January 27, 2013
Happy Almost February!
Can you believe it? The time is going by SO fast! It’s like sand slipping through my fingers. Or, to quote Jacob from the Book of Mormon, "The time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream..."
But we're doing all that we can to make the most of the next several months. One of the things that we have been talking about in our zone, is being diligent. We’ve determined that diligence isn’t fulfilled by just running hard or going, going, going to accomplish things. That won’t really be effective and isn’t the right way to be “diligent.” Instead, we’re focusing on giving a consistent, concerted effort over a period of time. That's diligence!
One scripture that has been on my mind lately, is something that the Prophet Joseph Smith said to a group of elders while traveling along the Missouri river. He stated, “But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief."(D&C 61:3)
That's something that I feel that the Lord wanted me to learn this week—how to really work smart. I feel like I’m also supposed to take the time to think about HIS children and determine what is it that THEY need. I’m pondering how can I help THEM.
We did a zone training about discerning by the Spirit. We discussed how instead of rushing up to someone and just throwing facts about the gospel at them, we should really talk to them and LISTEN to them. Then, by the Spirit, we should discern what it is that they need. It's hard. And we're working on developing that skill. But it's helped me to just take the time and care about the people more.
This week was just really great! So as you know, we've been focusing on less-active members. I can't remember if I told you this last week or not, but President Senior was telling me that what we're learning to do with less active people, will be of great benefit to me when I go home. He said that the things we are learning will really make a difference in the work that I will do in the church for the rest of my life.
We had some really great experiences with the less actives we saw this week. So we've been working with Sister Vaenda. She's been a member of the church most of her life. But recently, she has become kind of bitter. So instead of going over and calling her to repentance telling her to get back to church, we decided to follow Ammon's example. We had gone and cut her lawn the week before, and this week we were going to do some more clean up. We got there and just started to work, cleaning up her yard. We uncovered what I thought was a motorcycle trail, but as we worked we discovered it was an actual driveway. It was a fully paved concrete driveway! It had just gotten grown over to the point it was barely a trail.
One interesting thing that popped into my head as I was working was that I should do my best work. I remember mom always saying to me, "Do a Todd job." She meant to do something worthy to put your name on it. But as soon as that thought entered my head, another line from Preach My Gospel came to mind. "Honor Christ's name by your actions." I then changed my mindset from doing a Todd job, to making my work worthy of the Savior’s name. I hoped Hewould be willing to claim our effort as His. That's what we all promised to do when we were baptized. We agreed to do His work when we took upon ourselves His sacred name. I pray that we will always live worthy of it.
Anyway that's not the end of the story. We were just talking to her and she said that she needed this help, and that the work we did in the name of the Savior was the motivation she needed to go to church. Can you imagine our joy when we saw her walk into the chapel yesterday? I'm so grateful for that. The Lord is looking over us.
I only wish there was enough time for me to tell you everything good that happened because of the Lord pouring out His blessings. But I don't have enough time. One day.
Lek and Tiger are still progressing. They'll be interviewed again this Thursday! Then, because of district conference on Saturday and Sunday, they'll wait till the next week to get baptized. They’re date should be Febrkuary 9th. But they really came forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits. The Spirit of the Lord wrought a change in their hearts.
Sister Palm--oh man! She's golden! She's really progressing, she's starting to use the language of prayer correctly, which in Thai is difficult because you have to us a whole other vocabulary. It’s the Thai that’s used only when speaking to royalty or those of high rank. But she's getting it. Then on Saturday after the baptism of the Sri Lankan family she and our other investigator Tui were there. She told Tui to just get his act together and get a baptismal date! She said, “Isn't it just so great?” He's really opening up to us as well. The Lord is sending us really prepared people! It's great!
Well, thanks so much for all your prayers! Please continue to do so. I'll do the same.
Love you tons!