What a crazy week! I’ve learned so much about the tender mercies of the Lord, and how much He blesses diligence and obedience. Elder Habel and I have seen some amazing things happen as we have put our trust in Him.
Tuesday morning we had interviews with President Tateoka! I loved the opportunity to talk with him again. Every time I have an interview or see him at zone conference, or interact in some other way with him, I am impressed by the spirit that is always with him. I know that he is able to minister to the missionaries—including me—and he has been given the keys over the missionary work in this area. He is truly inspired! He asked Elder Habel and I a question that really stood out to me. He asked “Elders, do you see miracles in your area?” We told him yes, and he asked us in what ways. We went through the list, telling him the various things both big and small we had seen over the past week together. He looked at us and smiled, and we continued with the interview. Later that day as we were contacting someone for the first time (this person had been taught by missionaries in the past) we were surprised when we were invited into their home, and were able to share a message of the Book of Mormon to a very receptive man. He told us we could come back, and that he wants to know if this is God’s true church! Since that point, we have been in contact with him and have been able to return and continue to teach him! We both thought of that experience and wished we could tell President all about it right then and there.
We have also seen the blessing of progression with many of our other investigators in the past week and a half! Many of them, no matter new or old, seem to really desire change in their lives, and are beginning to truly commit to do things like reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and coming to church! I know a lot of what is happening is because of Elder Habel’s and my preparations each and every day, and as we try to diligently study for the needs of our investigators and plan for them on a weekly basis, I know the Lord has guided us in creating lessons specifically for their needs, and has helped us change them when necessary. We are very excited for all these people to continue to progress!
One experience that stands out to me from this past week happened at 8:40 at night. We felt prompted to walk around the block where we were to see if there was anyone else outside we could talk to or help. We got about halfway around when we overtook a lady walking home with her groceries. We started a conversation with her, that eventually led to a gospel conversation. We were able to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon with her that addressed her needs and concerns, help her carry her groceries home in the dark, and had a great discussion with her about God’s plan for us as His children. The best part was halfway through our walk, it started pouring rain! We didn’t put our hoods on (we didn’t want to be rude), so we ended up getting drenched! She was receptive of our message because of how happy I’m sure she could see we were, and because of the little act of kindness we showed her. On our part, we loved getting that soaked, too!
Overall, I am learning the importance—and the necessity—of the Book of Mormon, and how as we use it in as many street contacts and lessons as possible, the people we talk with will be interested in learning more of how it can draw them closer to Jesus Christ, or they aren’t. It really is the great sifting tool to help the prepared progress, and the unprepared to decide to reject it. The Book of Mormon is why all our investigators are progressing and making those big changes in their lives, and I am so grateful I am learning how to help them find out more about it.
This morning in reading 1 Nephi 15, I noticed how Nephi talked to his brothers about obeying the commandments of the Lord. It says “I did exhort them with all the wingers of my soul”. It stuck out to me that when we do missionary work, and for that matter, any other work, the Lord will bless us with success because we are striving to do the very best with what we have been given. In response to Nephi’s efforts, his brothers “were pacified and did humble themselves before the Lord”. They made the right choice because Nephi did the very best he could. The Lord magnifies our efforts!