Sunday, May 4, 2014

[1/13/2014] Week 45: The Ice Man Cometh

Dear fermerler,

Holy smokes. I didn't know we could be so blessed. I just don't understand it! We had a fantastic week.

To start, Mission Leader Council (zone leaders and sister training leaders gather with President and the assistants to discuss needs and goals of the mission) on Tuesday was really, really great. I think a lot of things that needed to be said were said. This is especially true of the instruction given on obedience and on the daily planning session by President and the assistants, respectively. Elder Lovell and I used those topics for most of our instruction in zone meeting on Wednesday, and we agree that it was exactly what the zone needed (ourselves included). Since then, our daily planning sessions have truly been spiritual experiences. We really focused on how we were going to "get things done for the Lord" rather than how we were going to merely "fill the Lord's time". Both Thursday and Friday were planned this way, and we were blessed to find four new investigators on each of those days--half of which were from member referrals!

On Friday evening, we taught the Denogeans. This was the most powerful lesson on the Restoration I have ever been a part of in my missionary experience. For whatever reason, I have always struggled with my relation of the First Vision story - I fumble here or skip a word there - and I think it was honestly because I didn't have a stellar testimony of that tremendous event. But when I related it to this young, truth-seeking family just three days ago, I didn't miss a beat, and I felt the power of the Holy Ghost burning and swelling within me from my ears to my toes. And I know it emanated throughout the room, so that all those present might undoubtedly recognize the veracity of Joseph Smith's words. Just like President Packer said: "A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it."

Brother Broyles later told us while in transit to a Sunday afternoon appointment with the same family, "You two must be some darn good missionaries. I have never felt the presence of the Holy Ghost in a discussion on the Restoration so powerful in my life. Never. I know that for that to happen as missionaries, you've gotta be doing what you're supposed to." Of course, I don't relate his comment for any other purpose than to express how humbled Elder Lovell and I felt that a member of the ward recognized the difference in our teaching because we had chosen to be obedient and diligent. We truly are conduits of the Holy Ghost, and obedience really is vital to bringing that sacred Spirit to the magnitude of the convincing of men.

The Denogeans are now working towards a baptismal date of March 8th.

Of course, Heavenly Father didn't stop blessing us there. At church yesterday, we met Tyler, an out-of-the-sky investigator who attended with his girlfriend, Lindsay, who was baptized three years ago and has since been pretty less-active. He's never really been to church in his life, but he enjoyed the services, had a short lesson with us after third hour, and readily agreed to meet with us this evening for a full-blown discussion on the Restoration.

I feel like the Ferndale zone was greatly benefited and greatly energized after zone meeting on Wednesday. As a zone, we taught a ton of lessons as compared to past weeks and tied our record for new investigators. But on exchange with one of our district leaders, Elder Lovell and I sensed a lack of desire/motivation/drive/faith from both companions--even though we had the opportunity to find two new investigators in their area. It was sort of disheartening. We decided that we need to conduct at least another mini-exchange and focus on complimenting the things they excel at and expect miracles to rain down. And they will!

Those are just the highlights. I can't believe how the Lord has blessed us this week. It's truly humbling. Elder Lovell and I firmly believe it was due to our commitment to serve our zone, revamp our daily planning session, and press forward in diligence and obedience. That's really the secret. Missionary work is just so much easier when you do it the way you're supposed to. I just wish every missionary knew it!

We're doing just fine with the weather up here. It's really not that hard to stay warm and dry in Washington, especially on bikes (that sort of sounds paradoxical, doesn't it?).

And Adell is a ward missionary. Though she's not entirely active, she is a source of tons of referrals.


Elder Martin

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