Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Prepared" People & The War...

The Last "District Conference" in the 4 Elder District.   
Elder Hill went to Grand Island and Elder Garff, who came out with me, is now training.

This week was a fun one.  As far as transfer news goes, nothing changed for Elder Holman and I except that he's the District Leader now.  We're excited for at least another transfer in Crete and we've got some really good goals and plans for the upcoming 6 weeks. 

Lots of things in Crete could happen in the next few weeks, and about half of them are good and the other half are not.  Crete, first off, is a very challenging area.  Its 30 miles from the nearest church and there's only 1 active member.   Not only is it hard because of that, but not a whole lot of people actually want to live in Crete, and more than half of our investigators are thinking about moving to Lincoln or other little towns soon, and then we wouldn't be able to visit them.   We're trying to prepare for that by doing lots of finding and knocking doors (and yes, people do slam lots of doors in our faces (mostly ornery white people)).  Its been quite the week as far as that goes and not a lot of success has come out of it yet. 
Except one! 
At the beginning of the week, we knocked a door, a lady answered (a nice Hispanic one), didn't seem super interested but told us we could come back later.  So we did!  Little did we know that she would be AWESOME!   We sat down and immediately she started telling us about how she has an aunt and uncle who are active members in California and she attended Church with them for a couple months while she lived there and how she has a cousin on a mission and all sorts of other good stuff like that.   She then told us the entire story of the Restoration and how she believes that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is led by a prophet of God today.  Its very rare that we find some one who's prepared in general, but someone who is THAT prepared is even more rare.  She is awesome and we immediately set her for baptism for the 18th of October.  She said she'd have to talk with her very Evangelical husband but she wants to be baptized!  She already knew it was true and we hadn't even opened our mouths yet!   I'm still shocked about that but I'm incredibly grateful that we were led to find her.    The Lord definitely answers our prayers. 
Another cool thing I learned about "prepared people" this week is that sometimes we as members of the Church or even sometimes us as missionaries try to judge who is "prepared" for the Gospel and who is not.  When the Lord sent his disciples into the world to preach the gospel he said, "Go and teach all nations..."  He didn't say "Go and teach only the people who you think are prepared"   EVERYONE.  Everyone deserves to be invited to hear the truth. Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to use their agency to say yes or no.  By inviting someone to learn more, we're at least letting them have the option even if they smoke or drink or don't have very good language or do something else that might be a little outside the standards of the Church, they deserve to know.  They deserve to feel the love of their Heavenly Father more abundantly in their lives.  Maybe they're not going to be like this lady that we found this week and maybe they'll say "no thanks" or do what they do to us and slam a door in your face and say "Not interested. Don't come back." but at least you gave them the opportunity to say that.  It's kind of a random side note that I'm throwing in here at the end of this letter, but it's something that hit me strong this week. 
I know that as we reach out in love to those around us and invite them to learn more about the things that we've come to know are true, the Work and the Truth will spread the earth.  I know that it is all of our responsibility to put in that little effort to help out in the Work of the Lord and I want to invite you to think of someone, whether they're "prepared" or not, with whom you could share the Gospel this week, and then do it.  Pray for those opportunities and they will come if you look for them.  It sounds scary but it's not that bad, I promise :) 
I love you so much and I hope you have a good week! 
Elder Zack

The War...
They've come back in full force.  They're everywhere, including inside our microwave somehow... I'm still trying to figure that one out.  Its a fun life we live in the dark and dreary and cockroach infested wilderness we call Crete.

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