May 6, 2016


Aberdeen, Maryland


Elder Parkinson

Do You Believe

Hello everyone!

So this week was good, the bench press is great (haha - for any of you who wanted to know)! This week was a little bit of a slower one since Elder Bartholomew was here for six months before he got transferred and he knew the area like the back of his hand and also the members so we did a lot of tracting this week (knocking on doors) along with meeting a lot of the members that we haven’t met yet, so it was good. We had a great end to our week. Yesterday three of our investigators came to church and several families in the ward brought some of their friends, really random but we might be getting a few new investigators this next week - super excited!

Other than that we were grinding the pavement and talking to all we came in contact with. We did pick up two new investigators this week. The first one is Danny, who is awesome, he is a truck driver and is gone from time to time but we were able to meet with him twice this last week and things are going well. Our other investigator Ms. Cooper (she won’t tell us her first name haha at first she thought we were the police). We taught her about the restoration and we have an appointment to go back this next week! So life is good on the Susquehanna!!

This week I have been pondering the talk by Bonnie L. Oscarson, in the last General Conference. The title is "Do I Believe?" In her wonderful message she talks about a boy in a life threatening condition, she tells us the perspective of the mother and her thoughts of the situation:

“I had learned about the blessings of the temple and how ‘families are forever’ in Primary and in Young Women. I shared the message on families to the good people of Mexico on my mission. I was sealed to my eternal companion for time and all eternity in the temple. I taught lessons about families as a Young Women leader, and I shared stories about forever families with my children in Family Home Evening. I KNEW it, but did I BELIEVE it?"

(Me speaking) Walking around a lot this week gave me the opportunity to think about what I knew to be true. But still the question was still there, Do I Believe It? This week I have also been preparing for a Zone Conference Training where I am to be giving a portion of that training, the topic is having faith to find. (finding people that want to learn about the gospel). My thoughts kept coming back to our attitude, and our motivation behind doing this work. Faith is an action word and when we have enough faith it motivates us to act. I know that this mother had to have faith, along with the help of the Holy Ghost. I was able to receive my answer this week as I actively sought the Spirit and its guiding influence. (Back to the story)

"My answer came as quickly as the question popped into my head: the Spirit confirmed to my heart and mind the answer I already knew - DID believe it! At that moment I poured out my heart in prayer to my Heavenly Father, thanking Him for the knowledge and belief I had that families truly are forever. I thanked Him for His Son, Jesus Christ, who made it all possible. I thanked Him for my son, and I let my Heavenly Father know if He needed to bring my little Ethan to His Heavenly Home, it was OK. I trusted in my Heavenly Father completely, and I knew I would see Ethan again. I was so grateful that in a crisis moment, I had the knowledge AND the belief that the gospel was true. I had peace.”
I challenge you to ask yourself the question “Do I Believe," and then seek the Holy Ghost guidance! Love each of you!
Elder Shouse


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