February 17, 2014
Hey guys! It sounds like you all had a great week and had a fun Valentine's Day, and Mom, it sounds like that computer chair really getting a workout--glad that you are doing Ancestry.com and FamilyTree.org work. :P
This week Elder Owens and I decided to start writing down at least 2 miracles that happen each day and wow, it is really nice to see the miracles that God had given us because there are so many. This Friday we had Elder Aidukaitis from the 70 come and talk to us and we are super motivated now. He told us about how he was a Mission President before and there was a missionary that really mastered how to set goals, then plan to meet the goals, then carry the plans out. He had gotten a call from a Stake President or Branch President complaining about how that missionary was causing problems, not bad problems, good ones. The leader said that the missionary brought over 100 people to church and they didn't have enough room to fit them all! The missionary not only did that, he also baptized every week of his mission after he mastered the principles of planning. Elder Aidukaitis talked to us a little about that and the principles of faith and patience. He told us that patience is an act of faith and diligence is too and how with diligence, a person will continue until the work is done, not just until he is done. He taught us that "the field is white and ready to harvest" means that people are already prepared to be baptized, the only thing that holds them back is that they don't know where to find the truth. Elder Aidukaitis said that the way we should plan is that "0" is not a goal, we should push ourselves in everything and we need to have faith that what the Lord said is true and people are already ready for baptism.
When we got home we decided to try to do exactly that, we started planning with high goals and setting the goals first, instead of setting them after we plan. We finished the week really strong and found ways to try to meet our goals, and then set the goals higher and have that faith that God will lead us and prepare the way. On Saturday morning, during our companionship study, we decided to make a list of people that we felt were prepared. That list alone had 20 names, and that is not even the ones that we found in the area book yesterday nor the people that we haven't even met yet. We decided to start to fast every Sunday and Thursday for those people who we have on the list, as well as having the spirit with us as we plan for the week and try to find ways to meet our goals.
Speaking of having written down some miracles that happened during the week, we had miracles every day since we decided to write them down. The first day was Thursday, and we had the Hour of Power, like usual, and as part of that we decided to bring one of the young men with us knocking. We were knocking and we decided to walk down a street and you know how you can look at a neighborhood and sort of know the nationality of the person living there. Back home, especially around Diwali time (most Indian's homes a decorated with colorful lights), well in stereotyping, we kinda figured that most of the homes were owned by Caucasian owners, but the guy we had with us, Jesus, told us that one of the houses was definitely a Hispanic home, so we went and knocked it. When the guy answered, I started introducing us, but he opened the screen door and his eyes lightened up! My companion interrupted me and said "Hola, Armando"...it turns out that it was a really solid investigator from before, and Elder Owens hadn't seen him in about 3 months. The guy was almost baptized and he believes everything, just his wife is against it and not willing to change, so he doesn't want to get baptized and make her mad because he married into the family... Jesus bore his testimony to him about how the gospel has helped him in his life, Armando looked really happy to see us, but really sad that his wife is against what we believe. Elder Owens didn't think about knocking that house, but having Jesus with us and relying on the spirit--Elder Owens found someone that he had taught before! It was a blessing to have Jesus with us because he was able to help a lot and he has that rare and special ability/desire to be a great helper to the missionaries. That wasn't even the only miracle of that day, but I don't have that much time and I want to get to the biggest miracle of the week.
Saturday was the biggest miracle, we went to try a less-active that we had taught once before and we found her at home. When we started the lesson, Elder Owens and I decided to share 1 Ne. 8:8-12 and how Lehi wanted to share the gospel with his family. Elder Owens thought of that scripture because I had shared it with a different person earlier in the week, and he didn't remember where it was, so I took over. When he told me which scripture he wanted to share, I realized how perfect it would be for her, since she is the only member of her family and she loves the gospel. I felt prompted to ask her about her desire to share the joy she has found with the gospel with her family, and she really wants to share it. I continued by inviting her to share the gospel with her family by inviting them to listen to us. I felt prompted to share with her that we felt her husband was prepared to be baptized because of how he looked, felt, and acted the last time we came. I felt prompted to tell her about the fast we had already started for those people on the list and that we believe that he really is prepared, and really anything is possible with faith. I invited her to fast with us on Thursday that her family will be ready and open to the gospel. I felt prompted to promise her that everything will work out and her family will follow her example and join the church. I felt the spirit really strong telling me that I had to promise her that she, with her husband, will be sealed in the temple. I can't even describe the whole thing, it was a miracle and I felt so confident in what I was saying, I had no doubts that it would happen and I don't know, I just love her. She really reminds me of Mary Poupart and I really want to see her, with her husband and family, sealed for Time and all Eternity in the Lord's temple. She told me that she could see the strength of my faith and my testimony and thanked me for it and said she would fast with us and she would invite her family to all be there on Saturday at 8pm when we come. When we were ending the lesson, she asked me to pray and I broke down in tears during the prayer and asked that all that stuff would come to pass. When we got out of the lesson, Elder Owens said that was the most powerful lesson he has ever been in, and he never would have been as bold as I was in my promise to her. I always remember how, when set apart as a missionary, that I was promised the gift of faith, faith to influence others, faith to build others' faith, I feel that I have faith sufficient to bring to pass the miracles that God wants to come to pass. I felt like I needed to share that promise from me getting set apart with Elder Owens, and I told him that I think it is the greatest and most important blessing I could have.
I love you guys and I hope you start writing down some miracles each day, and go out with missionaries if you can because we all really appreciate it.
Love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye