Well, this week has been full of ups and downs. That's the missionary life though, right? Altogether Elder Sutherland and myself are having a blast sharing the good news with the Kansasians.
First off, Wes. He's been doing really well. The house where he was living wasn't the best place to teach him so we started having lessons with him at members houses. We had a lesson this week with the Maxwells on Tuesday
about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We talked about those first priciples and ordinances and everything we said he accepted so willingly. He has been so prepared and I also learned the power of a good member present lesson. The Maxwells were able to share testimony of how the gospel has changed their lives and how their baptism was something they would never forget. When we testify it's powerful, but there's something about a normal member sharing their knowledge of the gospel that is completely different. Member presents are powerful things and we had three great ones this week. One other member present was again with Wes at the bishop's home. He fed all of us dinner and afterwards we had a lesson that was just awesome. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was so powerful. To me, it's wonderful to see how the plan of salvation gives us direction along this huge eternal spectrum. We lived with God for eternities before we came down to earth, we're here for a microsecond in the grand scheme and then we're off to eternities more. It's amazing how simply knowing that we came from somewhere, that we're children of God and we're striving to return to His presence, and that death is not the end is an amazingly comforting fact of life. We know why we're here! We have direction! What a blessing! Wes loved it and he's moving quickly towards his baptism this Saturday.
Two Saturdays ago (August 3rd) Elder Sutherland and I were going around Caldwell just sharing the gospel. We were on one side of town and it was about time to work our way home. Our car was on the other side of town so we turned and began walking. One the way we decided to really apply the principle of talking with everyone we met. As we walked we ran into a bunch of people who would respond really well to the message. One man named Hank said, "Exactly! The world needs prophets today!" and another family of girls we met said "Well, we don't really know which church is true. It's had to say, but we're looking for it." We gave both a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and asked them to begin reading before our next visit. This pastSaturday (August 10th) we went and contacted Hank and the family. Hank, sadly, wasn't home. We continued around town until we got to Dawn (mother), Cassie (daughter), and Alyssa (daughter)'s house. They invited us in and we talked with them a little. The man of the house was at home, but had no interest in hearing our message. I think that will change with time though. Anyway, we taught about the Restoration and Elder Sutherland was on fire. The Spirit was so strong. He knew exactly what points to stress so they understood, he knew exactly what to say and when to say it, and in general just had a killer lesson. Real teaching by the Spirit. At the end we challenged them to baptism and the three of them said "I can't commit now, but if this is true, we will be baptized". So, we have three more on date for September 14th! It was so awesome and such a great experience. The Lord is truly preparing people all over the world and even right here in Kansas. I'm loving this opportunity to serve so much. It's not easy, but it's been so awesome. I love being a missionary!
So, on the way home from Caldwell that night I was pondering what I could do to increase my faith. During this time the Spirit really came upon me and gave me three things to do to strengthen my faith in Christ, the Book of Mormon, and the church in general.
1) Really study the scriptures
2) Pray with real intent
3) Come to Church each week with a question
Simple, right? But over the past day I tried this method, I learned that by small and simple means are great things brought to pass. Sure enough, by really digging into the scriptures I see applications for my own life and how I can improve. By praying remembering that I communicate with God, I strengthen my connection to him. As I attended church with a question, things people would say and other thoughts would stick into my mind to answer that question. How awesome is that!?! Wow. The gospel is so true. I love it, and I'm so thrilled to be a missionary.
Ate mais! Amo voce^s!
Elder Trent Evans