First off, Happy Birthday tomorrow to my Mom! Hope it’s a great one :)
Week 5 has been amazing! We are currently teaching 14 people! We go on splits with either the guys in the Elders quorum or the young men waiting to leave for their mission!
This week, I went on a split with a young man named Brandon (He's leaving on a mission next month to Honduras) and we visited a non-member named Ace Avery. He's 85 and is married to an active member of our Church but, has never cared to be baptized. He told us that he loves the people of the Church but doesn't believe in the Book of Mormon. He also said he's been visited by the missionaries countless times. He's heard ALL the discussions and knows everything there is to know about our Church. He mentioned that he'd even read the Book of Mormon cover to cover…but he didn't think it was true.
I asked him if he knew about Moroni's promise or the Book of Mormon promise (Moroni 10:3-5) and he said yes. I asked if he had read with real intent as instructed by Moroni. He said he did not believe he read it with real intent, because he read it on account of a dare! I asked him if he could try to find the willingness to read with real intent. He said no. When I asked why, he said that he just didn't have the desire. I asked if he had ever prayed about the Book of Mormon being true. He said he had not. Then, I asked if he could do that and he just laughed and said he couldn't. I was confused, so I asked him if the reason he couldn't pray to know the truth was because he thought God would be offended. He said yes, God would be offended if he "bugged" him with that kind of a prayer.
He told us that he was a strong Southern Baptist and that he was currently attending a Bible school. So I asked him if he knew the scripture in the Bible, James 1:5. He said yes and quoted it... "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, and it will be given him." I pointed out that he had left part of the scripture out. "If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God, *who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not*, and it will be given him."
Then I asked him if he knew what "upbraideth not" meant. He said he didn’t know. I explained to him that it meant, if we ask God a "stupid" or "dumb" question, he would not be offended. There is no such thing as a dumb question to God :) He then looked at me with a puzzled face. I invited him once again to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and that if he did so with a sincere heart and real intent, he could know of its truth through the Holy Ghost. We haven't been back since and he is out of town for the next few weeks, but we’re planning to meet with him when he gets home :)
I was also able to start teaching 2 young girls. Their mom is a less active member but wants to come back to church. Their names are Linden (13) and Casey (8). I was able to teach them The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Restoration. They are amazing and retained so much of the lesson! We are inviting them to be baptized when we visit again on Tuesday night! While teaching them, it reminds me how we all need to be like little children and humble ourselves. Children are the greatest example of what we need to be in order to become truly converted ourselves.
Ricardo Lopez is still on date for this Wednesday, the 21st! He asked Elder Allen and I to sing a special musical number for the program so we are going to be doing that--with a guitar! ;) It’s a nice nylon string that belongs to one of our Ward Mission Leaders, so it'll be a lighter sounding tone :)
Our other baptism is set up for next Sunday on the 25th. It is Donell Christensen! She's super prepared and everything is going smooth. She also asked us to play a song at her baptism as well :)
James (the one we took to Temple Square) has recently told us that he doesn't want anything to do with the Church anymore, but thanked us for being nice and trying to help him. Keep him in your prayers. His family is hard on him and he's had lots of troubles recently. We are trying to set up an appointment with him asap. Please keep James, Ricardo, Donell, and Ace in your prayers for me!
We are averaging about 22 lessons taught a week, so we are plenty busy! Afternoons are somewhat slow, but we are trying to find as many service projects as we can to keep us busy. Nights are double booked and most of the time we get home late. Sundays are definitely the busiest days. We have 1-2 stake correlation meetings every Sunday and then several Ward Council meetings that we are asked to attend. Sunday nights usually have 3-4 lessons planned with Investigators.
We were able to attend the Salt Lake City Temple this morning! It's beautiful and holds the Spirit so strong. It was an amazing experience. We are able to attend the Temple once a transfer, so that’s every 6 weeks.
It's still hot here, and everyone says this is the hottest summer Utah has had on record! So I still feel your pain for the heat :) Although, they say it's gonna cool down soon.
Hope everyone is well at home! You are all in my prayers.
Don't ever forget that we are given the Gospel to share it. Is there anyone that you know that could benefit from knowing the truth of the Gospel? That person you're thinking of right now is the person that needs it the most. Share the joy and love of the Truth we know.
PS Don't forget to write me! I love getting letters from friends and family :)
My favorite scripture this week… Mosiah 4:11-12
(11) And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
(12) And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.