found a new investigator!

On Tuesday, we found out that there would be no district meeting outline for this week. So I decided that I really wanted to seek inspiration and determine what the Lord had in mind for our district. I really felt the Spirit as I sought revelation and followed His subtle promptings. Based on that, I decided our high-strung district needed an opportunity to unwind and look at the positives of being a missionary. So we went through "Hearing the Voice of the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants" in this month's Ensign, and discussed thoughts and feelings about missionary life related to each of the subsections of the article. Then, we all told our favorite mission experiences and related them to those thoughts. I tell you, the Spirit ended up being so strong during that district meeting. I really felt the district grow together and bond as we each opened up and rejoiced in the Work of the Lord. Then we had root beer floats afterward!

Tia and Baby Bunnies
Tuesday night, we had Tiffany and her daughter Tia (both investigators) over to the Nolls' house (Ward Mission Leader) for the first half of the plan of salvation and dinner. It went really well, especially since Sister Noll has plenty of experience teaching children Tia's age. We have another appointment set for tomorrow night.

On Thursday, I attended a leadership meeting, and, though somewhat bussiness-y, it was just what I needed. I don't really even know why. I just felt such a witness of the Spirit that this really is His work, and that He needs us, especially as leaders, to give Him our all. Afterwards, I felt sort of guilty for moping at the end of last week. I received an especially strong witness during the closing hymn, "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy", that we are spiritual lifeguards sent to rescue those who are desperately seeking our help. All I wanna do is go find 'em and help 'em!

Directly after Thursday's meeting, we stopped at Giovanni's house and found him outside working on his truck with his neighbor, Johnathan. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were sitting in Giovanni's living room teaching Johnathan about the Book of Mormon. We set up another lesson for the next day, during which we taught him the Restoration, and we now have another appointment this coming Friday.

On Friday, I conducted exchanges with Elder Larson, of Thomas Lake, and we had a great time. He came to Seattle Hill, because we had three teaching appointments set up for Friday, and I figured he needed the teaching experience. We definitely had a blast, and he definitely needed it. I sense that he is struggling with self-esteem or something and, of course I want to help him understand he's a great missionary, but I don't know how to go about that appropriately.

Elder O'Rullian and I have spent a lot of time and energy with Brother Noll, who was recently called as our Ward Mission Leader, in helping him get acquainted with all that his new calling entails. We've been focusing on how to kick-start the ward mission and revolutionize the face of missionary work in the Seattle Hill Ward, starting with the members. We definitely need to figure out how to train them in sharing the gospel naturally and comfortably as well as determine the best way to interact and coordinate with the ward council. It's really been exhilarating to take this new approach and make progress in getting things set up for the Lord to do His stuff!

We got to see John, the wealthy man I mentioned in my letter a few weeks ago, that I met on exchanges with Elder Black. He is still super awesome, in case you were worried about that. We have an appointment set up for this coming Friday afternoon. But one thing he said really struck me. He asked us what charity events we knew about in the area that revolve around helping families at Christmas and Thanksgiving. His words were, "I feel like that's my calling in life -- to help people." Now that sounds to me a lot like a particular chapter out of "The Power of Everyday Missionaries"! Do you have any ideas that are connected with the Church/gospel? Our bishop suggested contributing to the Humanitarian Aid fund, but I think John was looking for something a little more involved in the local community.

Though we had a few people commit to attending church yesterday, none of them made it. But it still ended up being a good Sunday! I felt prompted to knock on a particular door as we were driving down the street, so we did, and a man named Chris answered the door. In his 70s or so, he is an avid Christian and Bible student. But I don't think he's part of any particular congregation. Anyway, we talked for a long time on his porch about the Book of Mormon, the Great Apostasy, and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith. For a while, he was set on the Bible and the idea that there are many prophets called of God. Interestingly enough, he professed a lot of the doctrines unique to the Mormon church (such as our views on infant baptism, the Spirit World, and the Second Coming). but he couldn't quite remember where he had read them. Eventually, he decided there was "no harm in reading the Book of Mormon and praying." We'll check back with him shortly!

I can't believe Taylor already got his mission call! That's so crazy! Anyone else up 'n coming? Say, Steve Cline? Keep me posted!

I think that's about it for my week. Definitely a good one! I hope y'all's was superb as well!

I love y'all!

Elder Martin

The pictures attached are of Tia (investigator) and me holding her brand new baby bunnies!

The other is a super sweet model T or something or other driving through our area.

Sweet T!

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