October 7, 2013
Things are moving so fast. Conference was great and was exactly what our members and investigators needed to hear.
So I have some really cool news to share. We're in the process of splitting our area into a northern and southern area. We should have the North side and a new companionship of Elders will be working in the South. We’re trying to make it a good start for the new Elders when they arrive, so we are working a lot in the southern part of our area.
We were talking to Elishyia and Dawn, who currently live in the south. Sadly their land lord is evicting them. So, they had 3 days to move out. SCARY!! We helped them find some options on a place to go, and they have decided to move into Northern Waverly. (That's our future area!!!)
While we were helping them, one of Elishyia's friends stopped us and asked if we could talk. Sara, a 15 year-old, just broke down and ‘let the waters of Mormon come forth’. She has had the hardest life of anyone I know. I really wish I could go into greater detail, but accept my word on this one, she REALLY NEEDS prayers.
Our talk with her was amazing. I felt that I needed to share "Broken Things to Mend" by Elder Holland; so we went to our car and I put it on so that we could all listen. Let me tell you, that was a journal moment. Elishyia and one other friend came out and listened with us. By the end of the talk, Sarah, Elishyia, Jaimee (the other friend), Elder W and I were all in tears.
Sarah then asked me, "So When can I get baptized like Elishyia?" :) :) :) I love that question. We then shared some scriptures, the Restoration, and left a Book of Mormon with her. She has been reading it every night since, and begs us to teach her Mom. :) This was all on Friday Night.
On Saturday, we watched conference at Betty’s place, and it was so cool to see her reaction to it. She watched it all on her own. Even when we weren’t there, she turned it on and watched, She is so great!
We met with Sarah again, and "tried" to teach the Plan of Salvation. We had Sarah, Elishyia, and another NEW friend, Nicky, join. Teenage girls are so hard to teach in groups. The three of them just kept chatting away. But in the end, NICKY said that she wanted to hear more. :) So we’re currently in the process of setting up a meeting time with Nicky and her mom.
We talked to Sarah some more, but we haven’t set a date yet. We felt like we shouldn't do that yet. It’s kind of cool; we will have the calendar out, choose a date for her, pray about it and then feel that it's not the right date for her. So then we do the process again, and again. And So on. She has such a desire to learn and grow, and she seems eager to get a baptismal date. I think that the Lord has something in mind for her. He definitely knows more about Sarah than we do. So we continue to trust in His judgment.
On Sunday: When we got to the church, NO ONE came to the church to watch conference. We had invited a lot of investigators, and many said that they would come. But, 0 showed up for both days. Well...kind of. Sunday Morning we get a text from Debbie, a Wartburg College student that we know. We work with her in a community garden. Debbie tells us that she wants to know more about Mormons, but wants nothing more than information. She wants us to teach the discussions, but she will not become a Mormon.
We invited her to conference. Even she didn't show up after she said that she would.( >:( Why can’t people keep commitments?!! )
We were just finishing the Sunday morning session, when Debbie walked in and sat down just in time for President Monson’s talk, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee”. His talk really sparked her interest, and, of course, in the middle of his talk Elder W and I look at her and watched as she was tearing up!!!
After the session ended, we gave her a really quick church tour. And then she said: "This is great and all....but I really want to learn more. What’s your schedule so that we could meet more often?" :D We're meeting with her later today, and she keeps texting us and asking questions. Elder Weilenmann and I really feel that she has been prepared. :)
So in the last 4 days: we have been blessed with 3 new investigators and we have received a lot more referrals.
The work is truly moving forward. It’s by the hands of the Lord that this area has been successful.
Thanks for your support,Elder Allred
Oh I'm not finished quite yet.
Another mater I'd like to discuss with you who are reading, specifically the members of the church.
In the words of Elder Holland, “I am going to get in your face a little, nose to nose, with just enough fire in my voice to singe your eyebrows a little.”
Missionaries are only as good as their faith lets them be. This could be faith in the work, faith in the area, or faith in the members of the church.
I sure hope you got the message this last conference from Elder Ballard, an apostle of the Lord. It's not just some advice from a school friend or a neighbor; it is a COMMANDMENT from the Lord! Missionaries cannot be knocking on doors anymore. Street contacting is losing its success in most areas of the world, and certainly in the US. There are countless souls that are prepared in this world. It is up to ALL of us to find them and teach them. WE are the Watchmen, WE must warn the wicked. And not just for their sake, but for ours. I implore you to consider the teachings of Ezekiel 3:17-19:
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
Please, I beg you. Missionaries and members MUST work together to keep this stone moving. We are having the hardest time out here identifying our own investigators; the bulk of our real success has been through the contact of those already associated with the church.
Dawn is a member, her daughter Elishyia is investigating, and her friends Nicky and Jaimee are seeing their examples and are coming to us.
Members, you MUST let your lights shine. Missionaries’ don’t always need a badge. We need your help. We cannot do this alone. We are ALL enlisted. And till this conflict is over I would expect nothing less from the members of the Sunset Hills 3rd Ward, and others that are reading.
I don’t apologize if this is a smack in the face, I will say this:
This Church is true. Jesus is The Christ. He is our Redeemer, our Savior, and the Son of God.
Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon through divine power. The Book of Mormon is the true word of God. I have been a witness of its great power.
I LOVE MY MISSION!!
Til next time,Elder Spencer Duane Allred.