Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013 - Good News & Celebrity Status

We received great news this past Saturday afternoon. The Gilbert Temple Open House and Dedication have been announced!! The open house will be January 18-February 15. The Cultural Celebration will be March 1st and the Dedication will be March 2nd. I'm so excited to be able to participate in the Open House and Cultural Celebration. The Gilbert Temple will be even more so a catalyst for missionary work. Everyone has been waiting to take people to the Open House. It's such a great time to be a missionary in the Arizona Gilbert Mission. I'm so happy that I'll still be here when this is all going on!

This past Monday was an eventful night. Three out of the four appointments we had scheduled fell through so we commenced with following our back-up plans. We were able to follow-up with a potential investigator we had met on the street a couple of weeks ago. Her name is Connie and her husband is Ed. They are an older couple and very devote Catholic. Ed has been recovering from brain surgery these past few months. We went over there to offer service and see if we could help them in any way. We get there and they welcome us in and Ed starts singing "Love at Home." We were very confused. He then said, "Come over on Sunday mornings and we can watch Music and the Spoken Word together!" Yes, he's Catholic and he watches the Music and the Spoken Word every Sunday. They were very nice and they didn't need any service, but we were able to leave them with a short spiritual thought.

We were then able to meet a referral we received from a member, Jill. She wasn't feeling very well, so she didn't let us in, but she said to come by on Monday's since she has the day off. Tonight we're going to go back and hopefully she's feeling better! When then stopped by a less-active, part members house. We were able to share a short message and to set up an appointment forWednesday to meet with them. Miracle after miracle was happening. And these people so far I've mentioned were only in the first hour after our P-Day. We went to our one appointment that hadn't canceled on us, a member family in one of our wards. We had a great visit and committed them to pray to know with whom to speak with Elder Andersen's promise. We succeed when we all work together.

We were then able to visit another potential investigator we had met on the street, Anthony, and we were following up on our commitment we left with him. We were able to share a message with him on the doorstep where the spirit was powerful in that short 10 minute interaction. The words just came to both of us and my entire body was tingling with the Holy Ghost. He said he needs to talk with his wife, since she wasn't there, about when we could come back and share more of what we teach about. We were then able to go again last night and again his wife was not there and we shared another power message about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. It was not a coincidence we ran into him outside twice these past couple of weeks. We're praying his wife will want to take the lessons as well. It was a night full of miracles. Our appointments were supposed to fall through because the Lord had a much better plan for our night.

The next night we were able to talk with Ivonne again. We love her so much! She's an incredible woman who has gone through so much in her life. She loves us coming by and talking with her and she said she wanted us to come back! We had a powerful lesson about the power of prayer in our lives so we can develop that relationship with Heavenly Father. We were able to set up another appointment for tonight and we're excited for that lesson! We are now going to be teaching her! Miracles after miracles! It turns out several missionaries have approached her about taking the lessons and she has always said no she wasn't interested. It's always in the Lord's time and in His own way.

Later in the week we were going by some potential investigators and we had put Irene in our plans. We knock on the door and her husband, Rico, answers and welcomes us in. He doesn't even let us say who we are or even talk. We walk in the house and we go into the kitchen where Irene is. We said hello and she said, "You're here to pick some pomegranates?" Sister Huefner started to say no and I said yes at the same time. During this short exchange she had produced plastic bags seemingly out of nowhere. Irene told us to follow Rico out into the back yard to pick the fruit. Before we went outside we said, "We're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints." Irene just said, "Of course we know that. We have one Mormon son who went on a mission years ago." So we picked pomegranates and limes and we went back inside. They started to tell us about their "Mormon son" (who we never got the name of because they just referred to him as "The Mormon") and we found out they are Lutheran and are Dutch Filipinos. She's white and he's Filipino and they immigrated here years ago. They were very nice, but they said they were not interested. We were able to share a short message with them (to which Irene said "the Mormons don't know who to do brief") and they invited us over for lunch party there were having with all of their Dutch Filipino friends. We went there on Saturday and the food was...questionable, but we were able to develop more the a relationship and they were very kind to us. We were also able to meet The Mormon son, Ernst at the lunch-in.

This past Sunday the less-active family came and the husband actually stayed for all three meetings. It was great to see them there! We also had a family home evening with them last night and their kids are just soaking it up.

We had also been asked to come visit the primary in one ward and also teach Elders Quorum in the same ward. We were running back and forth. When we went to primary that kids were all excited and waving at us. It was like we were celebrities to the little kids. I have to say it was a first for me to teach Elders Quorum. I can now say I have witnessed the scene in the RM about the stark difference between Elders Quorum and Relief Society. It was almost comical, but the lesson went great and we hopefully got them excited to participate in missionary work (the lesson was on missionary work). Good things are happening in the area where I'm serving. There is power in the members inviting and sharing the Gospel. Missionaries can not work alone. There is hardly any success when the missionaries are doing everything themselves. In the Brother Christensen's book, The Power of the Everyday Missionary, he talks about what successful missionary work is. It's when we invite. We can't base success on someone else's agency, it's only what we personally can do. I thought that was great. There is true lasting joy in sharing the Good News with those around us. All we need to invite. They're not saying no to the gospel, just the invitation. I know the true lasting happiness that participation in this gospel gives me. It changes lives. Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. We can do all things through Him.


Sister Collins