Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 66


Studying at the Park   Sept 2013
That's crazy to see such a quick difference in temperature in such a short amount of time! (Morning temperatures in Phoenix went from the 80's to the 60's from one morning to the next morning last week - it felt GREAT!  ~June )  I don't think the temperature changed as rapidly as it did over there, but it definitely has been raining!  I'm preparing myself to enjoy the next 9 months of rain!  Woohoo!  :)

I finally got my new scriptures...  They are FANTASTIC!  I love them so much - they smell great to boot!  I don't think I need anything, but I'll be sure to let you know...  :)

So this week was absolutely great.  Full of many different service opportunities, and we had the most incredible miracle play out this week!  I'll start with the different opportunities we had in doing service for people...  Well, Tuesday we helped out a man named Brother L.  He does a lot of construction and was wanting to build a storage house/shed in his backyard.  He found a huge stage on craigslist that someone was giving away for free.  Our project: To get the stage from the guy giving it away and put it in the area where it needed to be in Brother L's backyard.  The stage weighed somewhere around 600lbs, and it was tough for us (4 Elders and Brother L) to move it.  We did it though after trying a bunch of different ideas.  The solution was to put poles under the stage and let it roll to the place where it needed to be...  Great times!  :D !

Another service opportunity we had was to stack TONS of wood in someone's shed.  Elder Jones and I probably moved around 400lbs of wood, and we had to stack it all too!  It was a fun experience, and I got a few cold Mountain Dews out of it, so I'm happy.  :)

The last service opportunity that we had (and are still are working on it) is to build a retaining wall for a less active family that is returning.  It's been great because "R" (one of the returning members) is really showing some desire about church again!  He's been less active for over 10 years, and it's neat to see how service changes hearts!  Gotta love missionary FUN!

So Elder Jones and I had the most incredible miracle happen this week.  Last Saturday (nine days ago), a member reached out to a woman at a park and also invited her to come to church the following day.  This woman's name is "Y", has been studying with the Jehovah's Witness church for about a year, and has been on a personal search for as long as she can remember.  "Y" is 23 years old and has 3 children, recently left her partner (due to certain circumstances) and is trying to get back up on her feet.  Last Sunday (eight days ago), she came to church.  She felt the spirit incredibly strong and felt such a sense of peace as she went through the three hour block.  The past week, we taught her 5 times, and she accepted a date to be baptized on October 12th!  Last night, she called us and asked what she needs to do to successfully prepare for her baptism, so we gave her a Preach My Gospel to look over.  She and her 3 children have told us that they each want to be a missionary, even if it isn't for full time...  :)

What an incredible experience!  It made me wonder why someone so prepared was put in the path of a member, rather than a missionary.  As a missionary, we do TONS of tracting, street contacting, etc., and it is very rare that we find a "prepared" investigator through our own efforts.  A couple of transfers ago, when I was with Elder Marsden, we made the conclusion that the Lord would prefer that members reach out and find those prepared by their experiences, not the missionaries!  It is incredible how true that realization is!  Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want the members of the church to find those who are ready to listen to the missionaries, to give that friendship instantly, to invite them to be a part of the family that we are inside this church.  It all starts with an invitation, and a true member understands that...  It is okay if the person we invited declines - we succeed when we invite.  I remember Dad AAAALLLWWAAAYYS saying, "If you don't ask, you don't receive."  The same statement applies to inviting someone to the gospel.  If you don't invite, you will never know whether or not that person has been prepared by the hand of the Lord.  INVITE!  INVITE!  INVITE!

I love you all so much!  You are all such great examples to me.  Thank you for the wonderful email, and I hope that each of you have a great next week!


Elder Alexander J Annand

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