May 19, 2014
Area: Humble, TX
Hey, it sounds like you guys have all had a great week and I am glad to say that we have too! We started out the week pretty similar to last week's start, but we kept thinking and thinking about the best way to approach the area and help it grow and progress, and on Thursday we had a breakthrough! We were weekly planning and Elder Anderson remembered something that Elder Yukon had told them during a zone meeting, but it had never made sense for him until now. We have been applying it to our area and thinking about every investigator, and less active, a lot more to find out what they need in order to help them specifically. The thing that Elder Anderson remembered was an equation about lessons and what is most important, going: MP>LARC>Active Member>OL. We have really been concentrating on how we can get members out with us each day, and at the same time trying to use members that connect with the investigators.
These last few days that we have been applying this have been miraculous. We have seen our lessons triple or quadruple, we had 5 lessons Friday, all of which were quality lessons, and we had 4 lessons Saturday, still with each of them being quality, but sadly we missed out on our member because we didn't follow the promptings of the spirit... Our lesson had fallen through before the member go there, so we went to a solid backup early, but then accidentally let the church member leave 2 minutes before one of our investigators came home. Sad, but a lesson learned.
We have mainly been visiting less-actives in the area because we have a lot within our ward boundaries, and our ward attendance has been going down. Yet through our diligence in following the spirit and following our plan, we have had a huge success! We have figured out somethings that can help some of our less-active members, and one of them even came to church yesterday because we decided to bring a member out with us! Yesterday (May 18) we saw the attendance of our ward jump from the normal 90 or so to 124 :) It was a real miracle because Elder Anderson and I were able to get an investigator family to attend church. They are a family of 8 (the husband wasn't able to go), and we started teaching the mother's sister,and her 3 children, as well as this lady's mother. We have really seen the work change in this area and we have the true desire to find and unite families.
This week the biggest miracle of all our miracles happened on Sunday, while we were at church. Bishop Morales told us that he wanted to talk to us after church, and we, being missionaries, immediately started thinking, "oh no, what did we do wrong?". But when we talked with our bishop, he called over a young lady from the ward who hasn't been baptized and said that she has made the decision to be baptized! We knew she wasn't a member because her parents were offended by the church and wouldn't let her be baptized, but that seems to have changed. Our bishop said the parents gave her just enough wiggle word room to get baptized saying "If you want to get baptized, you can, but we want you to know that we don't want you to". Well, she really has been touched by the spirit and desires very much to be baptized. We were amazed and grateful for this miracle because she was there every Sunday and knows and lives the gospel principles already, she just wasn't able to be baptized and nobody wanted to mess it up because it was a sensitive family. We only talked with the grandparents and the rest was with the bishopric. This sweet young lady has been a work in progress for years. Ever since getting in the area, I have always wanted to do something to try to help, but I have been respecting the bishop and his decisions. I have prayed and fasted specifically for her family. After all that I could do, her parents softened their hearts enough to let her be baptized, so this is literally an answer to my prayers! I am eternally grateful for this blessing and opportunity to take part in helping this girl be baptized. On Sunday, Bishop Morales said that she has selected the 31st of this month to be baptized. She would have gotten baptized this weekend (May 24), but it wasn't possible due to firesides and ward conference.
Once again, I love you guys :) Have a great week.
Elder Stanley Scott Dye