Monday, July 20, 2009

Live what you know

An insight from Sister Barker.
"I realized something as I prepared for a lesson yesterday. I remembered back to college for a moment and how I was always going to church activities, hanging out at the Institute all day and night and waking up early to go to mission prep, even extra hours sitting in firesides Sunday nights. Well, Why did I do all this??
Because I was seeking the SPIRIT to "always be with me." I know that phrase is true if we seek always to be with him. Even little things like the way we dress, things we say, or what we think about make a big difference when you add them all up. Oh Boy, Do the prophets and apostles know what they are talking about, or what!! We have a couple people that are getting baptized in a month that really don't understand these little things. And quite honestly I don't think I still really understand them, except I know they are commandments and I am happier when I live what I know. If only I could always remember that. Live what I know!"

Two stories

Some stories from Nate from last month. All of these letters from the missionaries constantly remind me how important it is to be in tune with the Spirit. To always be listening.

"We had a pretty cool experience about a week ago. I was on an exchange in Marysville 5th. We were with one of the district leaders and we were doing companionship study, doing training models and stuff, and the door rings at 9:15 in the morning. The girl upstairs wants to use our phone. We start talking to her and give her a quick first discussion and a copy of the Book of Mormon. She says she’s going to rehab in the morning and will have time to read. 10 minutes later, her boyfriend comes down and asks to use the phone. We asked him about his background and he said he reads the Bible for an hour and a half each day and he was open. So we gave him the Book of Mormon and introduced it and he said, “that is cool. I’ll probably read the whole thing.” He ended up reading the entire night. He said he was up from midnight till 6am reading. He said, “I’ve been reading all night and I can’t put the book down.” He had a whole page of questions he had from his reading. He had this note which said, “God opens doors no man can
close and closes doors no man can open. I’m still waiting for my door.” He had all these questions about the church. So we went over there with Elder Merrill and his companion and we taught him a first discussion and answered all his questions and talked to him and Autumn before they left. It was so cool. He is just so open and knows so much about the Bible. He’s 18 years old. But they’re in a really rough spot right now and so we’re helping them to understand more about it.

We went over to the McLaughlin’s a week ago (mom is a member but three children aren’t baptized: age 8, 10, 12) and John McLaughlin, the 12-year-old, was in the back yard playing a trombone. Elder Searcy played the trombone in high school. And I was like, “oh my gosh, it’s
perfect, a gift from heaven.” So Elder Searcy goes up and is talking to him and he’s giving him quick lessons. And we ended up teaching the coolest lesson in the world with this trombone. We talked about how when Christ had the church, it was perfectly established like the tuned trombone, but that over time things got switched around. So we pulled out the tuning slide and reversed it and put it back in. And when the prophet was gone, the mouthpiece was taken out. And then people changed this and that and a couple things got removed or changed on the trombone and it didn’t play anymore. Needless to say, it was a good lesson. All we need is motorcycles and trombones and we can hit it off with anybody. I can talk about motorcycles. Elder Searcy can talk about trombones and everything else we don’t know what we’re talking about, we can just fake it till we make it."

La Pouvoir de La Priere

A beautiful testimony from Elder Wigginton about serving, acting, and listening to the Spirit. A family who has the chance to be sealed together forever.

"We started teaching her husband about two and half months ago. He seemed very reserved and is very active in his current church. He has a stone cold poker face, and while kind, he is an oak. In the first couple of weeks he would come to church and talk to us once a week. Then we started talking twice a week. I felt like he could be converted, but then he stopped coming to church. I have prayed about him so much, and I know Yvette has prayed for him much more. I saw Sister Yvette remotely discourage for the first time a week and a half ago. I knew it was because of Ben. She wants him to be baptized so bad, to go to the temple with him and their family, and to be sealed for time and eternity. I could see she thought the opportunity was slipping away.

On Tuesday we taught him about Temples and the Ordinances that take place inside. I said a silent prayer while Elder Chirwa was teaching that somehow we would know what to say and that when we extended the invitation for baptism that he would accept. As Elder Chirwa continued to teach I had a thought to share a principle not commonly taught in the missionary lessons- the concept of a sin of commission and a sin of ommission. I said to myself, "Okay, how can I integrate this into our lesson." As Sister Yvette talked about the difference between a chapel and a temple, the topic of worthiness came up and my opportunity came. I taught the principle and finished the lesson inviting him to be baptized again, asking how his prayers were going. He again said no. I then felt prompted to share two scriptures: Alma 34:32-34 and James 1:22. After simply sharing these and explaining the principles, he said something I did not understand too clearly, "On va," literally meaning "one is going." I quickly realized he had accepted the invitation.

I could not deny the fact that Heavenly Father had answered my prayer almost immediately as I followed the whisperings of the Spirit in what to say and to teach. To witness this miracle and the joy that it has and will continue to come to this family is enough for me to say that the past thirteen months have been worth every ounce of energy, every frustration, and every bit of other suffering that I have felt. Yet, I have been blessed far beyond that and continue to be blessed each day. I promise you that prayer is absolutely crucial in our daily lives, and that if we act in accordance with the laws of God that we will be blessed beyond our comprehension."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Sister Missionary

Just a little quote from Hailey!

"The Simpleness of a different language has also proven to be a blessing. I always have so much to say, that it might scare some people if I said it all at once. :) Power comes with understanding and simplicity."

Nate and Hailey in the MTC

A Simple Testimony

I love this pure testimony of the power of the Gospel to change lives.

From Elder Wigginton:
Truly, this time here is incredible. I have never felt closer to my Father in Heaven, nor have I ever loved so many people. It is a great blessing. I know it is the work of God, and I do not sit back, but work and watch the miracle of the Gospel change lives for the better. It is amazing to watch how family relationships improve as we teach them to pray together. It is amazing to watch alcoholics leave the poison behind and to see others leave cigarettes. It is incredible to see boys transform into men, respecting the women around them and their parents at home. And it is equally miraculous to be changed for the better by the power of this force. We do have a Father of Heaven and he does listen to our prayers. I assure you of it. His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, makes it possible for us to be forgiven for the errors we have committed. The peace that comes from His Atonement cannot be accounted for by anything else but the divine. I know these things. I see their results each day in my life, and I pray that you all will invite Him into your lives.

Elder Wigginton and a family he taught and baptized

Amped Up

Here's a great story from one of Nate Packer's letters. I love the creativity and the idea that we need to be excited about the work. What can we do to get excited about our missionary work? I know a lot of us were just called to reach out to the singles' in our boundaries who don't attend our ward. Can we think of things that will get them excited to come to our ward?

We had zone conference on Wednesday last week. On the table we had hymn books stacked up making a mount and also an overhang for this WWII 90mm tank shell we got from the Army Navy store. We were over there the other day and I was thinking that for zone meeting the whole idea is to get everybody really excited and to get them amped to go out and work and to baptize people. And I was thinking about how we were all generals in God’s army in the re-existence and so I said, “What if we got everybody a metal of honor and they could wear it? So we snipped off the pins and grinded them off flush and they could be glued to the back of our tags. There’s 28 people in our zone, it’s a huge zone, so we got all the metals and organized them on top of hymn books, all different kind of WWII and Viet Nam metals. But anyway, we had the
cloth over the whole thing. The tank shell is like 3-feet long and weighs about 30 pounds. It’s like a full-on WWII anti-tank missile. It looks like a big bullet. So we asked, “What do you elders now about the war in heaven? “Who were you in the war in heaven?” And they’re like, “we were like lieutenants and officers and stuff.” And I was like, “No, you were all GENERALS. It was really cool and we want you all to remember who you are and who you were.” So we pulled off the sheet and everyone was standing up and looking at this tank shell and these little metals and they were all looking at it and laughing. On the side of the tank shell it’s wooden where the cartridge is, and we put the word “Baptizer” written on the side of it. It kind of works like the Stanley Cup. The best companionship in our zone that has the most impressive week gets the Baptizer for the whole week and they get to write their name on it and they get to have it in their apartment and take pictures with it and stuff. Then every week, each district leader nominates another companionship and then out of the three that are nominated, we choose the one that will get it. So everyone was really excited to get it. So we awarded it to a missionary and his companion. We passed it around to everyone and then gave it to him at the end and put his name on it. It was really cool and it got people pretty amped.

“This is all we have as missionaries. This is really like our power, our testimony. If we don’t have a testimony, we can’t do anything. But if we have a strong testimony, then we will be able to be really powerful.” And I said, “The bullet is like you and the amount of charge you have behind
it is your testimony and you can have as much or as little as you want, but that is what is really going to propel things and like this tank shell that can pierce another tank at two miles away, your testimony will be able to pierce all of the people that you talk to right to their center, just like Jesus Christ did when we came down from Heaven.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Elder Wigginton's Address

Here's Elder Wigginton's address. Now we can all write him lots of letters! :)

Elder Jared Wigginton
P.O. Box 1052
The Republic of Congo

And a fun picture of him with some bananas.

And Elder Packer's blog with his address and all of his letters.