Stake Conference was incredible. The spirit that was there and
the talks given reminded me that the Lord's hand is not just in missionary
work; it is in every detail of His church. With the creation of our new stake,
I know even more now that there are many people prepared here. We do not always
know how they will come, but we know as we are exactly obedient and expecting
excellence, we will find them. Elder Soares came and spoke and it was
That was the case this week with one of our self-referrals and
+He referred himself to mormon.org. He is so prepared to be
baptized. We have gone over and taught him while his 23ish year old daughter
and wife have been there, but they had yet to join us for the lessons. We had
been inviting them and praying they would join, but to no avail... until
Thursday! Both his wife and daughter sat down and listened to the Plan of
Salvation. We left them their own copies of the Book of Mormon and pamphlets
and a DVD on The Restoration. We are going back today to teach the Gospel of
Jesus Christ and get him committed to a baptismal date. Thursday's lesson was
wonderful, and as we taught The Plan of Salvation, we introduced the 5 steps of
the gospel and he was so amazed and impressed that THIS church has the gospel
outlined exactly as he has found it in the Bible and no where else. Not in any
other church... he knows he has finally found the truth.
+Miracle of the week: prayed hard and looked over our map
Saturday in comp study. We chose a knocking spot, got there, weren't having
much success, kind of bummed. But them we OYMd this man who had a car with a
bunch of meat he was selling and we invited him to visit the website on the
back of the Christ card and explained how this was about Christ's first church.
We made a tiny bit of small talk and testified that God placed us in his path
so he could learn more. I said, "I know that God placed us in your path so
you can learn more about Christ's true and church and be a part of it. He said,
"What do I need to do next?" OKAY King Lamoni answer right there. We
talked about baptism and he interrupted and asked, "What is it that makes
you two so happy?" It was as if the spirit was there telling him that the
blessings of the gospel bring joy and he needed it. Before we could even ask
for his information he was asking us for the church address and what the next
step was for him. NEAT. That reminded me of the reason for testifying...
because if they are elect, they will respond. We passed him to Aventura Beach
(that's where he lives) and told them to tell us when he's baptized. Our
encounter was celestial. No doubt that he has been prepared by God and will be
baptized. Most powerful OYM response of my mission.
14 Therefore Ammon
turned himself unto the king, and said unto him: What wilt thou that I should
do for thee, O king? And the king answered him not for the space of an hour,
according to their time, for he knew not what he should say unto him.
15 And it came
to pass that Ammon said unto him again: What desirest thou of me? But the king
answered him not.
16 And it came
to pass that Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived
the thoughts of the king. And he said unto him: Is it because thou hast heard
that I defended thy servants and thy flocks, and slew seven of their brethren
with the sling and with the sword, and smote off the arms of others, in order
to defend thy flocks and thy servants; behold, is it this that causeth thy
As I read Alma this morning, I realized the importance of
inspired questions. Ammon's inspired, thoughtful question brought the spirit...
and silence. Silence is so important in this work because it allows the spirit
to teach our friends better than we can. After the silence and another question
and pondering, Ammon was able to perceive his thoughts. Because of that, King
Lamoni knew that Ammon was of God (of the "Great Spirit" in his
words). This sparked a very simple lesson where Ammon, an amazing teacher,
scaffolds on what the King knows and builds from there. These chapters are so
rich with lessons for us missionaries. I know that as we pattern our style of
teaching after the scriptures, and more importantly- the Savior's, we can do
the Lord's work His way.
+Sister Edwards and I are doing fabulously! The time is flying, and
we are soooo enjoying each other. We are relentless to find more elect people
to teach. I know that the Lord blessed us with our family this week as Luis'
family joined in on the discussions. However, with them being our primary investigators,
I think this time is a time for me to teach Sister Edwards how to hold the
standard of electness high. We will be blessed with our miracle soon.....I just
know it. We just cannot doubt. By the end of this transfer, she will be a pro
at only working with the elect.
Other things to report:
-Last week had my first face to cement experience while riding
bikes. I fell and then slid across the sidewalk into the grass and was out of
sight for a hot second and sister Edwards said, "Well that's something you
never want to see, your comp's bike laying down on the sidewalk." We had a
-We got POURED on for three days on bikes, sopping wet. Kept
knocking, people thought we were crazy. One old Cuban lady ran upstairs and got
us a towel, bless her heart. I use it to wipe my face and she stops me and
says, "Um no, don't do that. It is not clean." Yeah as I used it I
could smell that it was indeed dirty. We surmise it was either a
bath mat or one of her cat's bed. To be determined.
I know I say this all of the time, but I mean it... I am
in love with this work. We have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all
time. We get to see our friends apply the atonement and grow closer to the
Savior each day. I love life as a missionary.
What an amazing week of finding, being on bikes in the heat, on
our feet, knocking for hours that led Sister Edwards and me to talk about what
we would do if one of us passed out haha just kidding it wasn't that hot. Okay
actually it was but it was wonderful to be on the streets of Miami inviting
others to come unto Christ. But really we biked into our area first thing of
the day to knock and got to the first door, I put my hands on my hips and
realized I had sweat all the way down to my hips. Shoulders to hips drenched.
Don't ask about my hair.
Since we just baptized our two solid investigators last week, we
had the inevitable finding spree. In the weeks leading up to their baptisms, we
tried our best to replenish our teaching pool early so we would not be in a
drought, but we are only working with one investigator right now.
Our current investigator referred himself to mormon.org
about 2 weeks ago now, came to our missionary/investigator/RC activity at
church, loved it. We went back and taught him with a member in his home that
week. Came to the baptism on Sunday, then left for work. Hard to get a return
appt with him so we dropped him. When you work with the elect, they basically
schedule the next appt, so that was not a good sign. THEN last Friday, I guess
he missed us because he RE-referred himself to mormon.org. We called, texted, went to his
house, nothing. Sunday morning we "rounded him up" and he said he
would not be able to come to church but had a "lot of questions"...
curious or elect? Wasn’t sure if he was truly interested. We testified of
church and left. I had the most distinct feeling in that lesson that things
would work out with him. It was so easy to love him, listen to him, and speak in
Spanish to him... the spirit was there. So we are driving away and I am
drilling "ONLY WORK WITH THE ELECT OF THE ELECT" into Sister Edwards'
head and she asked why we were working with him because she did not feel he was
elect, etc. etc. I got a little frustrated because Sister Trebotich taught me
well how to keep the standard high…..Anyway, I was bothered in my heart and was
praying silently in my heart to know if it was my will to visit him or the
Lord's. I was bummed walking into church with no one there (no investigators...
because we had knocked for hours and prayed and slaved over our map and made it
the most spiritual finding in the streets and finding of the finding spots)
anyway, but had a peace in my heart the whole sacrament meeting knowing that
God would provide. I did not believe, I knew. I just knew it because we had
truly given it our all.....
+MIRACLE of the week.... sacrament meeting ends and miracle investigator
at sacrament is behind us. Find out he is for the elders. That's okay because
RIGHT NEXT TO HIM IS OUR INVESTIGATOR! I could hardly believe my eyes. He loved
sacrament meeting and wants us to come teach his family tomorrow. I have the
strongest feeling that he will be baptized this transfer.
Also, another beautiful miracle: one of our OYM miracles belongs
to the elders but this cute Cuban couple is getting baptized!! Everyone thinks
that we are teaching them because they always point to us when telling people
why they’re at church and when they bear their testimony, but I do not think
they understand they belong to the elders haha. Heck when the elders got
whitewashed in here they did not even know they were theirs!
+3 family members and their mom: remember them? We received them
as a member referral the same week we accidentally knocked into them, the
father had been asking for sisters, not elders, then our boundaries got changed
and there we were. Anyway, the father is the most elect of them all, but still
needs time. Or so we thought, but then his member sister from Flagler came up
to us yesterday and asked how we got him to church that one Sunday because he
had not been since their 23 year old daughter was baptized when she was 8. And
apparently he wants to come back to church and he uses this prayer guide card
we gave him to bless the food now. Looks like we are going to keep working with
Alma 7:11-12 two of my favorites
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and
afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be
fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his
12 And he will
take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his
people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be
filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the
flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
This struck me this week as I listened to a General Conference
talk that explained that Christ could have known how to succor us based on
revelation. However, he chose to suffer to understand how to extend mercy to
us. I know that our Savior loves us so much, that it was not hard for Him to
make that decision, but I know that the atonement is the single most selfless,
merciful, beautiful gift that could ever be given.
Sister Edwards is doing well. For the main part of her training,
we have been talking about how her mission has been just incredibly enjoyable.
I know that this finding phase is trying her, but together we are studying
about the balance between faith and works and are learning much. We are helping
each other to press forward and not get discouraged. There is no time for that!
We love being your missionaries, on the Lord's errand. There is
Thank you for your support and dad for the package! The last
package!! NUTS. It did not disappoint, the KIND granola is so delicious.
Both of our investigators were baptized on Sunday! It was a
beautiful service filled with the Spirit. The mom of one of them bore her
testimony and said that each prayer that she said morning and night for years
had been answered when her son got baptized. I will never forget that
testimony. When he came out of the waters of baptism, he explained that he
literally felt a weight lifted off of his shoulders. I know this work is true.
Right now we are sacrificing and sanctifying ourselves to find
our elect family that we will baptize. We know they are out there, and I love
being unified with my companion on our focus and desire to find them. Makes the
work far more enjoyable and gives me more confidence that the Lord will lead
them to us.
Sister Edwards is still killing it. This week, I was impressed
as I realized that she never complains or has anything negative to say. That
makes this work far easier so I am working on becoming more like her. It was an
incredible blessing to have found both of our investigators together, and to
have been able to see both of them enter into the waters of baptism.
12 week is going well. We study and role play together and we
learn together... I really truly do not feel like I am training her. She is
exactly obedient...always. It is the best! She and I are completely unified in
enjoying each hour of the day and keeping our minds and conversations focused
on our Savior and our missions. She is the best companion to finish my mission
with. I love her with my whole heart!
Alma 26 is officially my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon.
It puts my thoughts regarding my mission into words:
16 Therefore, let us
glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is
full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in
the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and
of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I
cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
This verse may be my favorite in all of the Book of Mormon. I
truly cannot glory too much in God for giving me this precious mission
experience. Words will never do it justice.
I feel like I am starting to finally understand missionary work.
The baptism was celestial. Just the opportunity to see two very dear friends be
baptized was beyond description, thanks to the Lord.
I love this work! I love my Savior! And I love these 5 weeks
that I have to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and bring others into the waters